Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ron Paul Ended His Bid For the White House Tonight

No, Congressman Paul did not bow out of the race.  I wish he would.  He's just a nut. Here are the three things that I think ended his candidacy.

1) Paul actually called the Occupy Wall Street protesters victims.  Victims? Really?  Did anyone force them to go take out student loans?  Did anyone force them to go into massive debt for an education?  I don't think so.  Doug Schoen in the Wall Street Journal, today (click HERE for the article) wrote an op ed after his polling firm went down and polled the occupy wall street protesters.  The only real thing that these people have in common is that they share a hard left, almost Marxist ideology.  In the piece, Schoen warns Obama to not support them.

2)  Paul said the US should end all foreign aid to Israel.  While I understand his libertarian ideology is such that he believes that all foreign aide should be ended, I think this is a huge misstep.  Israel is one of our most loyal allies.  Israel is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East.  Israel is the only sane voice in the middle east.  We need to continue to help support Israel.

3)  Congressman Paul called the people being held at Gitmo "suspects." These are not common criminals.  These are enemy combatants who would detonate a nuclear bomb in the US if they could get their hands on one.  They are not really entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions, since they do not adhere to any of the normal rules of war.  To call them "suspects" means that they deserve constitutional protections.  These men deserve none of that.  They are enemy combatants.  Most of them are terrorists, and we know that a majority of those who have been released have gone back to fight against the US in the country that they were captured in.

So long Congressman.  It was nice getting to know you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why neither side is serious about deficit reduction and spending

My wife and I are working like mad to pay down our personal debt.  It takes hard work and for us to pay off debt we have to spend much less than we take in (a family budget surplus) and then take that surplus and use it to pay down debts that we have incurred and intend to pay off.  It takes discipline and sacrifice. 

Only in Washington, however, can a person run out to the press and say that he or she has a plan that will "save" the country billions or even trillions, when in reality the national debt increases.  This is what people on both sides of the political isle are saying.

When is someone in the Congress or the Oval Office (I'm not holding my breath in either case) going to go out and say, "We cannot even have a real conversation about deficit reduction until we agree to a budget that spends less than the revenues that the government takes in."

Wouldn't that be amazing?  But no. All we get from both sides is demagoguery, with both sides seemingly trying to blame the other for cutting whatever pet program their constituency supports.  This is why so many (74% of Americans in a very recent CNN poll) people want a balanced budget amendment.  They know that neither side can be trusted when it comes to spending and these children must be dragged kicking and screaming across the line to fiscal responsibility.   

Just a little fact about balanced budget statutes. 49 out of 50 states have some form of a balanced budget amendment in their state constitutions.  So what's good enough for the states is not good enough for the Federal Government?  


Monday, July 25, 2011

Truths in the Debt Ceiling Talk

I am flabbergasted by the tactics of Obama and the Democrats.  First, I never thought in my life that a person that opposes tax increases is now considered to be an extremist, but that is beside the point.  There is one fact that must be reiterated when discussing the debt ceiling, the national debt, and the deficit.

Before the 2010 midterm elections, the democrat controlled house and senate, passed a budget that added somewhere between 1.5 and 1.6 trillion dollars to the national debt.  The budget was signed into law by President Obama.  True the 2008-09 budget that both Bush and Obama had their hands on was somewhere between 1.2 and 1.4 trillion dollars.  But remember that without TARP the deficit for FY 08-09 would have been about 400 to 600 billion dollars (still an obscene amount of money, but less than half of Obama's 09-10 FY budget).

Since the '09 budget, the still democrat controlled senate has not submitted a new budget.  This means quite simply that the government is stuck with the old gargantuan budget which includes adding about $1.6 trillion to the national debt.

What angers me most is that this president and the democrats are now talking about "shared sacrifice" as a means to force down the throats of the American people tax increases.  I keep reading (Ezra Klein of the Washington Post is the latest) to say that "most economists" agree that the debt crisis can only be solved through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. I reject this utterly false argument.

