Tag Archives: Taxes

A Tribute to the Mob…..

A reminder that the fight is just beginning…… not almost over. An inspirational look at how far we have come in the last 5 months, keep up the fight!

“The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale”. – Thomas Jefferson

Quick Hits – More creative thinking from the left…….

 

The Administration sets up its’ U.A.W. Outreach Office

If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress. – Will Rogers

If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don’t get wet you can keep. –Will Rogers

(AP Perrysburg, OH)— President Barack Obama is creating a White House council to handle issues that affect American communities and workers tied to the automotive industry.

“Today’s announcement reiterates the president and vice president’s deep commitment to standing with our auto communities and workers during these very tough economic times. The White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers will ensure that the federal government is responding quickly and accelerating recovery efforts to those communities hardest hit,” said Dr. Montgomery. “It builds on the foundation we have laid over the past months to speed up and increase recovery to the region and ensure workers see a coordinated response from their government.”

The recession has been particularly hard on the auto industry, which has lost more than 400,000 jobs in the last decade. Northwestern Ohio has been hit hard by the job losses, and now is banking on more “green” factory jobs.

I am as empathetic as the next guy and I feel bad that so many auto workers are unemployed. But what about all the other industries with unemployment reaching six figures (Examples; Construction & Printing), who is looking out for them? I guess it is harder to pin down the vote of this worker demographic. Seems like the administration is good at creating government jobs between the new departments they keep setting up and all those Czars, they must have created a few thousand jobs by now. The problem is it requires more taxes to pay all these government salaries and it adds nothing to the GDP.

California cities monkey around as the state goes bankrupt…..

(L.A. Daily News) After hiring a feng shui expert and spending more than $7.4 million on a special exhibit, Los Angeles will not be getting three rare golden monkeys from China promised in a 2002 trip led by former Mayor James Hahn, officials said Wednesday.

“It was a decision by the Chinese government and we’re disappointed,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes the Greater Los Angeles Zoo. “But, it is not a waste. We have a beautiful facility and we will put other animals on display there.” The special exhibit was designed to create the sense of a rural Chinese village.

The agreement to bring in the golden monkeys, identifiable by their blue faces and long flowing blond hair, was developed by Hahn during his trip to China.

He went to China hoping to win a panda exhibit for the zoo, but came back with what was seen as a consolation prize – a commitment by China to loan the city three golden monkeys for 10 years.

Now even the consolation has been withdrawn.

Low‐Income Student Food Program Funds Used for Employee Bonuses – California ($3 million)  

The  San  Diego  school  district  misused  $3  million  in  federal  funds  intended  for  nutrition  programs  to  assist  low‐income  students  by  spending  it  on  bonuses  for  employees  leaving  the  district,  according  to  the  Voice  of  San  Diego.   The funds  were  given  to  the  school  district  by  the  Department  of  Education,  which  had  not  yet  decided  whether  the  school  district  would  be  required  to  pay  back  the  misused  funds. (Source: 2008 Worst Waste of the Year, Sen. Tom Coburn, (R) OK)

So California is going broke, they are considering selling off state monuments but in the tradition of liberal spending, they built three foreign monkeys, coming to LA for a ten year visit, a $7.4 million dollar home with all inclusive service. Meanwhile, in San Diego they are stealing lunch money from low income school kids to provide bonus money to employees leaving (?) the district.  This proves it is better to be an animal or a former school district employee than a homeless person or a low income student in CA – you’ll be treated better. If the administration bails out CA, taxpayers in the rest of the country should refuse to pay their taxes. We can not be expected to continue to bailout fiscally irresponsible states, companies or individuals. It is unfair to those that are responsible.

“We could say they spend money like drunken sailors, but that would be  unfair – to drunken sailors. It would be unfair, because the sailors are  spending their own money.” – Ronald Reagan on Congress  

Barbara Boxer is an egomaniac

Sen. Barbara Boxer* (D-Calif.) didn’t like a Brigadier General calling her “ma’am” at an EPW hearing yesterday.

“Do me a favor,” she said, “could you say ‘senator’ instead of ‘ma’am?’ It’s just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate it, yes, thank you.”

Imagine the nerve of this woman — this ‘servant’ of the people — interrupting a Brigadier General to make sure that he stops referring to her as ma’am and starts calling her by the title she ‘worked so hard for’…

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina was also disturbed by the nomenclature request, calling the Senator a “loose cannon” and an embarrassment to her party.

Unfortunately, this is what passes for Congressional leaders these days. Polite is not good enough, she is a senator – he is only a mere Brigadier General. I’ll say no more…

“Whenever a man (or woman*) has cast a longing eye on [offices,] a rottenness begins in his (her) conduct.” –Thomas Jefferson

Now for some hope, presenting … Intelligent Lawmaker of the Week …

Utah Rep. Chaffetz suggests mail carriers conduct Census

Double duty » Proposal would turn postal workers into counters 

Thomas Burr, Salt Lake Tribune Updated: 06/24/2009 03:23:22 PM MDT

Washington » Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wants your mail carrier to count you.

