2013-05-24

IRS: Obama’s downfall?

There has been a lot of news of late with regard the the IRS using it’s authority to intimidate and delay conservative political groups during the 2012 political election cycle.  Setting aside the fact that there were accusations made, requests for enquiry, and multiple reports of this happening, the mass media simply labeled this as “right wing paranoia” up until this same media found that the Obama administration was violating their first amendment right of free press.  Once this was done, the IRS scandal picked up full steam and investigations were called, with many stating that this scandal (among many others) would be the downfall of the Obama Presidency.  It is this last statement that I want to address.  Will the fact that the IRS, under Obama, used it’s political might to silence opposition be final thread to unravel Obama’s presidency?

Make no mistake, this scandal has wide reaching implications and is a severe breech of trust of government authority that should result in jobs being lost and prison terms, but should it land on Obama’s shoulders alone?  My response to you is no, it shouldn’t.    Was there a failure of leadership?  Absolutely and as this happened under the Obama administration, when it comes to brass tack, the buck stops with him.   However, this scandal goes far beyond party lines and the purview of one man and points to a much larger, more dangerous problem.

Obama henchman David Axlerod stated it best in an interview with MSNBC when he said:

“If you look at the inspector general’s report, some folks down in the bureaucracy, you know we have a large government, took it upon themselves to short hand these applications for tax exempt status, uh, in a way that was, as I said, idiotic and dangerous because of the political implications.  [sic]  Part of being president is there’s so much underneath you that you can’t know because government is so vast”

Mr. Axlerod summed it better than I ever could.  Now while he was making these statements as a way to defend, or shield, Obama from the negative coverage, he outright stated something that I, and many like me, have been saying for a long time.  Government has simply grown too large, too powerful, to be effectively managed and policed for abuses of power and tyranny.  David, and other leftist apologists, attempt to pass the blame on this to lower level employees, ala Richard Nixon, but the truth still rings true, our government has simply outgrown our ability to control it and that is the real problem.

This is not the first time that a wing of the government, specifically the IRS, has been used in a manner to intimidate opposition.  Most notably was Richard Nixon, in which this was used as one of his articles of impeachment, but there are instances that the same has happened under the Coolidge, FDR, JFK, Clinton, and Bush administrations.  The problem is that we have a large government agency that is made up of people, people of unprecedented power and reach.  As history shows, when power is granted, there is a risk of corruption by those that wield it. No, this is not an implication of party, but an implication on allowing the size of government to grow to such a level that it cannot be controlled.

Consider this, why do you pay taxes?  It’s not necessarily because you have a desire or will to see better roads, improved infrastructure, or enacted social programs, it’s because you fear the consequences should you not.  You pay them out of fear.  You know that if you do not, armed guards can break down your door, confiscate your house and/or property, garnish your wages, even place you in prison for failure to give that to government for which it feels entitled.  It is not for country or a common good, it is driven by fear and fear alone.  So, the question I have to ask is, why did the people allowed the creation and continued existence of a government agency that controls them by fear?

This was not the intention of our founding fathers.  They did not wage a revolution against the crown so that their future countrymen would live in fear of government, but so government would live in fear of the people.  Their intent is well known and documented in our constitution and that intent was to keep a necessary evil, a centralized government, constrained, restricted, and beholden to those that it serves.  However, we have allowed government to create an agency(s) that does not serve the people but serves itself and we did so with our consent.

The IRS has unprecedented access and involvement into an area of our lives which allows for manipulation and control: personal finance.  The IRS knows how much we make, how much we save, where and how we invest, and how we spend our wages.  These are details that we do not share with our closest family members, yet we somehow find it prudent that thousands of government agents be allowed that level of access to our private lives.  It was an agency built on the very premise of depriving us of our natural rights to property and the fruits of our labor.  Within the creation of the income tax and the IRS, we do not willingly consent to payments to the federal government, we are forced to do so at the point of a spear and threat of violence.  Do you think I exaggerate?  When have you ever seen a letter stamped IRS that did not give you a feeling of dread?  When have you ever received a call from the IRS that did not immediately cause a upset feeling in your core and your mouth to go dry?  These are not the feelings of a consenting person , but of a fearful one.

I am not saying that we should not fund government, we should.  There are 17 enumerated powers that are owned and are the responsibility of the federal government.  To exercise these powers, some level of funding is required, but there are many alternative ways to provide this that do not involve allowing government insight into the minutia of our lives.  There are vat, flat and fair, and consumption taxes that remove any need for the fed to know our financial details.  Each removes them from knowing what/how much we have and provides privacy, taxing only on what we consume or which reduces the tax code to the size of postcard, thus reducing the need for invasion into our most intimate financial details.  There are ways to remove the fear associated with the IRS by removing the level of information they are allowed to access.  When you remove this access, your remove the ability to coerce and intimidate thru the use of that information.

No, the IRS scandal is not about party, it’s about the fact that we now have a federal leviathan that has grown beyond our control.  As the beast grows, the more it consumes, the more power that it has.  We cannot stop the abuses of the IRS by any other means than via reform.  Our only option is to defund and eliminate the office of the IRS and to reform our tax code.  Liberty is not achieved thru fear, it is achieved in the absence of fear.  As long as government has an agency with the power to invade, regulate, and confiscate our natural right of property, we can have no liberty. we can have no freedom.  Look beyond party, as that is just a symptom, look at the cause, a bloated federal ruling class with too much influence and control of our lives.  The answer, the only answer, to preventing future reoccurrences of tyranny and abuse is to restrain the size of government back to it’s original, constitutionally prescribe size.  Remember the next time you see an IRS letter or answer a call from them and your heart drops, free men should not live in fear of that which they should control.  If we ever wish to be free again, the abolishment of the IRS and the federal income tax is our first step.