How does a government expand its spending by 100% in less than two years and then have the gall to tell us that they don't have enough tax revenue and need more?

Before I or any other reasonable conservative will consider that tax increases are necessary to balance the budget, what must happen first is that Congress and the President must cut spending. This does not mean to limit the amount of increase (which is a cut to people in congress). It means to spend less this year than you did last year.  Increase the debt limit and gut spending to pre 2008 levels.  Once you have demonstrated that you can exercise real fiscal discipline, then we can discuss additional revenue.  If Americans fall for this ruse, and tax increases happen, there will be no cuts in spending.

Consider this.  Since 1968 (and I dare say never in US history) has the US government's spending gone down from one year to the next year.  Government always spends more.   This has to stop.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Debt Ceiling...

I am livid.  I am ready to throw my shoe through the TV almost all the time.  If I hear things like "We need shared sacrifice" and "why are republicans trying to protect the rich"  I want to blow my own brains out.  I am sick and tired of this thug President and his minions playing class warfare with the deficit and the debt.  What amazes me most is that liberals like Obama are calling Republicans who are simply trying to keep liberals from raising taxes "extremists."  Lets set a few things straight.

1)  While President Bush spent like crazy and added a crap load to the deficit Obama has dwarfed Bush's spending.  If you include 2009 as largely Bush's deficit, it was $1.3 Trillion. That is a staggering amount of money.  Remember however, if you take out TARP which was supposed to be a temporary bailout program and not a year over year expenditure, that reduces the 2009 deficit to about $588 billion dollars (which is still a huge disgusting number).  President Obama has averaged in his almost 3 years as president a $1.6 trillion deficit EACH YEAR.   To put it another way, Bush added $5 trillion dollars to the national debt...disgusting.  According to the National Debt Clock (http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html) the current national debt stands at $14.6 Trillion.  If the national debt was just over $10 Trillion when Bush left office, Obama has added almost as much ($4.5 Trillion) to the national debt as Bush did in his eight years in office.  

2)  No amount of tax increase, closing tax loopholes or anything else will make a serious dent into the yearly deficit which currently stands at $1.6 trillion dollars. An article located HERE blows the myth of raising taxes on the rich, as a means of balancing the budget.  According to the article, if the US Government taxed those making $200,000 or more (Obama's definition of a millionaire) at 100% the government would only collect about $1.2 trillion dollars in extra revenue.  This still leaves the US with a $400 billion deficit. 

Obama and his goons are playing class warfare and are trying to goad people into thinking that the rich don't pay their fair share.  Considering the fact that the top ten percent pay over fifty percent of the taxes, and that the bottom FIFTY percent have an effective federal tax rate of zero, if we are to be intellectually honest the question has to be asked who is paying their fair share and who is not?  

The one thing that we can be almost certain of is that if Obama raises taxes, America will almost certainly slip back into a recession and possibly a depression.  Why do you ask might this happen?  It's really quite simple. The one place that a president can really have an effect on the economy is through regulations and taxation.  Regulate and tax more and businesses have less capital to spend.  Cut regulations and taxes on small businesses and corporations alike and they will have more flexibility to spend their capital on hiring new workers.

Marco Rubio said it best this week. "We don't need more taxes.  We need more taxpayers."  I do not subscribe to the idea that we should not raise our debt ceiling.  I think we have to considering all of the debt that we have accumulated; However the Obama administration wants to have the debt ceiling raised with tax increases that will take effect immediatly, but only promises of future spending cuts.  What is sad is that we have several countries in Europe that are on the verge of defaulting on their debt (Italy, Greece, Spain for starters). If it happens in any of these countries, it will send shock waves through the financial world.   The US economic bus is headed toward this same cliff.  We are a ways from it, but the rail is getting closer all the time.  If the government does not figure out that cutting spending and shrinking the size of government is really the only answer, we could go over that cliff.  