Chaffetz said Wednesday he will introduce legislation to marry the U.S. Postal Service temporarily with the Census Bureau so that the postal workers can help with the once-a-decade count of how many people live in America.

“They really have the workforce in place to do this,” Chaffetz said. “They already go to everybody’s door.”

Chaffetz proposes taking a “postal holiday,” so that mail carriers, instead of dropping bills and magazines to your mailbox, would count the number of people in each household. The Postal Service matches up well with the Census needs, Chaffetz argues.

There are 760,000 postal employees, and the Census is anticipating it will need 750,000 temporary workers to conduct the Census next year. Congress is forking out $11 billion to do the count while the Postal Service is looking at a $1 billion revenue shortfall this year.

The Postal Service had no comment on the bill because the legislation had yet to be formally introduced Wednesday and Census officials did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.  

Chaffetz says he’s introducing the bill to avoid having the Census hire groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which has been under investigation in several states for voter fraud during the 2008 election.

“The ultimate underlying thing here about the Census is trust,” Chaffetz says. “And people trust postal employees a lot more than somebody just off the street.”

 Meanwhile, Rep. Rob Bishop introduced legislation Wednesday that would force the Census Bureau to count Americans living abroad.

The move is a response to Utah missing out on a fourth congressional seat after the 2000 Census because the bureau did not count thousands of Mormon missionaries serving overseas.

“The Census Bureau could fix this problem right now and count Americans abroad, but they refuse to and are sitting on their hands until Congress makes them do this,” Bishop said. “It seems there is no other solution other than mandating that the Census Bureau change their policy immediately.”

Bishop’s bill follows on the heels of language that Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, tacked onto a funding bill that requires the State Department to study the best way to count Americans abroad.

The amendment is in reaction to the 2000 census when Utah came about 800 people shy of gaining a fourth U.S. House seat. But the census didn’t count Mormon missionaries in foreign countries, a bone of contention with Utah officials who unsuccessfully sued.

Matheson called it “unfair” that LDS missionaries abroad are not counted in the Census.

This is a great idea. Let’s utilize a workforce that is in place, that we trust and needs more to do right now. The government is going to underwrite the massive losses being incurred by the USPS anyway so why not redirect the funding from the census and kill two birds with one stone?

Of course, this is a logical, common sense solution so the question is will Pelosi and Reid allow it to get to the floor for a vote since it wasn’t their idea? Also there is that other minor issue of cutting ACORN out of the deal…..Hmmm, I wonder how that will fly at the White House?

“I love to see honest and honorable men at the helm, men who will not bend their politics to their purses nor pursue measures by which they may profit and then profit by their measures.” –Thomas Jefferson

Things that make you go… Hmmmmmm……..

 

“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.” — Ronald Reagan

I have finally figured out the strategy being employed by the administration – if we do 50 insane things at once, they won’t be able to stop them all!

Here are a few examples of the strategy in action: 

Cash for Clunkers 

As if we haven’t done enough for the auto companies already there is a bill headed out of committee in the House to “jump start new car sales”.

This $4 billion program would provide federal vouchers of up to $4,500 for people to trade in their vehicles for new ones that get better mileage. 

How does the program work: The government would send up to $4,500 to the selling dealer on your behalf, if you: 

1. Trade in a car that — this is a key point — has been registered and in use for at least a year, and has a federal combined city/highway fuel-economy rating of 18 or fewer miles per gallon.

2. Buy a new car, priced at $45,000 or less and rated at least 4 mpg better than the old one (gets a $3,500 voucher). If the new one gets at least 10 mpg better, you get the full $4,500. 

Example: Trade that well-worn 1985 Chevrolet Impala V-8 police special, rated 14 mpg, for a 2009 Impala V-8 rated 19 mpg and the government will kick in $3,500. Downsize to Chevy Cobalt (27 mpg) or even a larger Honda Accord (24 mpg) and get $4,500. (source: USA Today) 

The bill also requires destruction of the trade in vehicles to keep them off the road. The money would be pulled from funds allocated to the Dept of Energy in the stimulus bill. Mileage ratings back to 1985 are available @ : http://www.fueleconomy.gov

President Obama is urging Congress to create consumer incentives for new car purchases but critics say this is an artificial attempt to boost car sales. 

“It’s defying the laws of economics and saying we can manufacture enough of a demand to keep the auto industry afloat,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. 

