Saturday, January 26, 2013

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR MCDONNELL'S ROAD FUNDING PROPOSAL

 

Here is an op-ed that was published today in The Virginia Gazette, a Tribune Paper. I should note that Gov. McDonnell is a good governor and gets national attention for being so. I've known  him for 20+ years, but I cannot simply support policy reflexively. I want to support his initiatives, but I have been on the opposing side of the issues mentioned up front in this op-ed and now on the new tax plan.

JAMES CITY COUNTY VIRGINIA:

Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to fund roads with increased sales tax while canceling the gas tax is as incomprehensible as previous proposals.

The first proposal — to sell the ABC operations for a fraction of their value for incremental road funding, while losing $47 million annually from the general fund — was canceled when the true economics were revealed. The second proposal — to sell our crown jewel ports to such as Goldman-Sachs — was dropped, partly because of arguments that the ports would end up in foreign hands as Goldman-Sachs sold them to get its targeted ROI. Still being “negotiated” is the leasing of ports, again for what is inadequate compensation compounded by national security worries. Leasing the ports was to be a “done deal” in August 2012, but is still pending after critical discussions, some from here. It seems the result may be a restructuring of Virginia International Terminals, a company formed by Virginia to operate ports. That’s a necessary change, but it won't fund roads. And ports shouldn't.

Before critiquing the governor's taxing proposal it is necessary and fair to acknowledge that he operates with a handicap. The transportation funding formula is a province of the legislators. It is woefully out of date, yet they refuse to modernize it. The formula does not give priority to funding roads in areas of critical need. It is used to keep certain legislators in power. So it is that we have beautiful roads to The Homestead, a 4-lane to thinly populated Lawrenceville and lightly traveled 895 south of Richmond. It's why perfectly good Route156 along Jordan's Point golf course to Route 10 was recently totally milled and repaved. Route 5 was recently repaved from Midlothian to Williamsburg, with stretches of rough, noisy slurry replacing smooth surfaces. It reminds me of rural Mexico where the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stayed in power for 70 years, in part by paving for votes. But, that's Mexico.

The governor's proposal to drop the gas tax is inexplicable. It abrogates the tenet that “users pay.” Reports I've seen suggest that revenue from the 0.8% increased sales tax and a $15 vehicle registration will fall short of making up the loss in gas tax receipts, a net loss of annual revenue. It's reported that the governor depends on a $1 billion windfall from Internet taxes. But, federal law does not yet allow it. Multiple billions of dollars ($8B-12B) are needed to bring roads up to standard. How does this plan provide it?
Thousands of out-of-state vehicles travel Virginia's roads daily, especially I-95, I-81 and I-85. I know from experience that drivers wait to buy fuel in Virginia. Gasoline prices in North Carolina average 22-cents per gallon more than in Virginia. The Washington/Maryland area is similar. These travelers don't shop in Virginia to pay sales tax. They will use our roads free! And don't bank on lower gas prices.

How will the sales tax be apportioned? Why would legislators modify the funding formula for the sales tax but not for gas taxes? How will the sales tax be allocated for roads from the general fund when they aren't now? Who remembers that the Mark Warner's tax increase was supposed to be spent in large part “to ease gridlock” but was used to expand general spending from $23.5 billion in 2002 to $39 billion in 2011. In spite of that, Gov. Kaine proposed a sales tax increase, ostensibly for transportation. McDonnell opposed that.

Even if one accepts a sales tax increase to fund roads, canceling the gas tax is not easily understood. Perhaps McDonnell should oppose his own plan. And hire new advisers.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

DEBT-TO-GDP -- STILL REPORTED MISLEADINGLY


ON NATIONAL DEBT-TO-GDP: After I, and a couple others, beat the drums for identifying all of the national debt correctly, even those in the media who finally got it right have slipped backwards. $16.4 trillion of debt and $15 trillion GDP is ~109% Debt-to-GDP. Charles Krauthammer, whom I respect immensely, reported it as ~70% a while ago and didn't respond to my e-mail correction. Today, a Fox News reporter quoted 73%. WHY? Government number crunchers/managers have bought into the Keynesian nonsense that debt owe to ourselves is not real debt. So, the $5+ trillion owed to Social Security trust fund isn't debt at all, yet it is borrowed from our payments. As I wrote in a blog earlier, the government has no intentions to pay that back from general funds. This now takes on very special signficance since Obama threatens to not pay social security retirement if he doesn't get his demands on the debt ceiling. I invite you to go to my blog and enter into the search block, top left, and type in "The Economy -- Facts not Political Fiction," June 25, 2012. Americans must demand more truth from government. Dishonesty is at an alltime high and media are complicit.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

