Posted by: Rational Voice | February 21, 2013

Flip-Flopping on the Sequester

To say this pisses me off would probably be the understatement of the century.

Obama Nov 21, 2011: My message to them is simple: “No.” I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts, domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.

Obama Feb 19, 2013: Emergency responders, like the ones who are here today, their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays in airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. This is not an abstraction. People will lose their jobs. The unemployment rate might tick up again.

This was the president’s plan and now he’s running away from it. He’s running away from it because he may eventually be held responsible for something. I don’t like how the DoD takes a disproportional hit but DoD spending needs to be reformed drastically so I’m all for the sequester. Bring it on.

Oh, and remember that these “cuts” are only cuts in the rate of budgetary increase, not real terms. Spending will continue to go up and our massive deficits will remain. The only problem with the sequester is that it doesn’t go far enough.

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Posted by: Rational Voice | December 7, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

President Obama doesn’t want a deal on the fiscal cliff. If you don’t believe so, just read his own words. Last summer he called for a plan that is essentially what Republicans have offered, but now he says such a plan is essentially stupid, that it could never work.

President Obama, July 2011: “Give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates. It could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could lower rates generally while broadening the base.”

President Obama, December 2012: “It’s just a matter of math. You know, there’s been a lot of talk, that somehow we can raise $800 billion or a trillion dollars worth of revenue just by closing loopholes and deductions. … That’s not a realistic option.”

He has never been serious about this fiscal cliff. He gets what he wants and then says the math doesn’t work. Sadly most people in this country are too stupid to look this type of stuff up and think that he cares and is serious because he gives a speech. They never look at his actions or how he changes the goal posts once he gets his way, just like with the debt ceiling debate last summer. Republicans caved and gave him what he wanted in tax increases and then he pushed his luck and yet the Republicans get the blame.

Posted by: Rational Voice | November 28, 2012

Accelerate

With all the talk of the fiscal cliff and what needs to be done to avoid it, all I have to say is let’s go off it. President Obama and liberals everywhere want tax increases on those who already pay 40%+ of all Federal income taxes despite earning only 17% of income but I say tax everyone. Typically I’m adamantly against tax increases, but since the election I’ve become vindictive. If so many people want to keep the gravy train rolling, they can pay for it. The rich pay for more government that they use and don’t qualify for much, if any, of the social services they pay for via their Federal income taxes, yet they are demonized for not doing more by the very people they subsidize. These people pay little to nothing already in terms of Federal income taxes and receive more in benefits than they ever paid in.

If we want to talk about fairness, why don’t these people pay anything to help offset all that they receive? They have no skin in the game. With no skin in the game, it’s easy to say that someone else should pay more. I say we go off the fiscal cliff, that we raise taxes on everyone so everyone else can feel the pain. That’s fairness. During the campaign all we heard was how great we had it during the Clinton years when taxes on EVERYONE were higher. If that’s the case, why don’t we want to raise taxes on everyone? I’m sick of those who feel like they’re entitled to the fruits of other’s labor. How perverse has this nation become when that is defined as “fair”?

I’ll be perfectly honest, I want the cuts to hit and the taxes to go up right now. It’ll hurt everyone, including Americans who have done the right thing, who have been fiscally responsible, but this is what we need to teach the looters lessons in fairness and economics. Sadly,  Congressional Republicans will cave like they always do. Hell, a number of them have already come out saying that they’ll violate their pledge on not raising taxes before the Democrats have offered anything up. These tax increases will do nothing to fix our deficit or fixing our long-term entitlement obligations. It isn’t a tax problem; it’s a spending problem. The Buffett tax would raise about $4 billion extra a year, or enough to pay off the FY11 deficit in just over 500 years. If we let the tax increases hit only the rich, we’ll bring in about an extra $80 billion a year, not even 10% of our projected deficit. Those figures are from static analysis as well and I bet they’ll actually be lower because there will be less investment and those people will work or invest less, find tax shelters, or move assets and investments to tax friendly areas. If you don’t believe me look at how much wealth has moved out of high tax states like New York, New Jersey, California, and Maryland. Tax policy has consequences, something liberals don’t understand.

I’ve become an Ayn Rand devotee in recent years and I want Atlas to shrug. Now is a perfect time. Let’s accelerate right off that cliff. It’s time to teach the looters a lesson.