Seriously, how many more “problems” can the government solve by stepping in and footing the bill. Oh, wait the taxpayers will foot the bill. In the long run, you can’t keep spending money you don’t have unless you raise taxes!  Good thing they didn’t think of this type of program sooner. If they had, instead of those crappy digital converter boxes, everyone without cable could have gotten $500 towards a new flat screen and a voucher for Direct TV. To read more go to: 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31183767/ 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2009-05-11-chrysler-gm-cash-clunkers_N.htm 

Business cell phones and laptops are an “employee benefit” and therefore, that’s right TAXABLE! 

In the 80’s the IRS treated cell phones like company cars requiring users to separate their personal use from business use so they could tax it like income. This was to prevent expensive personal cell phones from being written off as business expenses. (Phones were about$2,000 and air time was $2/minute) 

“The rationale behind this policy perhaps made sense in the 1980s, but it doesn’t reflect how people live their lives and the ubiquitous nature of cell phones,” Sprint Nextel spokesman John Taylor told The Washington Post

Under the proposed rule the IRS is asking companies to charge 25% of cell phone use as personal and treat it as taxable income. They are also looking at extending these rules to texting, email, the internet and use of a company laptop. This makes the rope that ties you to your job 24/7 a benefit! 

The alternative to the flat 25% tax approach would be to pay only for actual usage by creating a log to create a record of actual use. 

“Do we really want employees to, instead of being productive, spend their day logging every e-mail they send, every Web site they browse and every time they use GPS?” asked Howard Woolley, senior vice president of Verizon Wireless. 

For hard working Americans everywhere, this is another slap in the face. For most employees that carry a company phone or laptop it is not a choice – it is a requirement. Where will this end? This is just another clever attempt to raise money through taxes to fund all the programs we can’t afford but are implementing anyway. To read more, go to:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061203897.html 

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/business/The-Tax-Man-Comes-Calling—-on-Your-Cell-Phone.html 

Soda you think we should tax pop? 

Speaking of things that we can’t afford to pay for what about healthcare reform – with an estimated price tag of $1.2 trillion, we will need to find some new sources of revenue. 

Fear not, the Senate has an idea. Presenting the “soda” tax. The plan is to place an excise tax on regular soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. Diet drinks would be exempt. The proposed tax at 3 cents per 12 oz. can would raise an estimated $6 billion annually. 

The logic is that these drinks are bad for you and therefore taxing you for their consumption is a good way to help fund healthcare. Supporters of the tax point to research indicating that consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks can result in obesity and diabetes. The tax theoretically would save medical costs by lowering consumption which would reduce health problems. 

Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is pushing the idea, said in his testimony. “Soft drinks are nutritionally worthless…[and] are directly related to weight gain, partly because beverages are more conducive to weight gain than solid foods.” (source: CBS News)

So what’s next?  Alcohol is already foregone conclusion. Butw atch out ice cream, cookies, cakes and pies could be next. This might not be as far fetched as it seems. In our new environment of “change” nothing has proven to be off limits. 

This just another example of the new “nanny state” approach to government, you know where the government decides what is best for us in every aspect of our lives. For more details, go to: 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124208505896608647.html 

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/05/12/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5009316.shtml 

President to propose new government power to seize key businesses 

The Obama administration this week will propose the most significant new regulation of the financial industry since the Great Depression, including a new watchdog agency to look out for consumers’ interests.

Under the plan, expected to be released Wednesday, the government would have new powers to seize key companies — such as insurance giant American International Group Inc. — whose failure jeopardizes the financial system. Currently, the government’s authority to seize companies is mostly limited to banks. (source: L.A.Times) 

The Federal Reserve, already arguably the most powerful agency in the U.S. government, will get sweeping new authority to regulate any company whose failure could endanger the U.S. economy and markets under the Obama administration’s regulatory overhaul plan. (source: The Washington Post) 

Here we go again – sweeping change to SEIZE private businesses and more authority for the Federal Reserve the one “government agency” that can hide behind banker privileges and not be compelled to answer questions by Congress. More government power, more government oversight…. This looks less and less like America all the time! What is it going to take to scare people into fighting back? Read more at: 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/16/plan-gives-fed-sweeping-power-over-companies/?feat=home_headlines 

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-financial-regs16-2009jun16,0,4262249.story 

Today’s Cool Quote: 

Liberals believe that men–left to their own devices–are not to be trusted. They also believe in the goodness of government; a government composed of men. This paradox may help explain why many liberals are angry much of the time.” –RE Bierce

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” 
James Madison 

The Waxman Markey Climate Change Bill (Part 4)…… The Potential Impact

In the final installment of this series, I will pull together the factors of this bill that will ultimately impact all Americans if signed into law. A bill like this comes with a price tag that is not inconsequential. 

“The answer to global warming is in the abolition of private property and production for human need. A socialist world would place an enormous priority on alternative energy sources. This is what ecologically-minded socialists have been exploring for quite some time now.” – Louis Proyect, Columbia University 

So here is a list highlighting a number of things that will be impacted. 

