Tag Archives: debt

Cut Up the Credit Card and Downsize

“A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”  ~Barry Goldwater

By Alden L. Benton

There are many reasons to reduce the size of government.  The freedom to work, live, and create, are the foundations of ordered liberty.  The continuation, indeed, the enhancement, of liberty demands reining in the power of government at all levels of society from the national behemoth down to the tyranny of homeowner’s associations.

Another issue associated with the size and scope of government is the cost of government.  We have a government that is running on credit with an ever-increasing burden of debt.  The cradle-to-grave social policies of the secular progressives threaten the nation with bankruptcy.

The secular progressive answer to this issue is always the same: tax the rich.  They forget the wise words of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

The secular progressive argument is fallacious and delusional.  The scope of government and its cost continues to grow.  Contrary to the secular progressive mantra, the government cannot, and should not, solve all the issues that plague society. 

We have fought a “War on Poverty” for more than 5o years at cost of more than $22 trillion, and that does not include Medicare and Social Security (The War on Poverty After 50 Years: Heritage Foundation 2014).  The result of this “war” is absolute failure for as a result we now have an entrenched underclass of “gimme” people living off our money.

Another fallacy perpetrated by the secular progressives is that the money one earns by their own labor is not one’s own, but the government’s.  A vast majority of individuals, families, and business know how to budget their resources and don’t need the government to “help.”  Again, ordered liberty is in fundamental opposition to the secular progressive command and control scheme

The secular progressives also insist that there is never enough money, thus their constant demands for higher taxes.  According to CNS News, “The U.S. Treasury hauled in a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017),” according to the Monthly Treasury Statement .

Despite this record-breaking tax take, in the same four months the federal government spent $1.2 trillion, $156.9 billion more than it collected. 

There are only two ways to sustain this type of runaway spending: raise taxes or borrow.  The secular progressives want both. The problem is our government, unlike the average American taxpayer, has no credit limit.  As the size and scope of our government grows, the amount of debt also grows.

Currently, the national debt of the United States stands at $20 trillion and growing.  To put this in perspective, according to the U.S. Debt Clock every man, woman, and child owes $61,550.  More pertinent, each taxpayer owes $166,766.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the health of a nation’s economy.  GDP is the total of goods and services produced.  Debt, as a percentage of GDP, reflects the tax and spending policies of a nation.  The United States owes approximately $3 trillion dollars more than the entire value of its GDP.  (Current GDP $16.9 trillion)

Public debt determines, in part, the amount of liberty we enjoy as public debt directly reflects the size and scope of government.

We have a new president who brings to the table the idea of a more streamlined, efficient, and more limited government.  However, Congress approved his nomination of a new Secretary of Education.  If the president truly seeks to minimize government’s impact on its citizens, he must begin the process of downsizing the government.

President Trump has missed an opportunity to strike a blow against the government leviathan.  Instead of nominating a new secretary of Education, the president needs to eliminate the more than $270 billion boondoggle that does not educate one single child: the Department of Education.

Education is a local concern.  The only role of government in education is to set minimum curriculum requirements and teacher credentialing guidelines.  At a minimum, governing schools is the responsibility of the individual states; at best, it is the purview of local school boards.

It is time to slay the leviathan and reclaim our God-given liberty before the leviathan, and the swamp rats that operate it, enslaves us, and the generations that follow.  Dismantling the Department of Education is a good place to start.

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size.  I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.  My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.  It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution … or have failed their purpose … or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.  I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.  And if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”  ~Barry Goldwater

@2017 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Bits and Pieces from Around the Web

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

Instead of my usual post, today I will let the perpetrators of various events and insanities speak for themselves with bits and bytes I have pulled from around the internet.

Say What?

According to Big Government, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claims “tax cuts are spending.”  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not to outdo herself, she went on to claim that she and the Democrats in the previous Congress were responsible for a total cut in the budget of $2.8 trillion when in reality, a state Pelosi chooses not to visit, the budget and spending actually increased nearly a trillion dollars during her 5-year reign as Speaker of the House.

Parking Your Tax Dollars

According to the Weekly Standard, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just spent $6 million of your taxes — on parking spaces.  HHS leased 1,076 parking spaces next to its offices in Bethesda, Maryland, for five years.  This works out to $1,115 per space per year.  No word if any of the government-union employees will be paying to park.

Expensive Public Failure

Ben Shapiro writes on Big Government that:

According to officials from City University of New York, a full 80 percent of high school graduates in New York City who are headed to CUNY colleges can’t read properly, write or do basic math when they graduate.  As CBS Local reports, “They had to re-learn basic skills – reading, writing, and math – first before they could begin college courses.”

And that’s for the students who graduate and head to CUNY.  New York City has the lowest graduation rate for black and Hispanic male students in the nation, with only 37 percent graduating.  But teachers start off making $45,530 with benefits, and max out at over $100,000.

It’s not just [Mayor] Bloomberg and New York.  In the city of Los Angeles, according to The Education Trust-West, just one in every 20 black kindergarteners will graduate from a four-year California college.  Overall, a whopping 40 percent of high school students entering public colleges across the country require at least one remedial class in reading, writing or math.

This is the legacy of a teachers union-driven system in our major cities.  And it is minorities who pay the highest price.