Posted by: Rational Voice | May 17, 2012

“If I Wanted America to Fail”

Amazing video. It says everything we try to say here in under five minutes.

Posted by: sonofliberty1787 | May 15, 2012

Time to Abolish Marriage Discrimination

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff on equality and I must say I’ve been very disappointed in the amount of bigotry and fear in the world. I wish people would stop being so narrow-minded and come to the realization it’s high time we stopped taking such a restrictive stance on marriage. It truly amazes me that well into 2012 we’re still quibbling about this issue.  I think it’s time we abandon those outmoded Christian ideals and started being more open0-minded and accepting. There is after all quite a long tradition, stretching across many cultures, supporting marriage to multiple people. I know homosexuals the world over are excited to have a president that supports them and their quest for equality.

I find this ironic for several reasons. First, how is it our culture is willing to define allow homosexual marriage yet still looks down on polygamy?  As I said there is far greater precedence across many cultures stretching throughout time supporting the idea that men can marry multiple women.  Heck some cultures even allow women to marry multiple men. Yet, no where in the history of the human race was homosexual marriage accepted, at least until recently.  Now these polyphobes refuse to grant polyamorous couples equality.

That brings me to my second outrage. Why is this such a great victory for equality? The President defined marriage between two people as acceptable. Why did he stop there? How un-enlightened. He said, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” I can only assume he does not include three, four or five people in his statement about couples marrying. For that matter why does it have to be two people at all?

The gist of the argument I’ve seen put forward by most progressives is as follows: “If government is going to give benefits such as tax cuts to citizens it cannot restrict those benefits to anyone.” If that is the case on what grounds can this hateful president restrict marriage between two living individuals? I find it totally unacceptable and incredibly offensive that the debate only centers around homosexual partners (read two people).

How can this newly “evolved” president harbor such bigotry toward people with differing sexual preferences? How does he expect to explain to his daughters why two women and a man cannot be married? Despite a long standing tradition in Islam for multiple wives our hate-filled country still insists they can only have one legal wife. We may have evolved to the point of allowing homosexuals to re-define marriage, but we forced an entire state to end the practice of polygamy prior to joining the Union. That was wrong and should be corrected. There’s no telling how many families throughout Utah and other western states that have to live secret lives. There’s probably at least 2% of people in this country that have to hide their love for several people out of fear and judgement.  Obama’s decision did nothing for them and in fact only highlighted the discrimination present in this country.

Love is love and who are we to stand in the way?  Does allowing a group of 3-4 people to marry harm homosexual partnerships? What about if a man marries his dog? What if he marries his dead girlfriend? Should we even discriminate against incest?  Other countries are “evolving” their concepts of marriage is it so much to ask that we simply look back on our future or at the beliefs of several powerful religious groups and accept their definitions of marriage too? In today’s world how can we still hold such absurd and hate-filled beliefs? I think it’s high time that Obama not only renounce the Dark Age concept of heterosexual marriage, but also abolish the discriminatory barrier limiting it to just two, living adults. After all marriage sanctioned by the state cannot discriminate against individuals for any reason. After all, “We have never gone wrong when we expanded rights and responsibilities to everybody. That doesn’t weaken families, that strengthens families,” according to Obama. Maybe it’s time he start evolving his thoughts on polygamy a little so we can get moving on strengthening our families even further. It’s my belief that nothing strengthens marriage more than allowing everyone to marry whoever they want.

 

Posted by: Rational Voice | March 26, 2012

The Commerce Clause

Sorry that I haven’t written anything in some time.  I’ve had a lot to say but with school and work I haven’t had time to actually write.  I just came across a great video about Commerce Clause in the Constitution and how it has been so utterly misinterpreted and how dangerous these interpretations are and have been.  I will definitely be posting more when I get the chance.

Posted by: sonofliberty1787 | March 16, 2012

Federalism End Run

When I read the Senate has begun to pursue changes to driving privileges I figured I probably wouldn’t approve of the rest of the article. What I didn’t expect was on how many levels and for how many reasons it irritates me.