2013-05-16

Purpose of Government

“The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”
Thomas Jefferson

We, as citizens, have grown lazy.  We have forgotten our legacy and our duty as left to us by those brave, courageous men who fired the first shot for our freedom in 1775.  We have forgotten what it means to be free.

With so many of the details and controversies surrounding politics assaulting our senses on a daily basis, it is easy to become numb and oblivious to the consequences of what it all means.  As a result, we have become apathetic, we have faltered, and we have allowed our birthright to liberty to start slipping between our fingers.

On a daily basis we see our government declare a new war on some benign object from which it feels the need to protect the people.  Sodas cause obesity, we must ban sodas.  Salt causes high blood pressure, we must ban salt.  Guns are used by the evil and insane to take life, we must remove them from our society.  Lack of health insurance leads to people not utilizing services or seeking services for free, we must mandate all people have health insurance.   Drugs are deemed harmful, therefore we must dedicated resources, money, and life to their eradication.  With each of these, as government power and reach grew, our freedom shrank.

As times evolved, we have allowed the government to develop new rights and privileges:  Right to sexual freedom, right to a cell phone, right to a job, right to retire in luxury, right from the consequences of our own choices, and the list goes on.  We see consistent measures taken to try our limit our freedoms, in the belief that we are simply to naive to understand the impact.  Drones fly above our skies, presidents spy on citizens and media, kill/enemy lists are created without oversight or due process, our wealth is confiscated to be used as government sees fit, not as we see fit, and other violations too numerous to list.   Again, with each of these, as the influence of government expanded, liberty contracted.

In each of these circumstances, we listen to politicians dredge up the ghosts of our founding fathers and of our constitution to provide teeth to their arguments, to justify their over reach.  However, we have politicians that cannot tell the Constitution from the Declaration of Independence.  Politicians who are ignorant and blind to the purpose and provision of the articles contained within the Constitution.  Likewise, we have a state sponsored education system that fails, literally fail, to teach our young the foundation and meaning of this incredible document that serves as the law of our land.  As such, we have allowed the birth of low-information voters, those that know nothing outside of what they are told by the media and an ignorant ruling class.  Voters who are swindled, misdirected, and lied to every single day, abrogating freedom for handouts and made up rights, allowing their votes to be purchased by the highest bidder.  It’s time we remember our history, remember why we were provided with the Constitution, and what is the true purpose of government.

Our founding fathers sacrificed life, wealth, and comfort to provide our country with an opportunity to pursue happiness absent of tyranny.  They fought and won the right of the people to self-govern.  The key here, self-govern, as they did not wish to trade the tyranny of the crown for tyranny of another.  No, they sought to isolate the people, both then and now, from having to go thru the same trials as they did.  As such, they create the representative democracy that gave birth to the American Experiment.  An experiment based on the premise that people were granted certain inalienable rights as derived by their creator, but recognizing that human imperfection exists and that it has a tendency to abuse power if granted. 

Begrudgingly, they created a central government with just enough power to protect our nation and serve as mediator between states, but they constrained those powers thru a purposely worded Constitution.  They sought to balance, and separate, the powers of central government through a carefully constructed system of checks and balances.  To all other things, they left the power of rule to the states and ultimately, to the people.  Within this power, they provided a mechanism to amend the constitution, to allow the people the right to delegate power back to the government as they saw fit. 

While it was with good intent, is this final attribute that has been used against us.  Under the guise of security and “rights”, we’ve allowed ourselves to delegate so much power back to the government, that we are no longer self-governed.  We now have a government that finds itself above the law.  We find ourselves once again under tyranny, not by the crown, but by bureaucracy.  We have a ruling class that deems itself not subjected to the laws that they create for us.  Tyrants that wish to impose restrictions, or outright denial, of rights that are guaranteed to us.  Per Thomas Jefferson’s warning above, we now have a government that rules in the interests of the governors, not the governed.

It is time for us, the people, to realize that the Constitution was not established to grant government unlimited centralized power, but instead limit that power and reserve it to the people for themselves.  Rather than following this blueprint and restricting government, we have allowed what history has shown happens with all governments, and that is to permit the corruption of law and to allow the powerful few to rule the masses.

It’s time for the people to remember, the purpose of government is to protect our rights, not to grant them.  We are a people endowed with natural rights, rights that preexist government, rights that can not be rightfully taken away by governments, nor must we seek permission to utilize them.

 They cannot silence our speech in an effort to dissent or speak our minds or prevent us from gathering to redress our grievances. 

They cannot take our weapons. 

They cannot confiscate and redistribute our private property. 

They cannot break down our doors and search our homes. 

They cannot murder, imprison, or use the force of government to intimidate us for our beliefs without due process before our peers.

Contrary to current events, the ability to violate these principals is not granted to government.  They are overreaches allowed by the people, overreaches that we, the people,  must bring to an end.  We cannot allow them to pervert and manipulate the language of the Constitution,  to subvert its meaning and intent,  in an effort to deprive of us of our liberty.  At some point, we must say enough, we must take back the power left to us by our founding fathers. 

We are not slaves, we are not servants,  we are free men.  We are free men who determine our own course of government.  Liberty is our natural right and should government become abusive, we have duty to abolish or reform that government to bring it back to the core, basic principals prescribed by the people’s Constitution.  Now is that time.