Politically Correct Culture War

Here is the latest obscenity in the far-Left’s war on American culture and our children.  Todd Starnes reports on Fox Radio News that:

A Michigan elementary school is defending its decision to confiscate a third-graders batch of homemade cupcakes because the birthday treats were decorated with plastic green Army soldiers.

Casey Fountain told Fox News that the principal of his son’s elementary school called the cupcakes “insensitive” — in light of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“It disgusted me,” he said. “It’s vile they lump true American heroes with psychopathic killers.”

This story, coupled with the previous one, make a sound case for home schooling our children.

Talk NOT Cheap!

Every time House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama sit down and talk, it costs every one of us money — lots of money.  According to CNS News and Patriot Post, the deals made between these two men have added $21, 817 in new debt per household.

At the close of business on March 4, 2011, when the first Boehner-Obama spending deal took effect, the federal debt was $14,182,627,184,881.03, according to the U.S. Treasury.  As of the close of business on March 6, 2013, when the Republican-controlled House passed its latest CR, the federal debt was $16,692,238,790,019.20.

That means the federal government’s debt has increased $2,509,611,605,138.17 since the first Boehner-Obama deal took effect.

There are now approximately 115,031,000 households in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The $2,509,611,605,138.17 increase in the debt since the first Boehner-Obama equals about $21,817 per household.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker: please sit down and stop talking to each other.

2013 Dumbest Idea — So Far

Forrest Gump was right, stupid is as stupid does, and a Berkeley, California, city councilman proves the point.

According to CBS Local News San Francisco, Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, has suggested that a tax on email may be wise way to help fund the United States Postal Service.

“There should be something like a bit tax.  I mean a bit tax could be a cent per-gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year…And there should be, also, a very tiny tax on email,” Wozniak said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Wozniak said this would not only help fund the cash-strapped post office, but also discourage spam.

I guess Mr. Wozniak never heard of spam filters. 

Part of the problem with the Post Office is its management and union structure.  In addition, it is a child spawned by Congress and has tried to live under some bizarre rules and regulations.  All of this combined has led to its current state of non-competitiveness. 

However, Wozniak and his ilk are true to the Left’s compulsion to subsidize failure instead of fixing it.  Yet another tax to be stolen and mismanaged by the central government is not the answer. 

“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”  ~Ronald Reagan

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©2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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The Ostrich, Debt, and Inspiration from the Past

“The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man.  The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

There is an old folk tale about the ostrich.  The story says that when confronted with danger, the ostrich sticks its head in the sand. 

I don’t know if this is true or not.  However, the ostrich is a very large bird and if it does exhibit this behavior, it suffers from two problems: 1) by hiding its head, the ostrich leaves its rather sizeable posterior exposed; and 2) the ostrich is delusional in thinking that if it cannot see the danger, it is not really there, and therefore, does not exist. 

I have published this blog for 18 months and throughout my posts, I have struggled to put an appropriate label on those who would destroy our liberty and our country by any means available.  Now, thanks to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), I have coined a new term to describe her and her ilk: ostrich-statist.

Anyone with a basic understanding of simple arithmetic and a reasonable grip on reality realizes that one cannot spend more than what one earns without borrowing and that one cannot keep borrowing to pay for your borrowing.  My father used to call this borrowing from Peter to pay Paul

However, there is a very large segment of the ruling class in the United States, whether it is federal, state, or local, that seems to have no clue regarding this stark and dangerous reality.

Enter Representative Pelosi.

Godfather Politics reported today that Representative Pelosi says we need more revenue (read higher taxes) not spending cuts.  In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Pelosi said:

“We have to recognize that, which cuts really help us and which cuts hurt our future?  And cuts in education, scientific research and the rest are harmful, and they are what are affected by the sequestration.  So, it is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem.  We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address.”

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but Pelosi is only half right — we do have a deficit problem.  However, like the fabled ostrich, she is blind to the greater problems of unchecked spending, underfunded programs, and massive debt.

Nancy Pelosi, the progressive-statist-Democrats, and Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) are like the ostrich; they hide their heads in the sand and think the problem will go away. 

According to US Government Spending.com, the federal deficit, the difference between income and payments, grew from $500 billion in FY 2008 (fiscal year) to $1.5 trillion in FY 2009 and has remained at an average of $1.3 trillion through FY 2012.

To sustain this spending spree, the nation has gone deeper into debt.  In FY 2008, the gross federal debt (the total amount owed), was $10 trillion and has increased every year since then.  In FY 2009, the year with the largest deficit, the gross debt grew to $11.9 trillion.  The gross national debt reached $16.4 trillion in FY 2012, exceeding the value of the entire economic output of the United States economy (GDP).

The ostriches among us would like you to believe we can tax this problem away.  This idea is nothing but wishful, delusional fantasy.  If the government confiscated the entire wealth of the nation, it couldn’t pay off the debt.  If the government took everything the so-called rich earn, it would not completely fund one year of government spending.

Whom are you going to believe — the deluded ostriches like Nancy Pelosi or President Ronald Reagan when he said, “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

It is time that we stop listening to the dangerous, destructive, self-serving horse hockey spewed by the ostriches led by President Obama and his flock of crooks and cronies.  Instead, listen to, and follow, the words spoken by President John F. Kennedy as he concluded his inaugural address on January 20, 1962.

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. 

“My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

“Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.  With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

Consider JFK’s words tonight as you listen to the dreck spewed by the ostrich-in-chief’s State of the Union address.

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