Thursday, July 07, 2011

U2 and the Blind Guitarist.

I am sure a lot of people will disagree with my political leanings.  I am fine with that, but there are moments when all of that melts away and humanity shares in something special.  One of those moments for me occurred without me even knowing it.  Thank goodness for mobile phones that shoot video and YouTube.

On July 2nd the U2 concert in Nashville was wrapping up.  Reports from the concert were that it was an amazing one even before this moment happened.  The band had taken its bows and was headed off stage when Bono stopped to talk to a guy holding up a sign that caught his attention.  He asked the man, "What do you want to play?"  Soon security was helping the guy on stage.  It must have been a dream come true for Adam Bevell of Mesa, AZ, a life long U2 fan and amateur guitarist.  Bono lead Adam on stage and with the help of some roadies, strapped a guitar on Adam's shoulder.  As Adman began to play "All I Want Is You" he said, "I'm nervous, man."  Bono began to sing.  The rest of the band got back to their instruments and joined in, and soon the whole crowd was singing as well.  When they were done, the crowd roared as Bono and Adam engaged in a double back tap bro hug.  Adam handed back the guitar to Bono, but Bono said, "No, I want you to have it."  A stunned Adam said, "Really?"  and then held up the guitar with his fist in the air as the crowd roared even louder.  It was a special moment.

You might be asking, why this guy?  Well the sign that he was holding said, "Blind Guitar Player.  Bring me up."  

Oh, and in case you did not notice, Bono did not give him just any guitar.  He gave Adam his Grectsh Irish Falcon.  Just awesome.  

As I watched this video, I asked myself, "How many rock stars or bands would do such a thing?"  The only answer I can come up with is very few.  Now I don't know Bono and U2 and I have no idea how these men really are, but for that moment self aggrandizement and self promotion gave way to selflessness and charity.  So often all we hear is the selfish and debauched acts of rock stars and movie stars alike.  This little act reminded me that in that world there still are a few decent people who still care for others.  

Thank you Bono and U2 for a wonderful moment.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Obama has no interest in job creation...

With another 410,000 people filing first time unemployment claims and the "official" unemployment rate (I believe the true rate is much higher than that), one would think that Obama would want to do things that would help to create jobs.  President Obama and his administration's actions to stimulate job growth are like a gardener fostering growth in his or her garden by turning off the water.

The latest example of this comes from THIS story in the New York Times.  The headline reads that the Obama Administration objects to the Alaska Oil and Gas Development bill.  Never mind that such a bill would only help the US's issues with gas prices and US demand for foreign.  Never mind that the the environmentalist wacko's have hijacked this issue and are completely opposed to developing an area that is less than 1% of the Refuge.  Never mine that 75% of Alaskans support drilling in ANWR.  Never mind that using domestic sources of oil over foreign sources (from countries like Saudi Arabia and Libya) makes sense.

According to ANWR.org developing and drilling for oil in ANWR would create between 250,000 and 750,000 jobs.

Objecting or opposing this legislation makes no sense on so many levels. Look at the positives that this bill would bring:

1)  America's dependence on foreign oil would decrease.
2) A larger supply or even the expectation of a larger supply of oil would help to bring down the cost of oil traded on the stock market.
3) With advances in drilling techniques, the environmental impact on ANWR is tiny.
4) From this project alone as was stated above between 250 k and 750 k new jobs would be created.
5)  More people working means more people paying taxes, and more people spending which in turn will stimulate further economic growth.

High unemployment will continue to be a massive drag on any economic recovery.  The only real way that government can really affect the economy is through taxation and government regulation.  If Obama wants to have any chance at reelection, he is going to have to lower taxes and cut out regulations that hinder job growth.  Obama, however is a rigid ideologue who would rather sacrifice jobs to save the Caribou, than do what it take to get the American economy rolling again.  Obama's big ears seem to be deaf to the outcry from jobless Americans who are suffering.