The Constitution is not there to limit the power of the American People, but the power of government.  The Constitution does not grant government power, it grants US power.   The purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people, not provide for them.

Government only exists because we allow it to exist and it’s high time that we, the people, remember that and take back that power that belongs to us, to take back the liberty that is ours by birthright. 

“The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.”
Mark Twain

2013-05-13

Why Do You Hate the Liberal Left?

People often ask me, "Nicky, why do you hate leftists/liberals so much?"

I don't hate leftists, I fear them. Theirs is an ideology based on fantasy and false perceptions. Their methods have historically been proven as unsustainable and dangerous to any country that attempts to exercise them, yet they push them forward despite this truth.

I fear them because those that lead them have been able to infect both academia and the media and use both as a way to misinform, indoctrinate, and manipulate our young and the uneducated into believing that they portray a cause for "social justice and equality" despite using class and racial warfare to meet their goals.

I fear them because they have been allowed to rewrite history with the help of the media and to brand themselves as the "party of racial equality" while attempting to erase all accounts of supporting the KKK, racial segregation, promotion of abortion for social engineering, etc. Ironically, they use the calls of racist, homophobe, and other pejoratives to silence anyone that dares to disagree with them while ignoring the fact that their policies harm those they claim to stand for the most.

I fear them because they do not believe in the core principals that made this country great. They despise the concept of private property opting for a principal of confiscation for the general good. They believe in the promotion of made up rights while seeking to limit or eradicate natural rights as prescribed in our constitution. They provide a concept that big government can solve all problems even though a majority of those problems are directly tied to the actions and breadth of big government.

I fear them because the promote a concept of having a ruling class, where those that make the rules do not have to play by them. They force us to buy/participate in programs to which they do not subscribe, or are subject, to themselves. They believe that they are above the law, seeking to bypass our historical, lawful proceedings and system of checks and balances. They place themselves above those that they rule and seek to carve out special, protected classes, while stealing rights and property from those that they consider their enemies.

I fear them because they see themselves as above scrutiny and push forward with economically harmful policies under a false perception of science.  They refuse to listen to dissenting scientific opinion in relation to climate change and label those that disagree as “climate deniers who want America to have dirtier water and air”.   In their minds, they are almost god like, with the ability to control the weather with the simple passing of laws when in truth, they are capable of nothing more than using emotional responses to these charges to expand the power of government and intrude further into into the lives of American citizens.  

I fear them because they seek to cripple our energy industry and raise prices on the staples of electricity and gasoline, claiming it is for our own good and safety, despite controversies and proof of manipulated and cherry picked or falsified data.  I fear them because they seek to deny America the possibility of energy independence, and thus harm our national security, by not allowing common sense proposals such as Keystone Pipeline and hydraulic fracking to continue even though their own agencies have deemed them safe.  Instead, they would rather beholden us to energy dependence on unfriendly nations, never seeing the irony of an even greater potential environmental risk results in the shipment of fuels across our oceans.

No, I do not hate the left. I fear that they are going to be successful in "transforming" this country by praying on a lazy, uninformed, complacent citizenship. I fear them because their ideology is dangerous, harmful, and toxic to freedom and the very foundational concepts that allow America to become the greatest nation the world has ever know.

No, I do not hate the left, but I will fight them, despite my claims to let them burn in the fires of their own making. The future of our country depends on it and I am not yet willing to see it die by suicide at their hands.

Using Force of Government to Silence Opposition

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/report-top-irs-officials-knew-in-2011-that-conservative-groups-were-targeted/2013/05/11/2619face-ba7b-11e2-b94c-b684dda07add_story.html

On the heels of the Benghazi controversy and cover-up, and make no mistake, it was a cover-up, we are now finding out that top IRS officials lied to congress and the public when they stated that "No conservative groups were targeted".

This is one of many examples of top officials within this administration lying to the American People and their representatives.  However, in this case, we now have proof of government agencies being to target and harass political enemies thru the use of the tax code. This is a serious, serious charge! How can the American people, much less congress, trust an administration who consistently and constantly lies about their act ivies and policies. How can there be any hope of so called "bipartisanship" when one side of the equation cannot be trusted to be honest and forthright in any of their dealings? Further more, there is now information coming out of the investigation that IRS officials were illegally leaking donor information to key opposition leading up to the elections. Again, this is the use of the government to silence opposing voices and using the tax code to target any opposition to this administration.

I know there are are many out there that will quickly become Obama apologists saying such things like "This is just another witch hunt. How can Obama keep an eye on all aspects of government? Yes there may have been bungling or inappropriate handling of this situation, but people make mistakes?" My question to you would be, at what point to you quit apologizing and see the trend of leadership inability, out right corruption, and malfeasance associated with Obama and this government? How many controversies does it take before you start to question the ability of this administration to govern, especially in the best interest of the people and not it's own.

There is no doubt now, there is tyranny in this government. This can no longer be denied. Using the law, inappropriately and illegally, to target opposition (or enemies as Obama likes to say), is the definition of tyranny and we are now seeing that this administration is rampant with it.

2013-02-25

David Clarke JR, Milwaukee County Sheriff, warns of implications of current gun control policies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5XzRUEczEo&feature=youtu.be

This is not paranoid fantasy. The current direction of this Administration and liberal gun control advocates is a path that can not be backtracked. This is an essential, necessary, natural right that they are attempting to revoke, even though they have zero authority to do so. The discussions of mandatory buy backs, home inspections, and limitations are not "safety measures" but all out attacks against our freedoms and not just the 2nd amendment, but all rights.

