The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘Government spending

The Tea Party: Correcting the Narrative

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The Tea Party narrative in America has been drafted, perfected, and advanced by the Political Left and its cronies through the mainstream media.

It is a false narrative.

It’s time for all people who believe in limited government as determined by the constitution of the United States of America, the separation of powers, and individual liberty and self-determination, to correct the narrative and help all of America’s citizens understand the truth about this movement. It’s time to tell the president, the congress, Wall Street, and Corporate America their gig is up. We will not tolerate the game being played to the detriment of all working Americans who just want to provide the best life they can for their families and those they love.

The Tea Party is not a movement full extremists doing damage to this country. Any objective person, using common sense, can quickly see where the power lies and who is truly damaging every American’s ability to determine his or her own future and how they live their lives.

It’s time to stop listening to a so-called free press that is no longer an objective observer or watch dog. The major media voices are bought and sold. Time to stop being told what to believe. Time to stop assuming the media is acting as another check and balance on our government or has your best interests at heart. Start doing your own homework. Take down the shields and barriers and give the other side a fair hearing.

Study the founding documents of this nation and weigh your findings against the standards set in those time-tested principles.

Then decide where you stand.

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The Path to the Government Shutdown You Didn’t See

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By: Soren Dayton (Diary)  |  October 2nd, 2013 at 07:05 PM As seen on Redstate.com

The press has been falling over itself to attack Republicans for the shutdown and claiming that they are the source of all the irresponsibility in the process. They have conveniently forgotten several important things about how much the Democrats have broken the budget process in the last couple of years and in this year in particular. I wrote back in January about how the Senate Democrats were dismantling the budget process. While the Senate did pass a budget resolution this year, in many ways the situation has gotten much, much worse. A shutdown is, purely for procedural reasons, a natural and logical consequence of the massive failure of the Senate to do its job.

Let’s work through the details.

The budget process starts every year with the President offering his budget in the first week of February. But that’s not what happened. He offered it on April 10, two months after the statutory deadline. In fact, he offered it after both the House and the Senate had passed budget resolutions, so his budget plan was already a moot point. He didn’t do his job, so Congress had to move on without him. (Incidentally, this was the first time that the Senate had passed one since April 29, 2009)

But then the Senate ground to a halt. The Library of Congress offers a very helpful scorecard about how the budget process is proceeding this year that makes it very easy to compare how each chamber did, and how that compares to the past.

This year, the House passed four appropriations bills:

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs on June 4, which passed 421-4. This bill cost $158 billion.
Homeland Security on June 6, which passed 245-182. This bill cost $39 billion.
Energy and Water on Jule 10, which passed 227-198. This bill cost $30 billion.
Defense on July 24, which passed 315-109. This bill cost $516 billion.
The least controversial of these, Defense and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, totaling $674 billion is over half of the $1.15 trillion that President Obama requested. The Senate could have done something with these and moved the ball forward. The House vote totals prove that these weren’t controversial.

By contrast, the Senate only put a single appropriations bill on the floor, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, nicknamed, appropriately, THUD. This bill cost $54 billion, less than 5% of the President’s proposal. And they brought it to the floor at the end of July, at the last possible minute before the August recess.

This bill was filibustered by Republicans. Why? Because it pretended that the bipartisan sequester didn’t happen. It returned to pre-sequester spending. In fact, the spend-thrift Senate Democrats spent even more money than the President wanted:

“The vote we just had was symbolically very, very significant,” McConnell told reporters. “There is no question that if cloture had been invoked on this particular appropriations bill, which was even more than what the president asked for, your story line tomorrow would have been Congress on a bipartisan basis walks away from the Budget Control Act.”

So that’s the real history, not the mythical one driven by White House talking points, of this year’s budget process. The House started to do its job. The Senate barely got off the ground, and then only operating in a fantasy-land in which the sequester never happened. Sorry for all the wonky details here, but it is really important to see just how much the President and the Senate Democrats have failed in the budget process and how much of this lays at their feet.