The Economy at Large:  

Job Loss: There will be fall out in the form of lost jobs as a result of this bill being passed into law. American companies will be faced with significantly higher energy costs as a result of the cap-and-tax plan and other provisions in the bill. This will put U.S. based manufacturing facilities at a competitive disadvantage with plants in other parts of the world not forced to play on the same field of “environmental stewardship”. 

This could result in millions of American jobs going overseas. The bill also mandates conceptual, unproven technologies for coal-fired plants which could result in plant closings if they are not able to comply with the new federal regulations. This could increase dependence on natural gas causing an increase in prices. 

Proponents of the bill claim the opposite; this will result in millions of new “green” jobs. Reality check – the new industries and jobs will require significant capital investment, research and can not be launched quickly enough to offset the losses. In other words, the ramp up is longer than the ramp down. Considering the current state of our national economy the timing of such an initiative seems potentially disastrous. 

Higher Energy Costs: The proposed regulations in the bill require a new Federal Renewable Energy Standard. The standard starts at a minimum of 6% in 2012 and escalates to 25% by 2025. The Department of Energy will issue utilities “credits” for renewable energy they generate which can be sold, transferred, or exchanged.  If a utility cannot meet the RES it would be required to purchase credits to make up the difference. In effect this becomes a hidden tax and a new source of revenue for the government. To offset these costs the utility companies will pass them on to their customers, ultimately resulting in higher energy prices for everyone. The problem here is that currently renewable energy technology is neither efficient nor cost competitive which is why it is not being implemented in a wide spread manner yet. Forcing the market to adopt this technology before it is ready will cause prices to increase rapidly. This mandate in effect put the Dept. of Energy in charge of the energy market. There are also concerns that a RES would impose a uniform federal standard on States despite varying sources of renewable resources.  Southeastern states would be especially hard hit.  

There are many other requirements that also will drive up energy costs up in this bill. Here are a few examples:

Cap and Tax – This issue requires a blog of its’ own. Please see my April 25th blog titled “Cap and Trade” or “Bait and Switch”  

Carbon capture and sequestration – This is the term used to describe a technology that captures carbon at its source and stores it before it is released into the atmosphere.  Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is designed to be a method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere.  In general, any CCS system would have the following components: (1) capturing and separating CO2 from other byproducts; (2) compressing and transporting the captured CO2 to the sequestration site; and (3) sequestering CO2 in geological reservoirs or in the oceans. This is not only as ridiculous as it sounds but it creates yet another expense that will need to be passed on to the end user. How much do you suppose it will cost to “dispose” of carbon dioxide? We better hope they never apply this logic to methane or nobody will be able to afford hamburger! 

Smart Grid – This is a distribution system that allows information to flow from a customer’s electric meter in two directions: both inside the house to thermostats, appliances and other devices then back to the utility. The bill facilitates the deployment of a Smart Grid, including measures to use it to reduce utility peak loads and promote capabilities in new home appliances.  States and utilities would determine and publish peak demand reduction goals. The goals would specify a reduction to a lower peak demand by 2012.  The bill also directs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reform the regional planning process to modernize the electric grid plus provide new transmission lines to carry electricity generated from renewable sources. 

New Transmission Lines – The bill does not adequately address the need for new transmission lines the RES will require. These transmission lines would likely be subject to not-in-my-backyard opposition that impedes permitting. How the states and utilities will work through these issues remains to be seen but it will likely be expensive and challenging. Also additional costs for renewable energy transmitted from far away resources across longer transmission lines to states without such resources could further impact prices. 

Nationalizing the Grid – Under this bill the Federal Power Act is amended to require the FERC to adopt grid planning principles to achieve national policy goals. These goals include energy efficiency, a Smart Grid, and underground transmission technologies. Although better transmission infrastructure is the key to reliability, nationalizing the development of the grid might nationalize costs and raise questions on eminent domain. Again any program that the government is in charge of planning is going to drive up costs not efficiencies. 

Industrial Energy Efficiency – Under this plan the Dept. of Energy would develop industrial energy efficiency certification standards.  It also establishes a financial award program for electric or thermal energy generation facilities, which currently use fossil or nuclear fuel. Theoretically, this would encourage additional types of thermal energy production.  The legislation authorizes “such sums” for these awards. 

Building Energy Efficiency – The bill also contains several “energy efficiency programs” for commercial and residential buildings.  The legislation sets targets for national building codes to make a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency within three years, and a 50 percent improvement starting with building codes released in 2016 and beyond using 2004 or 2006 codes as a baseline.  The Federal government will provide funding to States to implement these requirements. 

Lighting and Appliance Energy Efficiency – There will be several new federal standards for lighting and household appliances.  The bill would create a new standard for outdoor lighting fixtures effective in 2011, with progressively tougher standards by 2015.  The legislation would place new energy standards on appliances and would even make it a federal offense to sell appliances that do not meet the new requirements. 