Well at least Michelle, Sasha and Malia, will get to go to Botswana for their summer vacation, err "Official State Visit."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Obama's policies have not worked.

All of the left must be scratching their heads.  Most of them have been taught in the academic world that the Keynesian economic theory is the correct one.  What their liberal professors did not tell them was that Keynesian economics has never worked.  They were told that their hero, FDR pulled the US out of the Great Depression with is New Deal economic policies.  Shoot, I was taught that growing up in High School history.   However two UCLA professors (hardly a bastion of conservative thought) did a study and have concluded that his Keynesian policies did not work but lengthened the Great Depression by SEVEN YEARS. (click HERE to read more about this).  President Carter and his central planning policies led to something not thought possible in the Keynesian theory: Stagflation--a stagnant economy coupled with high inflation).

Flash forward to 2008.  The economy starts to tank, and the man in the White House and his party are blamed.  Should they be?  Well I say to some degree yes.  Because of loose monetary policy coupled with out of control spending that were at least to some degree contributing factors.  However these policies were not and should not be considered free market policies.  Obama sweeps into office under perfect economic and political conditions and starts a new round of Keynesian policies that would never and will never work.

:Lets look at the stimulus package that was passed when Obama first took office.  His $787 billion (an unheard of amount of money), we were told, would keep unemployment down.  In fact we were promised that the so called stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below 8%.  Unemployment went up past 10% for a time and has not dropped below 8.9% since (the rate is at 9.1% now).  As the rate continued to skyrocket the left wing Keynesian economists just shrugged their shoulders and blamed Bush, saying the economy Obama inherited was much worse than originally thought.

What should have been reported by the main stream press was that this stimulus had no way of working, and there is one simple reason, the stimulus money was spent on crap, and not on things that would stimulate the conomy. Take a look at recovery.gov.  They have a pie chart break down of what was spent.  There is so much in there that I don't have time to write it all here, but it is obvious that these yahoos in the Obama administration had no clue as to how to stimulate the economy.  Take a look at the breakdown of where the money was spent.  The only thing that translates to job growth was the money spent on infrastructure.  Considering all of this stuff was temporary, those jobs would eventually disappear.  A bunch of the money was spent on retraining of workers.  Great, retrain people, but if there is no one to hire them, then where are they going to work when they are retrained.

The only way to really stimulate the economy is by stimulating the private sector.  Somewhere around 70% of jobs in the US (still looking for confirmation of this statistic) are private sector jobs.  Consider the fact that if the private sector is stimulated, and the economy starts moving again, companies will pay more taxes (due to increased profits), people will pay more income tax (because more people will be working), and consumers will buy more products leading to more tax revenue.  It really is simple, but the left just can't see this.  They believe that profits are evil and that government bureaucrats can make these decisions better than the hard working Americans.

History has shown that these policies don't work, but it does not stop the central planners from continuing to try.  We must stop them.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

National Debt and Deficit Spending

I have been politically minded for a long time.  It has taken me a long time however to understand the significance of deficit spending.  I should have known better.  My religion warns its members against debt.  I have seen how debt in my own life can inhibit my ability to be financially secure.  As I have attempted to right my own financial ship (a work in progress i might add), I have become more of a deficit hawk.

I must call myself to the carpet though.  I was and still am a supporter of President George W. Bush, but I have come to realize how much damage he did by being such a big spender.  While Bush 43 did the right thing by cutting taxes to keep the economy chugging along after 9/11, he did not adhere to the other equally important part of Conservative principals, that is to keep government spending in check.  Bush increased spending more than Clinton did, and he did it with a Republican congress helping him.  

Now some might argue that part of this spending was for the War on Terror and was necessary to keep America safe.  But Bush also spent gobs of money on things like No Child Left Behind and the Prescription Drug Benefit, two examples of new layers of Government bureaucracy that should never have been added to by a Republican president.  

I was not critical of President Bush.  I did not check the facts when conservative pundits said that it was because of the War on Terror, or I just was not listening when they talked about the skyrocketing debt. 