 

Skyfall-quester

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Heard on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program today and had to share. I think we should have a Rewind Y2K Bash and see what happens in the morning. ‘Cause tonight we’re gonna party like its 1999!

How $4.2 Billion In Refundable Tax Credits Went To Illegal Aliens

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U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, announced today that he will be examining how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gave $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits last year to illegal aliens – four times the amount from five years ago.

The information was released today in a report issued by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration. The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over all tax policy, the IRS and the Department of Treasury.

“The disconcerting findings in this report demand immediate attention and action from Congress and the Obama Administration,” said Hatch. “With our debt standing at over $14.5 trillion and counting, it’s outrageous that the IRS is handing out refundable tax credits, which are spending through the tax code, to those who aren’t even eligible to work in this country. I will be looking at this as soon as Congress returns next week.”

The report found that:

“Although the law prohibits aliens residing without authorization in the United States from receiving most Federal public benefits, an increasing number of these individuals are filing tax returns claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), a refundable tax credit intended for working families.”

$4.2 billion in refundable credits were paid to individuals not authorized to work in the United States in Processing Year 2010.

“[T]he payment of Federal funds through this tax benefit appears to provide an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside, and work in the United States without authorization, which contradicts Federal law and policy to remove such incentives.”

The question is who is responsible for oversight, will they be held accountable, will they lose their jobs?  Bureaucracies are ripe with waste and fraud, we all get that and to a point we realized it can’t be totally curtailed, but this administration has allowed it to get out of control.  It’s almost as if they just look the other way.

They wouldn’t do that would they?  Not on purpose….

Mainstream Media Can’t Be This Stupid…Can They?

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Let me begin by stating that I am not a blind critic of the media. I worked in Television News as an Anchor, Reporter and News Director for over a decade and was involved in electronic and broadcast media for nearly 15 years. I loved my profession and my job. I left the industry for a number of reasons one of which included the change I was seeing in how the news was being delivered and what I call the “commercialization” of news.

I had the unpleasant experience of having a general manager of one of the stations I worked for try to kill a revealing and negative story about a local merchant who also happened to be one of the station’s biggest advertisers. After much consternation and debate the story won the day but with a compromise that a particularly damning sound bite not be used on air.

It was then that I realized how much money and politics could effect the news content of the day even at the local level.

It’s been more than 5 years since I left the business and I can only say things have gotten worse not better.  The news is skewed and leaning hard left. Except over at FOX which leans hard right.  Unfortunately this doesn’t help the situation and does not provide balance it simply gives the two sides a place to go for THEIR news.  Not good.

All of that leads into a story I read today from a financial guru and investment adviser named Bob Wiedemer.  Wiedemer appears to be a conservative minded individual but what he says is neither conservative nor liberal.  It’s simply the truth and for some reason our watchdogs of the 4th estate can’t seem to grasp it, or is it something else.  I don’t want to go as far as to imply that facts are intentionally being misreported, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck….

The economic recovery being touted as “under way” by the media is simply a bunch of hot air.  Boloney.  Hogwash.  Bullshnike…  It doesn’t exist and the numbers prove it.  And here they are.

Historical government spending in the United S...

Image via Wikipedia

The “recovery” is made up of only stimulus funds.  It is a result of massive government borrowing and spending.  Here are those numbers.

In 2007, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) totaled $14 trillion.  In 2010 the GDP totaled $14.6 trillion dollars.  A net increase of $600 billion.  Viewed on its own, $600 billion in three years is not very good, but on the bright side, its a rebound that tracks above inflation, slightly.

Compare that however to the increase in government borrowing. In 2007, the U.S. government borrowed and spent $163 billion.  In 2010 it borrowed and spent almost $1.4 trillion, a net increase of over $1.2 trillion.