First and foremost, our great-grandchildren are in debt up to their eyeballs and yet Congress is trying to control what privileges states grant? Really? The Senate hasn’t passed a budget in how many years, yet they have time to delve into something so mundane? Perhaps Congress should start trying to figure out how to reduce entitlements and stop encroaching on our liberties, before they even begin to consider more ways to control our lives. But, I know that’s never going to happen, so at the very least can Congress start by submitting a budget and then perhaps look at ways to reduce our deficit? They could start with repealing Obamacare which will cost considerably more than it was originally claimed.

My next issue is that of Federalism. The 10th Amendment leaves much power to the states and even more power to the people. While technically this is not overstepping the bounds laid out in the 10th Amendment, it is an attempt to control and manipulate the states. In this instance the federal government isn’t coming in and dictating a specific law to the states, but it is using a powerful incentive to force its way. I believe it was wrong when the Reagan Administration did it with the drinking age (ridiculously high IMHO) and I think it is wrong in this case. While a case may be made for the drinking age using empirical evidence which would apply to all young adults the same isn’t necessarily true in this case.

The bill is being pushed by a New York Senator. A person learning to drive in New York is very different than a person learning to drive in rural Kansas or Missouri. As a 9 or 10 year old I was driving my dad’s truck short distance as we burned leaves. By 11 I was driving a dirt bike, unattended through the woods. By 14 I could back a trailer and drive a Bobcat. By 16 I was plowing snow and blading roads on a tractor. I have friends that were running balers or combines by their early teens. Friends in Kansas drove to school at 15. My point is that teens in rural areas grow up driving heavy machinery. Many in Texas drive long distances to school. Those of us from rural areas have to drive into town and by town I mean 1,200 people. Learning to drive in these areas is much different than learning to drive in Denver, LA, NYC, DC. Not only is there less traffic and a lower risk due to smaller towns, but many of us learn the danger of speed and machines early. Farming, ranching and hilly back roads are dangerous. Hill topping kills, as does excessive speed.

I’m not saying that teenagers are completely mature or that they won’t make mistakes, but this shouldn’t be dictated at the Federal level. States like Texas,  South Dakota and Kansas have all seen the needs of modifying driving privileges from the “standard.” Senators and Congressmen from states like NY and CA have no business dictating these things to states. Furthermore, what responsibility do parents have in all this? Is it really the Federal Government’s job to “protect” our kids from themselves? Shouldn’t parents take responsibility? They can limit when their children drive, they can prohibit them getting a car/license. They could even lock down phones or prevent them from taking passengers. My parents made me drive a Ford Ranger when I turned 16, that way I’d never be able to take more than 2 other people. I was forbidden to drive into town (Springfield, MO) for the first month. My point is that I don’t need some Senator telling me how to raise my kids. (Or for that matter what to eat, drive, wear or say) At some point people have to take responsibility for their own actions.

Finally, just like seat belt laws this is being pushed by insurance companies. I think the government has no right telling me I have to buckle up or wear a motorcycle helmet. Is it a good idea? Of course it is. Should the government tell me I have to? No. This is no different. People need to take responsibility for their actions and the actions of those they are charged to protect. Increasing the hardships to rural families by taking away farm/school permits is pointless. It is not the federal government’s job and they should stay out states’ business.

On a final side note, this would probably not be an issue at all if state legislatures still appointed Senators, as the Framers originally intended. Just saying…

Posted by: sonofliberty1787 | March 14, 2012

Military to Pay More for Healthcare

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” said Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more,” he added.

At a time when I’m being asked to pay for the promiscuous behavior of a 30-year old Law school student the military is going to be asked to pay more for health care. Not only were these benefits promised to our veterans, but they have also already made considerable sacrifices. These men and women have missed holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. They’ve missed births, deaths, marriages and countless other special occasions all so that people like Fluke can whine about not having free birth-control at a Catholic school. Yet, they don’t complain, they’ve done their duty and in return we as society promised them certain perks and benefits. Now the Obama administration is going beyond asking them to do more with less, he’s trying to infringe on the promises made to the troops. Every time Republicans talk about reforming Social Security (a far more costly program) Democrats scream about the promises made to elderly. These are their benefits, they paid for this, blah blah blah. Where’s the outrage now?