The simple fact that these edicts are even being openly discussed and proposed are proof positive that we have allowed our government far too much power over the citizen and the states. There are those on the left that are actively seeking to use these measures to provoke a violent response so that they can use the spear of federal power to assume complete control. As such, we are starting to see the lines be marked, states enacting laws of felony charges for any federal agents wishing to enforce these unconstitutional laws, sheriffs and police chiefs threatening arrest for the same, a massive up swell in citizen arms purchases, manufacturers refusing to deal/provide equipment to government entities based on biased laws, and on the other side, a federal government attempting stricter, more invasive laws and filing lawsuits against states.

This is not the 1994 Weapons Ban again, this is far more invasive. The 1994 Ban was an overreach, but it was limited. The new bans being proposed can be interpreted to ban essentially all firearms, including handguns and shotguns, not just so called "assault weapons". The new proposals are allowing for law enforcement to come into your homes to ensure "safe storage" without warrants or due process. They not grandfathering any previously owned personal property, making it necessary to surrender your property to the government or destroy what is legitimately yours. They are creating privileged classes of citizens, by allowing certain citizens (law enforcement both local, state, and federal) to own what every other citizen cannot. I'm a big supporter of law enforcement, but at the end of the day, they are a citizen just like us. Lastly, they are using grand gestures like "Universal Background Checks" to entice you to sign on to their power grab, but think about that. How can there be "universal" checks, unless it is known who owns what to ensure that if it changes hands, a background check was done? Even the term "universal" is a misnomer, as criminals will never submit, which are the real danger to society.

All of the above is registration, and history shows, registration always leads to confiscation. It further divides our society into those deemed "worthy" by government and those that are not. It is, by definition, tyranny. Our government is not looking out for the best interests of it's population, but instead are working in direct contradiction to our interests. They are are attempting to limit those naturals rights of ours that they did not bestow, therefore have no right to revoke or modify.
The last time something of this magnitude happened on our soil, it spurned the birth of our nation. The last time a government attempted such power over it people in North America, a revolution was sparked and America was born. Government has no concept of understanding history and its implications. My question to you, do the people?

2012-12-18

Sandy Hook and the Inevitable Cry for Gun Control

Let me start by saying that my heart goes out to the parents, children, and town people affected by this tragedy.  I am not a parent and I cannot fathom the heartbreak and pain that has been caused by this evil.  I know that recovery for many of those involved will never come, but I wish them a measure of peace within good time.

While the investigation continues, I’m sure a great many details will come to light but the one thing that will never be known is “why”?   Fact is that evil does, and always will, exist in this world.  Trying to comprehend the mindset of evil is as fruitless as trying to count grains of sand at a beach.  Those that would commit such acts of violence are, by most definitions, lunatics and lunatics are incomprehensible.    Evil is not a mental condition, it just is.  There is no ability of good people to understand evil, all we can do is be ever vigilant in the recognizing and thwarting of evil.

It is this desire to thwart evil that leads many people to knee-jerk, harmful actions which invariably result in unintended consequences.  Today we hear countless people, those with a political agenda and those without, rise in calls for action and demand safety.  As I’ve oft written about, we are once again witnessing a period of shifting in the Overton window.  With images of slaughtered children and distraught parents, pushed by a ideologically driven liberal media, good people are being asked “what more should be done?”.  Those with purposes of ill-intent are, as Rahm Emanuel would say, not letting a crisis go to waste and using emotion to push the people into a conclusion that they most likely not arrive at otherwise; they are shifting the Overton window to the left.

I could layer mountains and mountains of facts and studies concerning gun control laws and their unintended consequences into this post, but I won’t.  This information is readily available, both via the internet and history books, to any that choose to look and educate themselves.  My factual stance on the fallacy of gun control is well known and I do not feel the need to overload my readers with countless footnotes and links, however, if you wish to discuss this with me, feel free to reach out.  No, today, I’m just going to speak to 2nd amendment and it’s place in our society.

First, let me clear, there should never be any legitimate debate on gun control.  Our right to bear arms is enshrined and protected by our constitution.  It is absolute and should be above such petty attempts to diminish our freedom, but it is a right that is under constant assault by the left.  For a clear understanding, it is important to read the 2nd amendment very carefully to dissect it’s meaning.   The 2nd amendment states:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

To me, the 2nd amendment is one of the most important additions to our constitution, second only to the first.  While many would disagree, it is my belief that the ordering of these amendments were done deliberately and with purpose.  Our first reaction and avenue for change should always be in the freedom of speech and the assembly of citizens to address grievances in a peaceful manner.  This a powerful advantage given to the American people and in most cases all that is required, but in extreme events, where our freedoms are jeopardized from either foreign or national power, the 2nd amendment affords us our only ability to preserve liberty.  That said, let us look at the dissection of the meaning and intent of the 2nd.

Inherent Right

The right to bear arms is not something granted to us by our founders via this amendment, but rather it is a protection of an inherent right already present.  It does not state that congress “bestows, grants, or gives” the right to the people, but instead states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”.  That simple statement acknowledges that this was a right already present, but one that our founders felt necessary to define as protected. 