OBAMA -- DEBT CEILING 2006 VS. 2013


OBAMA' POSITION ON DEBT AND THE CEILING HAS CHANGED SINCE 2006

US Senator, Barack Obama in a speech on the Senate floor March 16, 2006

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 US Government can't pay its own bills. It's a sign that we now depend on financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is a “trillion” with a “t.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And, over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President's budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why. This year the Federal Government will will spend $220 billion on interest! That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we'll spend on Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veteran's benefits.

Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 presidents 224 years to run up $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just 5 years. Now there is nothing wrong from borrowing from foreign countries. But, we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to lend us money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interest might not be aligned with ours.

Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means “the buck stops here.” Instead Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today on the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.

Senator Barack Obama, 2006 on the Senate floor.

What changed from 2006 until today? Why does debt not matter now? Why does Obama want unlimited borrowing capability now with no debt ceiling? Why was an increase in debt by $3.5 trillion from 2001 to 2006 a big problem, but and increase of $6+ trillion during Obama's reign of 4 years not matter? Hint: It's different for Imperial presidents. They have unlimited power over their subjects.

Why do the media and print press not hold Obama accountable for his dishonesty, his hypocrisy or anything else?

 Printed from the Wall Street Journal Notable and Quotable January 17, 2012.

Monday, January 14, 2013

SSI -- FEEDERS ON THE FEDERAL TREASURY --a true experience


SSI – FEDERAL TREASURY TROUGH FEEDERS – MY EXPERIENCE

For many years I thought about not signing up for Social Security Retirement. I was told I was being foolish and worse, and maybe I was. Some aspects of life changed, including health. Frankly, maybe I wised up a bit also as I thought more carefully about Social Security -- who benefits and who pays. I decided to sign up.

When I went to the SS office, I got a real lesson. What I witnessed was astounding -- disturbing. In my assessment it was a sign of the degradation of American society – a vivid example of the dependent class that has grown to excessive numbers.

What I witnessed was the best example yet of how the safety net for the needy and helpless few has become overburdened by the irresponsible and greedy many. It is the sign of the times and it's gotten much worse under President Obama. Frankly, this group is now one of his assured voter blocs for Democrats.

There were 28 of us in the room to sign up. Three of us were seniors signing up for SS Retirement. The rest were young from 20 something to maybe 50s. The one who looked the youngest came into the room leading a toddler, perhaps 4, carrying a near-infant in a basket and showing one in production close to term undoubtedly. She couldn't have been much more than 20. I did what many would criticize me for. I said to her, “I'm and old guy here for SS retirement. What are you here for?” She said, “for my baby's salary.” The one about to be born I suppose. The others already got their salaries.
I didn't say more to her. Why would I. But, I had to wonder how many “baby daddies these children were supporting.

But, I did speak to a few more of the older people. Each one was there to sign up for their salary, or in a couple of cases, to help another person to get a salary.

A few weeks later, I told a friend about the experience and got more education. She works for a Social Service agency. She advised me that such SSI recipients are encourages to call their benefits their “salary.”
The self-esteem thing!! How ridiculous can this be. How abusive to responsible working taxpayers!

Later, another friend, a publisher, advised me that a “welfare worker” had been fired in Richmond for asking a welfare recipient why she referred to her funds as her “payment.” What was she paid for?

Now in discussing the debt ceiling, Obama, once again admonishes us that military, retirees, medicare recipients and more won't get paid if he cannot borrow more money. Not a single mention of the dependent voter bloc.... those who feed on the treasury, never contributing anything.

Opening myself up for more criticism, I'll ask “Why should the 72% of s African Americans, 29% of Caucasians and 50% of Hispanics  marry if the federal treasury supports them and their babies -- and their "baby daddies?" By the way, they also make money, "under the table" to supplement the federal payments -- with impunity. If you think it isn't a problem, it's because you don't want to face it. It's a huge problem!