International Reserve Allowance Program – Border tax adjustments or border tax assessments, are import fees levied by carbon-capping countries on goods manufactured in non-carbon-capping countries. We used to call these tariffs. The bill establishes a program to set up binding agreements committing all major greenhouse gas emitting nations to contribute equitably to the reduction of global GHG emissions.  Since we can not require foreign nations to cap their own emissions, the bill establishes a border adjustment program to require foreign manufacturers and importers to purchase emission allowances to “cover” the carbon emitted in the production of products being sold in the United States. The idea is to provide U.S. manufacturers competitive relief against their foreign counterparts. Any cost to foreign producers will be passed on to U.S. consumers.  Not only will domestic products be more expensive, but so will foreign goods. This will likely have devastating effects on free trade and foreign relationships.  

We, as Americans, have a duty to be good stewards of the planet. We have a responsibility to improve the way we generate energy and manage the earth’s resources. However, living up to these responsibilities does not require us to abandon the principles of government that made our nation strong and powerful. We have a responsibility to future generations of Americans which in addition to a healthy environment includes leaving them a free, sovereign and prosperous nation like the one our parents and grandparents left us. We do not have to choose between the American Dream and a healthy planet – we can have both. We certainly do not need a bunch of politicians and left wing scientists with an agenda manufacturing a crisis to do their own experiment in social re-engineering. 

“I think if we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have an ecological society under socialism. I don’t think it’s possible under capitalism.” – Judi Barri, Earth First

General Electric (NYSE:GE) is the parent company of the major media conglomerate NBC Universal, which owns media outlets NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. At times that has led to the lines between corporate advocacy and journalism being blurred. GE C.E.O. Immelt used his platform at CNBC to make the case for a cap-and-trade program to curb emissions – something Obama has called for and one Congressional committee is debating this week. “There’s going to have to be a price for carbon,” Immelt said. “In some way, shape of form, you’re going to have to create some certainty. You have to make technology your friend in this debate. ….. I think about things like global warming. We’ve been on this for four or five years.” Immelt contended he wasn’t an environmentalist, despite criticism that his networks’ have patterns of promoting the green agenda. Immelt told “Squawk Box” the science surrounding man-caused global warming was “compelling” and that it was only a matter of time before something will be done about carbon emissions. The General Electric CEO said he favored a cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon emissions versus a carbon tax. – source: Business and Media Institute 5/20/09

More government intervention is not the answer to improving the environment. Besides, the science does not support the claims the U.N., Al Gore, the media and other fear mongers are making. We do not need to redistribute our wealth as the socialist environmentalists are demanding. We also do not need to make elite multi-national corporations any richer. GE is an example of just such a company. They have used their media empire (NBC, CNBC & MSNBC) to promote fear with heavy handed marketing of the “green” agenda and climate change issues. Meanwhile, they have heavily invested in alternative energy establishing a huge footprint in wind power, solar power as well as smart grids and those high efficiency appliances I mentioned earlier. GE also spent an estimated $20 million on lobbying efforts in support of their “green” business plan. Also just for good measure, GE recently announced the launch of a new subsidiary called Greenhouse Gas Services, which will facilitate the trading of carbon tax credits. There is your answer on why Mr. Immelt prefers carbon credits to carbon taxes! Do you suppose they have a motive that goes beyond their corporate concern for a healthy planet? 

The net result of this unfathomable bill will be higher energy prices, reduced global competitiveness, continued job loss, more government regulation, a stifling of free markets and a reduction of the standard of living for all Americans. This bill has the potential to effectively kill what remains of capitalism in our country. We must block this legislation. We can improve our environmental stewardship without killing our economic system. Write your Congressional and Senatorial representatives and tell them to vote for America by voting against this bill. Our country’s future as a sovereign world leader depends on it. 

“The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States: We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the U.S. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are. And it is important to the rest of the world to make sure that they don’t suffer economically by virtue of our stopping them.”—Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund

The Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill (Part1)……What is it?

I will apologize in advance for posting so much information that is already in the public domain but I thought if I can put it all in one place maybe you could scan it and use it as a reference with Part 2  – nobody wants to read it not even congress. 

First up we have a summary of the bill from the legislators that wrote/sponsored it. 

The U.S. House of Representatives – Committee on Energy and Commerce 

The Waxman-Markey discussion draft, “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” is comprehensive energy legislation. The legislation will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence, and cut global warming pollution. 

The legislation has four titles: (1) a “clean energy” title that promotes renewable sources of energy and carbon capture and sequestration technologies, low-carbon transportation fuels, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission; (2) an “energy efficiency” title that increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry; (3) a “global warming” title that places limits on the emissions of heat-trapping pollutants; and (4) a “transitioning” title that protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy. 