Protection extended to the People, not the State

The purpose of our constitution was to define the explicit realms of authority for the federal government, conceding all non-specified authority to the states or the people.  However, the 2nd amendment does not call out the states, but rather “the right of the people” or the individual.   In this manner, the right to bear arms is a right held by the people alone, not subject to any diminishing control.  It is an individual right, which by proxy, conveys to a collective right of the “people”.  This notion of an individual right was communicated and upheld by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia Vs Heller.

Statement of Purpose

“A well regulated militia” has been subject to many debates, with the leftist most often stating that the right only extends to those actively engaged in an “organized militia”, such as the National Guard.  However, this is not what the amendment reads.  In this statement “necessary to the security of a free state” states a purpose for a militia, and conveys the reasoning for right to bear arms to not be infringed. 

NOTE: Our founders explicitly called out opposition to quartering of implied “standing armies” in the 3rd amendment and could possibly provide an argument against the National Guard as the only proper existence of a “militia”, but that is not my point here.  I include this note only as a frame of reference.

Based on quotes and statements by the founding fathers during ratification, and upheld by the Heller case, the premise of a “militia” included all “able bodied men” available for conscript.  A militia was to be comprised of the people, which as the “purpose statement” within the amendment conveyed, was necessary to prevent the usurpation of the people by a despotic state.

As an aside,  many modern day gun proponents use sport shooting and hunting as a statement of purpose to defend the 2nd amendment.  Let me be clear, the 2nd amendment has nothing, zero, zilch to do with the protection of arms in sport.  The purpose of the 2nd amendment was solely included as a protection of the inherent right of self defense.  The founders were most concerned with the ability of the citizens to protect themselves, and if necessary, revoke the ability to abuse rights by a overly powerful government.  Therefore, they enshrined the primary purpose of arms as ‘being necessary to the security of a free state”.  However, with the recognition of the right to arms for self defense, and a guarantee that an individuals rights to arms shall not be infringed, then other uses of arms (sport, hunt, etc) are thereby accommodated by subordination.  My only reason for calling this out is that we, as a free people, should never use the excuse of sport as a reason to defend the 2nd amendment.  It waters down the intent and purpose and allows for restrictions on that right.  No, the primary purpose of arms is for self defense, plain and simple.  It was the intent of the founders and should be the defining factor today.

Inclusion of arms

Another argument is that the 2nd amendment was never intended to include modern day firearms, but only the arms available at writing.  This is an empty argument.  One need only to  look back upon the historical  statements and quotes of the founders to see that our right to bear arms had, as a primary purpose, the ability of self defense of life and property (freedom) from the tyranny of a despotic state.  At the time of ratification, citizens were armed with muskets, same as the military.  In order to prevent the abuse of government, the citizen must have access to comparable arms of those they wish to protect themselves against.  Already we have a disconnect, as civilians do not commonly own automatic arms, such as machine guns, etc, but we do have availability of comparable arms for the purpose of defense.  Any restriction on this intent is, in essence, a restriction on self defense.  If we were allowed the use of a single shot musket only, then it does not deny our right to “bear arms” from a leftist viewpoint, however, how could the population defend itself against advanced weaponry of a state intent on tyranny.  No, the measure here is not on “what arms were available at the time of writing”, but the comparison of arms against those thought to be the greatest threat to a free people.  In the founders mind, that threat could come from foreign, or internal, powers, and it was their belief that the armed citizen was the best deterrent to invasion.  As proof of intent, Tench Coxe wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1788, while states were considering ratification the following:

Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American...The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

It seems clear that the intent was to ensure that people had in their possession the tools necessary for self defense.  As stated above, the idea was that “their swords, and every other terrible implement of the the solider, are the birth-right of an American”.  It is no secret that the founders considered a centralized government a distrusted, but necessary evil, ever capable of tyranny.  In that vein, they provided to us, via the 2nd amendment, protection of the inherent right of self defense thru the use of arms.

Summary

All of this said, I am constantly amazed at the willingness of the American to willingly concede their rights to government.  Emotion plays such a large part in political process today that we must remain vigilant to ensure that preservation of all our rights thru logic and common sense.  If you chose not to own a gun, that is your prerogative, but failure to exercise a right should not demand abolition of such.

We must recognize that those that wish to strip us of our rights do not wish to subject themselves to the same.  Mayor Bloomberg decries the use of arms and wishes to restrict all gun ownership, while he consistently surrounds himself with armed guards.  Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, preaches that he only wishes to make America safer thru the confiscation of arms, while also protecting himself with armed guards and failing to see that Chicago, a city with a high level of gun control, is a cesspool of violent crime and activity. 

Gun free zones are nothing more than advertisements of locations where criminals can act unimpeded.  Gun control does nothing more than make the citizens slaves to the armed (government).  The cries we hear today in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with control.  Gun control does nothing to improve the safety of a community, but does everything to ensure that a populace of victims exists.

We must remember that the 2nd amendment did not bestow upon us the right to bear arms for self defense.  This is a natural law that existed before governments and is simply an acknowledgement and protection of that right.  As it is is a natural right preexisting government, it is a right that government cannot rightfully take away.  We must not let tragedy and emotion allow the government to attempt to strip us of our natural rights.  Evil exists and it always will.  You cannot legislate or wish evil away, you can only seek to protect yourself from it.   To take away the primary tools of self defense, you allow evil to have unprecedented control and impact  over our lives.  To relinquish self defense, to relinquish your arms, you invite more evil into our lives with no guard against it.   I ask you to look to history to see the effects of abolishment of self defense by arms and see the destruction is has caused.   We cannot allow emotion to override logic, we must defend our rights to arms, just as arms allow us to defend our rights.  They are, and forever will be, linked.

