The Ogre in the Closet

Why can’t Democrats and Republicans agree on fixing the Spending?

Out of Control

On March 1st, 2013, I expect our Nice Government Men to follow the same cycle that has played out in each of many prior fiscal showdowns.  Nice Government Men flirt with the edge of the cliff but then they posture and bluster, until they strike a deal that is good for politicians and corporate America but a very bad deal for the taxpayer. This is always done in secret and usually at the very last minute.

Automatic budget cuts — known as sequestration — were in fact scheduled for January 2, (the fiscal cliff) but were then postponed until March 1.  It didn’t solve the problem of the overspending, but it has been very successful in hiding the issue away in the dark closet where taxpayers do not go looking.

March 1st, 2013 is also a significant date in that it is the date when the U.S. is expected to hit the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling.  The amount of debt the nation is now carrying is astronomical and each time the ceiling is raised spending rises commensurately. The debt ceiling has been raised 11 times since 2001 and each time the federal spending has skyrocketed.

Graph to show debt out of control

Up goes the Debt Limit and up goes the Spending

Obama and Harry Reid have stated that they plan to raise the ceiling once again.  Most of the Democratic politicians are in full agreement that the debt goes up without reducing spending.  Ironically most of the Democratic politicians in the house and in the Senate opposed raising the debt ceiling during the administration of George W. Bush.  In fact in 2006 a freshman Senator called Obama said:
“Mr. President I rise today to talk about America‘s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America‘s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government cannot pay its own bills. Increasing America‘s debt weakens us domestically and internationally . . . America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Republicans have stated that in March they will FINALLY demand financial reform but are they standing strong?  The Brothers Koch, Republican Financiers-in-Chief, have all but ordered the Republican Caucus to cooperate with the President on the debt ceiling. Obama has suggested that the issue get shelved until some time in May. Hey, it worked with the Fiscal Cliff Legislation! Why not again hide the new contentious legislation way back in the big bad, black closet where all good taxpayers fear AND FAIL to look. What a clever ploy. Fooled and conned again.  When will we wake up?

Begin by taking a look at what was actually in that secret Fiscal Cliff legislation that got rammed through when we weren’t looking?

Here are a few choice titbits:

  • 248 million for film production expenses (Hollywood gets a subsidy)
  • 222 million for rum production in Puerto Rico
  • 119 million for companies to hire Native Americans.
  • 7 million for plug-in motorcycles
  • 5 billion to subsidize farmers (mostly for large corporate interests)
  • 12.1 billion for tax credits for wind production.

While corporations and special interests receive billions of dollars of tax relief, this bill allows taxes to increase for 77% of Americans, thanks to the expiring payroll tax holiday.  Because Congress failed to extend the payroll tax cut, an individual who earns $26,000 per year will have over $500 per year in new taxes – that’s $20 taken straight from each paycheck. And the bill effectively raises taxes on every American because it failed to account for any significant cuts in spending.  After all, every dollar of deficit spending is a future dollar that someone will have to pay in taxes down the road. The so-called “American Taxpayer Relief Act” was full of corporate welfare – targeted tax credits and subsidies for companies and industries. The bill actually spends $330 billion more than it takes in with the tax hikes.

The fiscal cliff bill was drafted behind closed doors, and Lawmakers were given ALL OF SIX minutes to read the 154-page bill before voting on it.

There is a lobbying ogre hiding in the depths of the big, black closet and he makes fools out of Democrats and Republicans alike and keeps them at each other’s throats.

So I am asking all people of good will, be they voters or legislators to shine the light of accountability into that big black closet:

The solution:
The single subject rule is provided for by many state constitutions in the United States of America. Its purpose is to avoid complexity in laws, to avoid any hidden consequences that legislators or voters may miss when reading the proposed law. This in turn prevents politicians from sneaking unpopular legislation through, piggybacked on legislation which is more likely to pass.

For example, the constitution of Minnesota, Article IV, Section 17, requires that “No law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.”. Conversely, neither the U.S. Congress nor the U.S. Constitution has such a rule so riders which are completely unrelated to the main bill are commonplace. These are often put into bills at the last minute, so that all who may read the legislation before actually voting on it will not have a chance to catch it.

Quote for the Week

While it is commonly believed to take two to make a fight, a third party must exist and must develop it, for actual conflict to occur.

L. Ron Hubbard.

 

 

 

Guns, Drugs and Violence

Should we Ban the Guns?

Mass shootings are always tragic; especially where the victims are children, as in the recent Sandy Hook incident. How awful to be a parent who has lost a child that way. It is so senseless. That there has been a huge outcry against guns is quite understandable.

Unwarranted gun violence is not a new issue. In April 1999, another tragic school shooting occurred at Columbine High School, which prompted me to address the gun control issue then. My views on the subject have not changed.