I would like to know how many people are on this roster and what the annual payout is. Maybe an organization like “The Journal News” in NY, who wrongly published the names and addresses of legal gun owners, can do another “public service” and print all the names, locations and addresses of the recipients, the baby daddies and other feeders. Folks sometimes the truth hurts, but it's time to tell it!!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

GUN CONTROL -- EXECUTIVE ORDER


OBAMA MAY ISSUE AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ON GUN CONTROL 

As Obama contemplates an executive order on gun control, according to Biden and news pundits, I can only think of how wrong this would be in that it abrogates the constitution and ignores the wishes of the masses of Americans. But, Obama is totally capable of doing so without hesitation and without thought of its total effect. If he makes the order, it may become the worst Executive Order of all time.

As I write this, I am compelled to think of another executive order that resulted in the collapse of America's economy and created structural problems that will long remain....even though our government representatives, including President Obama, are either ignorant of it or, truthfully, haven't the integrity to admit it. I lost all respect for Bill Clinton during the 2012 election as he campaigned on "the failed policies of the past," yet one of his orders was the key to economic collapse in 2008.

Yes! Clinton's executive order, with Robert Rubin as his partner in crime, to elevate the CRA of Carter to "housing loans for anyone," qualified or not, was an order that should not have been given, arguably the worst of our time. It gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac license to grant loans to unqualified people...even demanded they do so. To be sure, Rubin pushed this for his banker associates and the investment bankers took advantage of the order with SIV's and CDO's, mortgage backed securities which collapsed from sub-prime defaults. Some banks were even forced to grant loans against their better judgement.

Please search the blog, Sept. 4,2012, "Economy -- Truth vs. Obama Mantra." Also another earlier post, "The Economy of the Nineties" focuses on the real factors of the 90's refuting more of the Obama mantra.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

MEDIA BIAS -- OBAMA NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE


Both the broadcast media and the print press are utterly irresponsible and derelict in doing what they are historically charged with doing -- "holding our elected officials accountable." Obama apparently has never been held accountable in his life....not even now as president. WHY?

Reprinted from The Weekly Standard

The Four-Year Honeymoon

Saturday, January 5, 2013

NATIONAL CRITICAL ISSUES -- One reality check of many to come. Debt.


http://www.ntrc.info/doorbell.html

This emblematic  of many reality checks I plan to publish as we analyze the nation's critical issues that go unresolved with the most dysfunctional government of my lifetime and probably for America's lifetime. With President Obama now the patron saint of those whose philosophy is derived from the radical 60s, we are witnessing initiatives that would seem designed to destroy America, not resolve her problems. The national debt, which many (Obama and most of his supporters) believe is of no importance, is foremost among these issues.

Do they not know what the consequences of default mean? Do they care? Seems not. 
 

Friday, January 4, 2013

MEDIA BIAS AGAINST GUNS FOR PROTECTION


 HAVE YOU SEEN THIS IN ANY OF THE MAJOR BROADCAST MEDIA OR PRINT MEDIA?


On Sunday December 17, 2012, 2 days after the CT shooting, a man went to a restaurant in San Antonio to kill his X-girlfriend. After he shot her, most of the people in the restaurant fled next door to a theater. The gunman followed them and entered the theater so he could shoot more people. He started shooting and people in the theater started running and screaming. It’s like the Aurora, CO theater story plus a restaurant! 

Now aren’t you wondering why this isn’t a lead story in the national media along with the school shooting? 

There was an off duty county deputy at the theater. SHE pulled out her gun and shot the man 4 times before he had a chance to kill anyone. So since this story makes the point that the best thing to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, the media is treating it like it never happened. 

Only the local media covered it. The city is giving her a medal next week. Just thought you’d like to know. 

http://hardnoxandfriends.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/san-antonio-theater-shooting/ 

Agenda revealed!  If you had any doubts that the media was pushing for this and who their masters were, doubt no longer.  This is spooky.  Alot of what you read in the ‘conspiracy world’ is bull but there IS alot of truth too..  You just have to sort out the facts yourself.