2012-11-30

The “Fiscal Cliff” Myth

We’ve been hearing many reports of the “fiscal cliff” being batted around in the media lately.  Currently, we are seeing negotiations between both parties to try and avoid this “cliff”, however, just how real is this impending disaster that we are constantly being reminded about?

Well, before I start explaining the why all the talk is more myth than fact, let me first explain what the cliff references.  Also called “Taxmaggedon”, it is simply a perfect storm of expiring tax cuts, dissolution of benefits, and newly enacted tax increases all happening within a very short time frame.  Below, I lay out the timeline of the fiscal cliff in common speak as referenced by the Bipartisan Policy Center:

Week of December 21st

  • Expected that the Fed will hit it’s legal debt limit
    • For almost 100 years, there has been a legal limit on the amount of money that the US government is allowed to borrow.  As of August 2011, that limit was increased to $14.29 trillion.  However, with current deficits of over $1T, it is expected that the government will again hit the limit of money it is able to borrow in order to meet its obligations

January 1, 2013

  • Expiration of" Bush Era Tax cuts”
    • Enacted in 2001, 2003, and 2009, these cuts are the effective individual tax rates on individual income, capital gains, dividends, etc.  Extended by Obama in 2010, these tax rates (after a decade, they are the rates, not cuts) are expected to expire, essentially raising the average household tax burden by $1,600 per year
  • Expiration of payroll tax holiday
    • Passed by Obama in an effort to “stimulate the economy”, it was temporary reduction in Social Security payroll taxes from 6.2% to 4.2% for the first $110,000 of wages.  While it gave temporary relief, in essence, this tax holiday did nothing more than rob a individual’s long term social security retirement of this funding, for negligible short term gain.  When it expires, it is expected to raise the average household tax burden by $700.
  • Deadline for Business Depreciation Tax extenders
    • Includes targeted tax breaks for business such as breaks for research and experimentation credits and for depreciation of business tangible asset purchases from their profits.  Should this not be resolved, it is estimated that it will cost small and medium business $75B for the year.  As business pass their expenses on to consumers, this will result in higher prices in goods and services, while retracting research and development for new and innovative products and services.
  • Expansion of Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
    • A minimum tax designed to insure that higher income taxpayers do not pay “too-little” in income taxes via various deductions, exemptions, and credits in the tax code.  As this tax is not automatically adjusted for inflation, 27M Americans will now fit into the confines of the AMT for 2012, at the cost of $40B.  In short, if you make $50K and live alone, you are now subject to the same tax penalty as millionaires.  Welcome to the 1%!
  • Expiration of extended unemployment benefits
    • Congress enacted recessionary measures to extend unemployment benefits for up to 93 weeks.  Upon expiration, benefits would return to their previous levels of 26 weeks, affecting ~2M people
  • Obama Care tax increases begin to take effect
    • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or Obama care) will increase the Medicare payroll tax by .9% and 3.8% on net investment income for individuals/households making $200K/$250K respectively for an overall increase of $24B in tax increases.
  • Expiration of Medicare “Doc Fix”
    • The “Doc Fix” was enacted as way to delay Medicare fee reductions due to the fact that impracticality of the Medicare Sustained Growth Rate (SGR) used to calculate fees paid to doctors.  This would result in a 27% cut in physician payments, which again, would be passed on to the patients at a cost of $14B.

January 2, 2013

  • Enactment of sequester cuts
    • Part of the “grand bargain” resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011, it is comprised of across the board hatchet cuts of $1.2 trillion to government defense and discretionary spending budgets.  Impacts are expected to be 13% for defense, 11% for for non-defense discretionary spending, 10% to mandatory spending programs (farmer subsidies, etc) and 2% to payments to Medicare related plans and providers. 

February 2013

  • “Extraordinary Measures” deadline exhausted
    • Should the debt limit be reached and government no longer allowed to borrow money, the Treasury will have to utilize measures to fund government activities, such as borrowing from other agencies, federal retirement funds, etc.  All money borrowed is expected to be repaid with interest.  At this point, it is expected that the government has exhausted these measures and will no longer be able to raise cash necessary, thereby defaulting on financial obligations.  At this point, decisions will need to be made towards funding priorities for government programs and what bills will be paid.  E.G, funding of EPA, social security payments, armed forces pay, debt interest payments, etc.

March 2013

  • Expiration of FY2013 Continuing Resolution
    • All funding for federally appropriated programs are only funded thru March 27th at the pro-rated FY2012 levels ($1.047T).  At this time, these programs will no longer have funding from the federal budget and decision will need to be made on how to continue.
  • Expiration of Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF or Food stamps)
    • At this point, the food stamp program will no longer be funded due to a lack of continuing resolution.

 

So, man, that is a lot of information and it certainly sounds ominous doesn’t it?  However, how bad would it be if Republicans simply walked away from the table and let us go over this “Fiscal Cliff”.  Based on the information available and Congressional Budget Office predictions, that is exactly what should happen.