There is talk about banning guns outright. If that means shutting down all gun and ammunition factories and disarming the military, the police and security guards, I would welcome such a move of the authorities setting a good example, but I don’t think that’s what our illustrious leaders have in mind. They aim to limit the rights of civilians to arm themselves and that is a dangerous idea.

More recently, guns have been banned in Australia, with a disastrous crime wave following in its wake, as shown in this video: Click on the picture to see the video.

Stats after gun control in Australia

What Lies Behind The Violence?

Aside from easy access to guns, there are many other underlying issues that contribute to such unwarranted violence; declining morals, violence seen on TV and in movies and lack of parental control. But what is not widely known is that a common denominator in many school shootings has been that the children committing the violence were on mind-altering drugs.

drugs & guns

The fact that these random acts of violence are drug-related is noted by renowned natural healer, Dr. Richard Schultze To quote Dr. Schulze, “In EVERY case of mass shootings in the last few decades, the killers were later found out to be taking LEGAL, medical doctor prescribed, pharmaceutical, mind-altering, prescription drugs.”

Many of our children need help. The kind of help they need depends on the individual circumstances. Trying to understand them would be a good place to start. Let’s spend time with them, talk with them, guide them, set a good example. Pumping chemicals into them is not going to do it. That’s betrayal, not help. Let’s get our kids off drugs.

But the real question is “Should We Ban Guns?”

Some years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” That is not quite accurate. Yes, criminals will still be able to get their hands on guns, but the cops and our government will also still have them; and we should beware of such a situation.

defneceless

The recent spate of shootings, no doubt, has made many of us consider gun control as a possible solution to the violence that is so rampant in the United States. However, any attempts at gun control are fought tooth and nail by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Obviously, some control is needed—not having any controls is like driving a car blindfolded, with similar disastrous results. The other side of the coin is that our freedom is threatened when the individual’s right to bear arms is curtailed and this might land us into far deeper trouble.

It’s the old conflict of freedom versus safety and comfort. As usual, the optimum solution lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is possible to have some controls in place without running the risk of being done in by “Big Brother.”

The reality is that guns are tools of death. That’s their purpose. The better the gun, the better it enables its user to kill others. We could envisage a society with no guns at all. Perhaps such a society would make us feel much safer, but unfortunately not everyone has our best interests at heart and to abandon all weapons would leave us exposed to the whims of bullies, who would not hesitate to take unfair advantage of their superior strength. The result would be slavery. With the liabilities of “homo sapiens,” taking away guns altogether would not be a good solution.

Over a decade ago I read the following information in a publication called the Odessa Fact Sheet, that is no longer in circulation, but the information is still relevant today.

What Happens After Gun Control?

Al Fuller says, “Limited Gun Control measures are usually the first steps toward taking all firearms out of the hands of all civilians. Did you know:

  • Turkey established gun control in 1911. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. From 1929 to 1953, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Germany established gun control in 1938. From 1939 to 1945, over 10 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill people, political dissidents, and other “misfits,” unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, over 1 million “educated people,” unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Guatamala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were slaughtered like cattle.”

Conclusion

Tragic as gun violence is, we must ask ourselves whether we are willing to let fear dominate us enough to sacrifice our freedoms.

Guns are dangerous, but they can also protect us from those who would harm us. The fact is that gun control does not work. If it did, Chicago and Washington DC, two cities with some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws, would be the safest cities to live in. In reality, the violent crime rates in these two cities are among the nation’s highest. It stands to reason: if law-abiding citizens are prevented from arming themselves, criminals, who don’t care about the law and who always can find ways to get guns, will have fewer worries about meeting armed resistance.

You think it couldn’t happen here? Don’t kid yourself! It is happening in Britain.

grandpa

Do you still want Gun Control in the U.S? Contact your elected representatives to voice your concern.

 Quote for the Week

The Second Amendment is in place in case we ignore the others.
What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?
The United States Constitution
© 1791 All Rights Reserved

 

About Money in Medicine

This post is for you from Grandma

This post is for you from Grandma

She wants you to read this giggle story on the sister blog, the Creative Homemaker

The cost of medications had skyrocketed until they reached a level higher than what the average man could pay. Big Pharma had decided that they would have to find someone to pick up the exorbitant tab. When electronics also entered into the field of medicine with its expensive diagnostic machines, one after another hospital (all in deep fiscal trouble) began to fail. All over the nation (and especially in Health Care) the numbers just weren’t adding up.

Costs had to be slashed and the day had come when austerity even reached the Department of Volunteers. . . .

The Day the Volunteers went on Strike

The Day the Volunteers went on Strike

Quote for the Week

The art of medicine is in amusing a patient while nature affects the cure. Voltaire