To read the entire draft bill go to:

http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090331/acesa_discussiondraft.pdf 

So how does the bill deal with cap & tax? Below is a summary from GreenBiz.com: 

The bill aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and would give away up to 85 percent of the pollution permits in a proposed cap-and-trade program.  

Here is the breakdown of the permit allocation:

• 15 percent of the carbon permits will be auctioned off (proceeds will go toward helping low- and moderate-income families)

The rest will be given away as follows:

• 35 percent for electric utility sector, including 30 percent for distribution companies and 5 percent for privately owned coal companies
• 15 percent for carbon-intensive industries, such as steel and cement, in 2014 (reduced by 2 percent every year)
• 10 percent for states for renewable energy and efficiency investment from 2012 to 2015 (reduced to 5 percent between 2016 to 2022)
• 9 percent for local natural gas distribution companies (reduced to zero between 2026 and 2030)
• 5 percent for tropical deforestation projects
• 3 percent for automakers toward advanced technologies through 2017 (reduced to 1 percent from 2018 and 2025)
• 2 percent for domestic adaptation to climate change between 2012 and 2021 (increases to 4 percent between 2022 to 2026, to 8 percent in 2027)
• 2 percent for international adaptation and clean technology transfer from 2012 to 2021 (increases to 4 percent between 2022 to 2026, to 8 percent in 2027)
• 2 percent for carbon capture and storage technology from 2014 and 2017 (increases to 5 percent after 2018)
• 2 percent for oil refineries from 2014 to 2026
• 1.5 percent for programs helping home heating oil and propane users (reduced to zero between 2026 and 2030)
• 1 percent for Clean Energy Innovation Centers for R&D funding
• 0.5 percent for job training from 2012 to 2021 (increases to 1 percent after 2022)
 

There is a combined renewable energy and energy efficiency standard of 20 percent by 2020 (15 percent for renewable energy and 5 percent in energy efficiency). If a state cannot meet the requirement, its governor may cut the renewable target to 12 percent and boost the energy efficiency goal to 8 percent.“This bill marks the dawn of the clean energy age,” said Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in a statement. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revive our economy and create millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.”

 

The bill, however, has some environmental groups expressing concern and recommending outright rejection.

“Congressmen Waxman and Markey have done an admirable job satisfying a lot of competing interests,” Liz Perera, Washington representative for Union of Concerned Scientists’ Climate Program in a statement. “But now, as the bill moves forward, Congress needs to strengthen many of the bill’s provisions to ensure that we dramatically cut emissions, save consumers money, and strengthen our economy with a well-designed climate and energy policy.”Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen and TheCLEAN.org coalition are calling for politicians to dump the bill and start over. 

 

Next we have a response document from GOP.gov, The website of Republicans in Congress: 

The Waxman-Markey Climate Legislation: Higher Energy Prices, Fewer Jobs, and More Government Intrusion

STATUS

On March 31, 2009, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Waxman (D-CA) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Markey (D-MA) released their draft “American Clean Energy and Security” legislation. Both Chairman Waxman and Chairman Markey plan on considering their bill in Committee over the next few weeks.

Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket … that will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers … -President Barack Obama, Meeting with the Editorial Board at the San Francisco Chronicle, January, 2008

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Just shy of 650 pages, the Waxman-Markey bill contains four sections outlining mandates for renewable energy, mandates for energy efficiency, an incomplete cap-and-tax proposal, and a “transitioning” section focused on forestalling expected job loss. With regard to the cap-and-tax proposal in the bill, there are no specifics on how CO2 emissions allowances would be allocated to energy producers-in other words, will they be free or auctioned, and at what price. Therefore, the bill provides little for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to use to calculate its economic impact. However, in contrast to the details which are conveniently left out of the bill, there are plenty of details on how the plan increases energy prices, strains the economy, reduces jobs, and intrudes into private citizens lives.

– Higher Energy Prices: The bill imposes a national cap-and-tax regime that will tax every domestic energy producer for their carbon emissions-a tax which will inevitably be passed onto consumers. Independent researchers, CBO, and the President all agree that this cost will be passed to consumers. Furthermore, other provisions in the bill also increase the cost of energy, such as a new federal renewable electricity standard that will likely cause electricity prices to spike.

– Fewer Jobs: The bill does little to address the enormous loss of jobs that will ensue when U.S. industries absorb the cost of the cap-and-tax plan and other provisions, likely sending millions of American jobs overseas. In addition, the bill mandates undeveloped technologies for coal-fired plants, causing coal-fired plants to close when they cannot comply with federal regulation.

– More Government Intrusion: The bill creates a host of new federal mandates on everything from outdoor light bulbs and table lamps to water dispensers, commercial hot food cabinets, and Jacuzzis. The bill would also increase the demand for electricity (to fuel vehicles via new transportation mandates) at the same time as the other portions of the bill cause consumer electricity costs to spike.