The passing of the “grand bargain” of the Budget Control Act of 2011 which included the sequester cuts was never designed to be enacted.  Due to the substantially high cuts to the Military, it was perceived that the Republicans, with Defense being their sacred cow, would be willing to negotiate and these cuts would never happen.  However, we all know that Republicans are cowards when it comes to “deal negotiations” so the best option they can take is to actually give the democrats exactly what they asked for and allow us to go over the cliff.   Per the deal, conservatives would get exactly what they want, which are spending cuts, while the democrats would get what they want, which is tax increases.  The inevitable outcome will be protests from the American Taxpayer as they seen their income go down, the price of services go up, and their family budgets squeezed.  When that happens, it will allow for “true” negotiation, in that the Republicans would then be starting from a fresh slate of reduced spending; therefore, they would not be able to hurt themselves in negotiation as it would put the Democrats under pressure to come up with a plan to ease the suffer (read:  Tax cuts) while allowing Republicans to address the nation’s real problem, government spending.

So what would each of the statements really mean and what are their impacts?

Tax rate expiring:  This would result in average household pay going down by $60 to $400 per month dependent on income, potentially raising government revenues by $281B.  However, this would take us back to the Clinton era tax rates, which lefties love to espouse as the golden age.  So it could be argued that if these are the same tax rates when Clinton was able to “balance the budget and have no deficit”, then surely this congress could do the same thing.  They would have no arguments about not having enough revenue. 

Payroll Holiday Expiration:  The social security payroll tax rate would increase by 2 points, this would result in about $19 being taken from the paycheck per week for someone making $50K and raising government revenues by $115B.  When enacted, congress agreed to reimburse SS by the lost revenue ($103B), but congress never cut spending or raised other taxes to offset the cost.  So in effect, they are robbing your retirement to pay for a little extra money today, all with borrowed funds.  As few want to see impacts to SS, this holiday must go regardless.

AMT expansion:  This will cause more tax payers to be subjected to a minimum tax.  Good news is that it will bring more people into the tax roles, where as today they are not.  However, as stated above, the argument can be made that the government should be able to live within it’s means with these increases and if not, MORE SPENDING CUTs!  Time to use Clinton against the left and make them face their proliferate spending habits.

Unemployment benefits expire:  Yes, this will be a lot people hurt by this, but at the same time, extended benefits do nothing to prod people into trying to get back into the employed populace.  As another report shows, we have already reached a point where it is more financially beneficial to be dependent on the government than it is to get a job and earn your own way.  We have to reduce this mentality if we ever hope to move forward as a country.  This would be the first step in that direction.

Obama care taxes come due:  Again, this will give the government additional revenue in the range of $14B, but it will continue to squeeze more money from the taxpayers and doctors.  This will serve to show the people exactly how disastrous this legislation is as we experience the pain of the taxes along with the hidden tax of increased cost of health care that this is already showing.  Will help with the discussion to defund/repeal of this horrible law.

Medicare Doc Fix:  Another increase of government revenue, but it will reduced doctor pay.  This will result in even fewer doctors accepting Medicare patients, leading to a doctor shortage and outrage by our aging class.  Furthermore, those that do accept (or forced to by our government) Medicare will offset that cost with standard patient costs, thus further increasing healthcare for the majority.  This will serve to add fire to the discussions for Medicare and entitlement reform that is so desperately needed.

Lastly, Sequester cuts:  While it would be more beneficial to do specific program cuts, spending cuts are spending cuts.  While I’m sure we would all prefer targeted spending cuts, we have to take the reductions in spending any way we can get them.  Any negotiations done with the democrats will only result in them getting all the tax increases they want, but no spending cuts needed.  In this case, it’s best to just let the tax increases pass as planned and let the spending cuts go thru. At this point, the republicans would then be able to negotiate with reduced spending already in effect.  What I mean is, once these cuts go thru, they are the new budget.  All new spending cut negotiations would be based off this line, not off of proposed increases, as they are today.  Current negotiations have been on enacting cuts to planned increases, not current budget line items.  This gets us nowhere and results in still more spending.  However, should these cuts go thru, that lowers the baseline budget and gives us something to work with.   Today, if government spends a $1 on something, plans to spend $2 next year, but agree to only spend $1.50, they call that a spending cut and a savings of $.50.  No, it’s still increased spending no matter how you spend it.  We need real cuts now and we should take them however we can get them so we can focus the debate on the real issue, government spending.

Summary

To be clear, yes, this will cause all of us pain.  None of us want to see our take home pay go down and prices go up, but we are faced with a serious choice.  Either we make those decisions today or have them forced upon us during an economic meltdown.  I would go for short term pain over long term disaster any day.  However, how much pain will this really cost?  Well, according to the CBO’s report on “Fiscal Tightening”, they had the following predictions:

If the fiscal tightening (i.e. fiscal cliff) were to go through as planned, it would cause the economy to dip into a short term recession.  GDP would drop by %.5 in 2013 (measured from 4th qtr 2012 – 4th qtr 2013), reflecting a decline in the first half of the year but renewed growth at a modest pace in the last half.  Unemployment would rise to 9.1% in the 4th qtr of 2013, however, the next year the labor market would strengthen, returning output to its potential level (reflecting high rate of labor and capital) with unemployment dropping to 5.5 by 2018. 

So, if we did nothing, we just let all the planned outcome come to fruition, the expectation is a year of hardship followed by substantial growth.  Well, we’ve been in a recession for over 4 years with no end in sight, so I opt that we give that a try.  What what does the CBO expect if congress were to “reach a deal” and prevent us from going over the cliff? 

If all of the fiscal tightening were to be eliminated, the economy would remain below its potential and the unemployment rate would remain higher than usual for some time.  Moreover, if the fiscal tightening was removed and the policies that are currently in effect were kept in place indefinitely, a continued surge in federal debt during the rest of this decade and beyond would raise the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which the government would lose the ability to borrow money at affordable interest rates) and would eventually reduce the nation’s output and income below what would occur if the fiscal tightening was allowed to take place as currently set by law.