Well consider this person awoken to the perils of the deficit.  Bush may have increased the debt and should be greatly criticized for it, but Obama has gone crazy with it.  I will write more on this within the next twelve hours, but consider this.

Congress is debating whether or not to increase the debt ceiling by something like 2 trillion dollars.  If Obama continues to run deficits of 1.6 trillion dollars per year.  This debt limit increase will not get the US government two years before another debt limit increase has to be passed.

More on the deficit in a few hours.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Should people vote for Mormon for High Office?

As a Mormon I have heard the types of arguments put forth here as to reasons why people should not vote for Mormons.  Mike Huckabee,, in the 2008 Presidential primaries, made some allusions to these arguments.  He is an Evangelical, like the person referenced in this article, and if you ask many LDS people, think he is an anti-Mormon bigot (I happen to believe this--Huckabee used some very strong anti-Mormon code words when he was running in '08).

The following is a link to an article in the Washington Post, written by Michael Otterson, Official spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Rather than try to put some original thoughts down on in my blog, I will just give you the reference and say, I agree with this article 100%.


I will add that I personally have not made a decision about who I will vote for in the next election.  I personally like Mitt Romeny, but there are several other candidates that I like as well including Herman Cain.  When it gets closer to the primaries, I will make my decision.

Let me also say, that there is no way in H#@! I would ever vote for Harry Reid if he were my Senator.  It does not matter that he and I share the same religion.  That is about the only common belief we share.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Obama Fiddles while...

The Obamas with the German Chancelor
On Tuesday President Barack Obama held his fourth State Dinner: This one for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  According to several sources this State Dinner was scaled back.  The Washington Post asks the rhetorical question as to whether this was an aesthetic or a budget choice.
In all honesty I could care less.  When I saw this image, I became instantly frustrated and even more disgusted with this President than I usually am.  This was his 4th State dinner in less than two and a half years.  Forget the cost of such a dinner in a time when this country is accumulating debt faster than Sylvester can say "Suffering Succotash." Forget the fact that President George W. Bush had just 6 (count them, 6) State Dinners in eight years (Yes at this rate if Obama is reelected --Heaven Forbid--he will have between 13 and 16).

He, his wife and family, seem to be oblivious to the plight of regular Americans.  The U.S. is drowning in debt.  Many Americans are upside down in their homes (including me).  Unemployment is at 9.1% (Gallup puts the rate higher).  Gas prices are as high as $4.00 per gallon, in some places.  GDP has fallen to 1.2% in the last quarterly report.  The U.S. Military is fighting three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and Lybia) Yet, Obama and his wife parade around in lavish clothes, host State Dinners, play round after round of golf (the latest count I could find was 64 rounds--Bush played 32 in 8 years) and seemingly live it up.  Americans are suffering.  Way too many people are out of work.  Gas prices have stretched already thin family budgets even thinner.  In such difficult times, the supposed leader of his people should not be seen "living it up."

His decision to continue to do so, is more than just poor judgement or bad advice.  First it shows a stunning lack of restraint. But more importantly it makes him look out of touch, and smacks of extreme hubris.

Obama and State Dinners

Last night President Obama had his 4th State dinner since taking office in January 2009.  By comparison George W. Bush had 6 State dinners in 8 years. If Obama is reelected (heaven forbid), he will have between 13 and 15 state dinners. More on why this bothers me later. Blogging on my virtual keyboard, on my android phone is annoying.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Simple statistic about the compromise that avoided a shut down.

The 38 billion in spending cuts agreed upon in this amazing, historic compromise will shrink the deficit by a whopping 2%.  This compromise constitutes the largest spending cut in history,  and the deficit will still grow by a whopping 1.57 trillion dollars this year.

We are on the road to ruin.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Are you kidding me?