I do find it convenient that the price increases happen after the election. I also find it sad that it targets the military and not the gluttony of GS employees. Talk about favoritism. As the article points out, the military makes up 20% of the budget but has accounted for 50% of the cuts. It wouldn’t be so frustrating if things like Obamacare, Social Security and pointless Departments (DOE, Ag, Commerce) were up to be cut too, but no. To add to the questionably politically motivated move to implement this following the election, I also have a sneaking suspicion that this is meant to force a rather large group onto the Obamacare doles. The whole thing seems just seeps with dubious political motivations.

Posted by: Rational Voice | October 30, 2011

Social Security Cash Negative

This is hardly surprising and I even wrote about how the president’s payroll tax cuts would make the problem worse.  Since Social Security and Medicare funding is being squeezed by not only the economic downturn but now by these payroll tax cuts. Those payroll taxes are specifically allocated for those programs, being a direct source of funding for them, a pot of money that is different from general government revenue which is funded by income taxes.  The government will now have to dip into general Treasury funds (read income taxes)  to make up the difference.  And since our government is beyond broke, it will add to the deficit and our ever growing national debt.  This only means that these short falls are going to have to be covered by other taxes at some point, offsetting the payroll tax cuts, making them utterly pointless and nothing more than a political ploy, not sound policy.

The only sound policy that will help us out of this mess with Social Security is changing the retirement age and paying out benefits to retirees who have reached that age and have paid into the system, not to support adult babies and others who Social Security was never meant to cover.  We also need to start reforming the system to make it privatized retirement accounts, ones that have your name on it that allows you to do what you want to do with your money and one that allows you to give it to your family if you die before recouping all you’ve paid into it instead of the government just keeping it and giving it to others.  Doing so would also allow you to invest it as you want, whether it be in a safe, stable guaranteed bond fund with an overall lower return or a risky stock fund with the potential for great growth. Personally, I’d love to see the entire program abolished but I don’t believe that will ever happen in my lifetime so I figure some sort of private investment account is the best alternative for this irredeemably flawed system.

Posted by: sonofliberty1787 | October 23, 2011

We’re Done

After announcing Friday we are leaving Iraq by the holiday Obama ought to go the extra mile and begin the withdraw from Afghanistan.  We’ve done what we set out to do.  We crushed the Taliban and hunted down Al Qaeda.  We’ve disrupted their center of gravity and killed/captured those responsible for planning 9/11.  We deposed Saddam and have made the country “safe for democracy.”  To put it another way, we’ve gone into two different country for almost 10 years.  We’ve killed people and broken things.  In the country that had a semblance of a modern nation (Iraq) prior to our invasion we’ve restored it and set them on the path.  It is appropriate and fitting to leave.  Sure we could stick around to “advise” and help maintain security or to aid in the event of an Iranian invasion, but it is time for our large scale presence to leave. 

On the other hand we have accomplished much of what we intended in Afghanistan.  We killed bin Laden.  We captured SKM, we overthrew the Taliban and killed thousands of Al Qaeda.  In the process we’ve dispersed and chased our terrorist enemies to other lands, primarily in Africa.  (Simply relocating the problem in my opinion)  Yet, we remain in Afghanistan in an effort to rebuild the country and help them create a stable nation-state, preferably with a democracy.  We have built schools, hospitals, infrastructure and public works.  All in an effort to help them create a stable country, with a working economy.  We have trained and equipped their armed forces, hoping the Afghanis could provide their own defense and would step in to prevent further terrorists cells.

Now tonight we hear from Karzai that he would support Pakistan in a war against the US.  I know this is not a likely scenario, but the thought is still there.  We have spent billions, exspended our most precious national resource on defeating an evil regime and then taken the time to attempt to create stability, only to be slapped in the face by Karzai.  His country was rule by the Taliban and we liberated it.  His people we terrorized by the now defunct Al Qaeda, yet he would support Pakistan over the US.  Pakistan clearly supports terrorists of the worst kind.  They sheltered bin Laden, forcing a covert strike by the United States.  Now the Afghanis claim they would use the very military hardware and training we gave them against us?  What are we thinking?  Karzai needs to either shut his mouth or we need to withdraw.  Clearly they have no qualms about using our aid an tech against us, so why continue to give it to them?  We have no exit strategy or even a grand strategy.  We’ve accomplished our goal to avenge 9/11, let’s bail and leave them to their own means.  Let them stand alone.

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