Yep, you read that right.  If we do not allow ourselves to go off the cliff, the CBO expects that the fed would keep spending us down into a hole from which we couldn’t recover.  It would cause our output and income to be less than if we just allowed the “cliff” to happen.  Seems pretty self explanatory to me.

So take all the media exploitations with a grain of salt.  If you haven’t realized this yet, you cannot trust the media and you cannot trust politicians.  The best thing we, as a people, could do is just to roll with the punches.  We’ve missed our chance to come out of this pain free, so some pain is necessary, the question is, how much pain do we want to experience?  Temporary pain for an additional year or sustained, worsening pain over the next decade(s)?  I know what I would chose, and to that end, I urge the republicans to simply walk away from the table. 

Republicans - You are not saying no, you are allowing the previous agreement to take effect.  The Democrats made this bet on the suspicion that Republicans wouldn’t have the testicular fortitude to abide by it.   They placed their bets on the fact that they would once again be able to fear monger and use the media to force you into yet another bad deal for America.   Yes, the Dems put all their eggs into the “Republicans are spineless” basket, so now is the time to call their marker.  We aren’t asking you to make any grand stands, just to go along with what you’ve already agreed to.  I’m sorry, but you can’t be trusted to do any better at this point.  So there need be no political war, no sustained debate, and definitely no further negotiations, just walk away and abide by the deal as set by the Democrats.  Allow the Democrats plan to take effect and prepare yourselves for a revived debate next year on spending reduction. Even you guys should be able to do that!

2012-11-15

Atlas Shrugged: 11/06/2012

I will say what no one else will. Last night I watched as Atlas Shrugged and I no longer care.

My patriotism cannot be questioned, but this is no longer the America of my parents and grandparents.  We are no longer the Home of the Free, but we are now the Home of the Free Stuff.  I have made my arguments based on logic and reason, but have been overshadowed by emotion and "requests for compassion".  I have quoted history and circumstance to only have that lost in the noise of ideology and falsehoods of leftist media.  I have stood for the preservance of my country and been called a racist and bigot for doing so. Last night, I watched, sick to my stomach, as I came to the understanding that I had let my country fail on my watch.  I was nauseated as I realized that I had failed to live up to the expectations of our founders. 

You cannot save those that do not wish to be saved and the American people do not wish to be saved.  We have lost the path of the American Dream by allowing ourselves to be distracted by the promise that others will provide for us.  Last night the providing class became a slave to the recipient class. We have been co-opted by the notions of class warfare and the idea that people have a "right" to another’s fortune.  We abandoned the ideal that we are responsible for our own destiny and now believe that government is the keeper of the governed.  People have picked their seats on the gravy train and are intent on riding that train until the money runs out and the train derails.

Well if that is what they want, then let them have it.  The only way to let the people see the absolute failure of this premise is to give it to them, lock stock and barrel.  We have been heading that way for almost a century, so no longer will I fight to "pump the brakes" and try to stand in the way of the inevitable.  If failure is the only cure, then let it fail now.  For when it does, I will be sitting on the sidelines reminding everyone that this is exactly what they voted for.  In America, we get the government that we deserve because it is the government that we choose.  Last night, we chose failure, so that is what we will get.  Gut our military?  So be it, cut to your heart’s content and allow us to become targets for the world.  Raise taxes to feed the welfare nation, raise them as high as you want and watch as those that fuel our economy leave.  Carelessly borrow and print money to finance votes, then so be it, and watch as inflation destroys the middle class.  Sunshine is the best disinfectant and I now believe that there is no hope for recovery without people feeling the pain of their choices.  So, you will no longer get objections by me.  Let us bring these policies into the sunlight and show them for the infected, rotted mess that they are. 

Cause heed my word, as we devolve into this socialist "utopia" and people realize that government is incapable of providing that which they do not confiscate from others, there will be riots.  As the middle class begins to find itself in the realm of the "1%" and more and more of their livelihood taken for the benefit of others, they will realize their mistake. You need to look no further than the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to see that the government is wholly incapable of providing even basic relief for its people.  As the cities burn,  we will watch blue devour blue.  When the recipient class has burned through this country like locusts through a field, then those that caused this mess will be victims of their own making.  When the provider class realizes that it is pointless to continue to work only for the substance of others and not themselves, they will stop doing so, we will see the collapse come. When the collapse comes, only then will this country really understand the pain that we caused and only then when we truly understand the premise of survival of the fittest.

I refuse to let me and mine be victims.  So I will prepare myself, I will watch with saddened eyes as the country I love heads down a path to ruin.  However, I know, the only way to save America is to let it fail as we are now past the point of logical recovery. While it breaks my heart to do so, the only way to get back the America I know is to let the walls crumble, so that is what I will do.  Again, I no longer care.  I will not sacrifice for an America that no longer believes in itself and its own principals.  We have allowed the idea of freedom to become perverted and that is not something I can abide by.  I cannot stand by as my country dies by suicide.  So to those that are happy with the outcome of last night, I say enjoy your misery but do not bring that misery to my steps.  I will continue to defend the idea of the true America if it only within the boundaries of my own land.  Should a recovery come in my lifetime, I will be the first to step up and champion it, but until then, I remove myself from repeating the past and the perversion of my country.  Enjoy your decisions and god speed in consequences of those choices, but keep them far away from my doorstep.  As the saying goes, if you wish to compel me by force, bring guns.