The spending binge (on borrowed dollars) is also what’s propping up the stock market i.e. printed money the quantitative easing strategy of government bond buying, the second round of which ended June 30th.  The fact is when the Fed prints new dollars the market responds with an upswing.  When the Fed stops printing dollars it drops.  The stock market recovery is as fake as the economic recovery.  Driven by unsustainable irresponsible government idiocy.  It’s not based on hard-nosed analysis of the economy and its underlying capacity for growth, it’s based on printed money pushing up stock values beyond any true economic recovery.  You want a glimpse of the future of the stock market?  Look at the housing market.

The golden question?  Besides the obvious, why is the media ignoring the real story; how are we going to pay back all the borrowed cash?  The answer: we can’t.  Not even if every dollar earned by every American taxpayer was paid in taxes for the next decade.  The bubble economy is about to pop and when it does inflation, the crash of the dollar, and, heaven forbid, the elimination of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  None of it good.

But you won’t hear that from those friendly smiling faces on your TV screens.  Nope.  They’re too busy admiring the Emperor’s new clothes.

Information for this blog post was found in the Financial Intelligence Report a monthly financial news letter.  You can subscribe at moneynews.com  This blog does not endorse or represent moneynews.com.

It’s Time to Sacrifice

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Times are tough.

I’ve felt the sting of the economic downturn myself and understand the concept of differentiating between my wants and my needs.  In so doing I have had to cut back significantly on my monthly spending.  It hasn’t been easy.  In fact it’s been pretty damn hard and humbling.  But we’ve done it to the best of our ability and are managing to keep afloat even if that means our noses are just above the waterline.

With that in mind it is with great interest that I follow the current furor over the nation’s budget and the proposals to come out of congress and the White House.

The President ordered the cabinet to cut $100 million from the $3.5 trillion federal budget.

Those numbers are so incredibly large they become surreal to most of us average folks making it tough to really wrap one’s head around it.  So I decided to do some math and get some comparative figures based on my own budget.

You know, to help bring it down to earth.  The one you and I live on at least.

My monthly expenses, prior to my own personal economic downturn, came to about $5000 a month.  That includes my mortgage, car payment, utilities, groceries, household expenses, medical needs, child related expenses,  credit payments, meals out and entertainment, etc.

If I was to follow the lead of the president, taking the same action he took in the face of reduced revenue and the prospects of financial failure and a bankrupt government, I would have to get out the budget cutting axe and bite the bullet!  100,000,000 dollars is a big number.  That has to hurt.

Cutting my spending by exactly the same ratio as the president’s proposal is 1/35,000 of my total budget: 100,000,000 / 3,500,000,000,000 = 1/35,000.

The ultimate burden of sacrifice I would have to ask my family to commit to and share would be…

18 cents.

Kind of puts the whole fiasco in Washington into perspective doesn’t it?

Unfortunately I don’t have a printing press in the basement rolling out sheets of $20’s to supplement my spending habits nor can I vote myself a new debt ceiling to waylay the approaching and open hands of my creditors.

In the personal economies of my world and yours, sacrifice is real.  It can cut deep and be painful. Still, we do what is necessary to provide the needs of our families, we work to improve our situation and over time we hope it gets better.  In the meantime we survive, sometimes with a little help from our friends, families, or religious communities.

What our government is doing through its inability to understand the word sacrifice, by not saying no to its wants, by not being fiscally responsible, by printing money that has no foundational backing, spending recklessly over generations of time, over-taxing its citizens, and not seriously considering balancing its books, is making our personal efforts to improve our own personal economies next to impossible.

For me this isn’t about political parties, ideologies, or the power struggles that pervade the beltway of our nation’s capital.  It’s about liberty.  The freedom to go out and create for myself and my family the means by which we can enjoy the wonderful things and opportunities in our world.

Vote for Liberty in 2012.  Change, as we are learning, is simply too ambiguous and too risky.