To read the full response with point by point rebuttal go to:
http://www.gop.gov/policy-news/09/04/21/the-waxman-markey-climate-legislation 

This might be the most dangerous piece of legislation to come out of the House of Representatives this year from an economic impact standpoint (which considering what they have done so far that is saying something). This piece of legislation is Al Gore and environmentalists dream come true. Well almost, apparently the folks at Greenpeace and tree hugger.com can not support the bill in its’ watered down form. It is 650 pages of economic devastation and of course, nobody had time to read it. So in case the request was made for the bill to be read out loud as is often required the Democrats hired a speed reader – this is not a joke – they really hired a speed reader! 

First, let me say I do not really trust the Republicans or the Democrats in this dispute. However, common sense tells you that there are a multitude of unanswered questions in the global warming debate. This should lead one to wonder who the winners and losers in this are going to be. History shows that any time the government wants to create regulations like these somebody is going to get rich. More to come…..

The Truth about Change…..there is plenty of change but is it really what you want……

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” -Mark Twain 

So in a 100+ days we have seen more sweeping changes in our government than we have in the last 25 years, but is it the change we want? We have witnessed a full scale assault on our system of government, our economy, our security, states’ rights and our national sovereignty. Government spending, intervention, regulation and oversight is at an all-time high. Our Constitution is being shredded by an arrogant approach to governing that starts with the premise that the government knows what is best for us. Ironically,  the Constitution was written and designed to protect our rights from just this type of governing. 

Here is a quick list of some of the adventures the new administration and the current Congress have taken us on so far, in no particular order: 

The Stimulus Bill – (N.Y. Times) Feb 14th “The president made clear when we started this process that this was about jobs,” Mr. Boehner (R) Ohio, said after the vote. “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. And what it’s turned into is nothing more than spending, spending and more spending.” “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” – White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel This was undoubtedly part of the logic behind the $787 million stimulus bill that nobody in Congress read. The bill was a democrat’s wish list which contained such stimulating items as $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.  Plus  $252 billion is for income-transfer payments — that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There’s $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don’t pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren’t job creators.*  source* -The Wall Street Journal  The only jobs we are creating are government jobs – 66,000 census workers and 800 IRS agents.  (Category – Excessive Spending) 

Closing Guantanamo Bay – On Jan. 22nd, President Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay.  On May 18th, the democrats denied President Obama’s request for $80 million to close Guantanamo Bay. “When they (the administration) have a plan, they’re welcome to come back and talk to us about it.” – House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) Apparently, lawmakers are concerned about what would happen to the roughly 245 current Guantanamo inmates, many considered hardened terrorists particularly which congressional districts they would land in. Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) said the Justice Dept. was prepared earlier this month to release Guantanamo prisoners into his district — which the administration denied — and he called for a moratorium on such releases. “We need a plan. We need to know where these men will go,” Mr. Wolf said. (Category – National Security) 

Release of the “torture memos” – April16th,  (CBS News) -“Withholding these memos would only serve to deny facts that have been in the public domain for some time,” Mr. Obama said. “This could contribute to an inaccurate accounting of the past, and fuel erroneous and inflammatory assumptions about actions taken by the United States.” (WSJ) – “The four memos from 2002 and 2005 revealed new details about the interrogations, including a detailed description of water boarding, or simulated drowning, and descriptions of lesser-known methods such as “walling” and using insects. Sections involving names of some detainees and the way techniques were applied to particular prisoners were blacked out.” This should really improve our national security and relations with Muslims everywhere. The administration’s arrogance was on full display as this was done over the objections of their own CIA Chief Leon Panetta and others in the U.S. intelligence community. (Category – National Security) 

Greenhouse gases are harmful – April 17th, The Obama Administration used its’ regulatory power to circumvent the need to try and force unpopular legislation. Instead, the EPA announced that greenhouse gas emissions were a threat to public health because they contribute to climate change. This sets the stage for the EPA to regulate emissions from a wide spectrum of sources including vehicles, power plants, manufacturing facilities, oil refineries and airplanes. The executive branch trumped the legislative process to further their agenda by cutting off a congressional debate that they couldn’t win. We still live in America – don’t we? (Category – Excessive Government Regulation) 

The apology tour – President Obama has made a habit of using his speeches abroad to apologize for American behavior in the past. Here are some highlights.