I think I am going to start calling President Obama the ADD president.  Unemployment is either over 10% (Gallup) or at 8.9% (Government Statistics).  The economy is sputtering along with no sign of the economy snapping out of the malaise that it is stuck in.  He has disregarded any semblance of fiscal responsibility and endorsed a budget that will in a relatively short period of time literally bankrupt this country, turning us into a banana republic.  Oil prices are skyrocketing again because of various issues, yet this President has no discernible energy policy other than to cow tow to the hard left environmentalists or to tell Americans not to worry about the price of oil or gas.  And finally we are only one week removed from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that has ravaged northern Japan.

But according to White House Dossier (link is to the article), President Obama is taping his NCAA bracket picks. What?  Are you serious?  Now, I have no problem with him filling out his own bracket.  Shoot, I have filled out two so far myself.  But to tape it to be televised via ESPN smacks of not only hubris, but of a President completely out of touch with the problems that regular Americans face.  Back when the Gulf War was in full swing, President Bush was criticized for playing too much golf and having fun while people were dying in a far off land.  President Bush felt it was inappropriate and stopped playing golf.  

The question is will the press be as critical toward President Obama playing golf (he does all the time) and taping himself filling out NCAA tournament brackets while regular Americans are still suffering?  I wouldn't hold my breath.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Who's to blame for this Oil Spike!

It is interesting to watch as the press seemingly does not want anything to do with the current oil price spike.  As oil and gasoline prices have risen dramatically over the past couple weeks, the silence has been deafening with regards to the press and its lack of criticism of President Obama and his administration.  A few years back, however the liberal media could not get to their computers fast enough to blame the Bush administration for the oil spike.  Liberal writers like Thomas Friedman lobbed massive amounts of criticism toward the Bush Administration for its "failed" energy policy.  Was some of this criticism warranted?  Possibly.  But if one is going to criticize President Bush, for his policies, one would have to also criticize pretty much every President's that preceded him going back several generations.

But there has been no criticism from the mainstream press about President Obama's equally short sited and horribly flawed energy policy (if there is in fact any energy policy) since he has been in office.  In fact President Obama's foreign, economic, and energy policies can easily be blamed for the spike in oil and gas prices.

The fact is that our country is years away from a viable alternative solution to oil, that is both somewhat cheap and efficient.  When the last spike happened, it became clear that the US is extremely vulnerable to such a spike.  The answers then were clear.  Intellegent thinking people said the US should 1) explore and develop its own sources of oil and energy, that are all over the US (places like ANWR, the Gulf of Mexico) and 2) use tax breaks and incentives to spur research and development into alternative sources of energy.

Bush tried in his last few months to open up oil exploration, but as soon as Obama became president he stopped that stuff cold.  Furthermore, when the spill happened in the gulf last summer, Obama used that excuse to place a six month moratorium on oil drilling.  Many of those off shore rigs have now been moved to other parts of the world and are being used there.  So even though the moratorium has been lifted, drilling is not going on.  There are also massive amounts of oil under a tiny portion of ANWR and the northern US that have yet to be tapped.  Some estimates put these reserves at as much as what is underneath the Middle East.  Obama refuses to allow more exploration and drilling, and has told everyone to not worry about the rising oil prices.  Its easy for him to say, as he lives in the White House with his secret service detail, fleet of limousines, helicopters and Air Force One, but people like me that are struggling to make ends meet in a teetering economy, are worried that any of what little extra we have, will soon go toward putting gasoline in our cars.

Remember, Mr. President, the last time such a spike happened, the party in power lost both houses in congress and the White House.  Good luck on that "Don't worry" strategy.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Visit my blog for more frequent posts.

I am going to start posting daily.  Most of the posts on this blog will be political in nature.  Remember, however, these are the Random Rumblings that bound through my head, so they will be somewhat personal in nature.  Please stop by and visit as often as you like. Feel free to leave a comment.

No, there is no anti-Israel Bias at the NY Times.

Recently the New York Times published an Op-Ed of a Palestinian who describes the deplorable conditions that he says exist in Israeli prison...