Ÿ         Jan. 26: “All too often the United States starts by dictating … and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen. And I think if we do that, then there’s a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs. … My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”
President Obama, in an interview with Al Arabiya

Ÿ         April 1: “If you look at the sources of this crisis, the United States certainly has some accounting to do with respect to a regulatory system that was inadequate.”
President Obama, at a press conference ahead of the G20 in London

Ÿ         April 2: “It is true, as my Italian friend has said, that the (economic) crisis began in the U.S. I take responsibility, even if I wasn’t even president at the time.”
President Obama, at the G20 in London, as reported by Germany’s Der Spiegel

Ÿ         April 6: “I know there have been difficulties these last few years. I know that the trust that binds us has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. Let me say this as clearly as I can: the United States is not at war with Islam.”
President Obama, in Ankara, Turkey

Ÿ         April 16: “Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas. My administration is committed to renewing and sustaining a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.”
President Obama, in an op-ed that appeared in U.S. and Latin American newspapers prior to the Summit of the Americas

Ÿ         April 18: “We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations.”
President Obama, at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad

Ÿ         Is this a new form of “statesmanship”? Are these the positions that we want our leader expressing to the rest of the world. We are not a perfect nation but we are a good and generous one. We give the rest of the world billions of dollars a year in foreign aid and relief efforts trying to make it a better place. Let’s be honest – the hardworking people of our country are not the ones who are benefiting from the political hi-jinx that our politicians pull around the world – they and their cronies do! The only thing, “We, the people” need to apologize for is electing some of these idiots, in the first place. 

Remember the words of George Washington“’Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from Nation to Nation. ‘Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard. …….. ‘Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.” (Categories – National Security/Foreign Policy/National Sovereignty) 

The Chrysler Bailout/Bankruptcy – (N.Y.Times) WASHINGTON — President Obama forced Chrysler into federal bankruptcy protection on Thursday so it could pursue a lifesaving alliance with the Italian automaker Fiat, in yet another extraordinary intervention into private industry by the federal government.  – This intervention resulted in the UAW getting a 55% ownership share in Chrysler for about $4.2 billion while the taxpayers got about 8% for our $12 billion. Really! This is the kind of good deals you get when the government gets involved with business. So far the buy out has only saved union and management jobs . On the other side of the equation, the 789 dealerships closing will result in the loss of another 30,000 jobs in communities of every size nationwide. Many of these are family run businesses left holding inventories of cars and parts. Watch out GM is next. (Categories – Excessive Spending/Government Intervention) 

The G20 Rollover –  (Telegraph.co.uk) A single clause in Point 19 of the communiqué issued by the G20 leaders amounts to revolution in the global financial order. “We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity,” it said. SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund that has lain dormant for half a century. In effect, the G20 leaders have activated the IMF’s power to create money and begin global “quantitative easing”. With this agreement President Obama helped lay the groundwork for global financial regulation. The creation of a Financial Stability Board is the first step towards an international financial regulator. These moves are designed to strengthen the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and possibly create a new world currency. In the future, the FSB could/will technically be able to impose global financial regulations that the SEC would be obliged to follow. Welcome to the New World Order, goodbye sovereignty! (Categories – Economic Security/Foreign Policy/National Sovereignty) 

Executive Pay Limits – May 15th  , (N.Y. Times), Obama Administration officials are contemplating a major overhaul of the compensation practices in the financial services industry, moving beyond banks to include more loosely regulated hedge funds and private equity firms. Federal policymakers have been discussing ways to ensure that pay is more closely linked to performance. Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who heads the Financial Services Committee, said he believed giving the government new authority to take over troubled companies could be adopted by the House. “This would give the government the same powers that you would get as if the company were in bankruptcy,” Mr. Frank said in an interview shortly after meeting with Mr. Geithner on the plan. But Mr. Frank and other lawmakers said other elements of the plan could take more time, like expanding the authority of the Federal Reserve to become a systemic regulator. Among the ideas under consideration are incorporating compensation as a “safety and soundness” concern on official bank examinations as well as expanding the existing regulatory powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve to obtain more information. This sounds an awful lot like socialism, today banks, financial services companies and hedge funds – tomorrow?  Is your job next?   And ….. Where in the constitution does the government get this authority? I guess if you control salaries the redistribution of wealth model is easier to manage.   (Categories – Government Intervention) 

The administration will tell you that all of this is being done to protect the country and for the general welfare of its’ citizens. To which our founding fathers would have responded as follows: 

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” James Madison 

This only a handful of the examples that illustrate that the federal government is out of control. There are many more spanning a broad spectrum of categories from nationalizing private businesses, retroactive taxes, state’s rights, financial regulation and continued bailouts to plans to “reform” health care , gun laws, cap & trade and card check. It is the time to this stop madness. 

We are careening down the road toward socialism at an incredible rate of speed. Politics long ago replaced leadership, statesmanship and governing. The elected officials and bureaucrats in Washington have thrown our constitution and all the values used to create it out the window. The federal government  has pushed citizens and the states aside, in an effort to take total control. We can not let this happen. You need to write or contact every elected official in your voting district. Tell them to cease and desist or they will lose their jobs. The time to act is now. Let’s take back America!

Obamanomics 101, closing the loopholes ……..

(NPR, All Things Considered) May 4, 2009 · President Obama sent a broadside Monday across the bow of those companies that now avoid taxes by keeping much of their business on the books of offshore subsidiaries. The practice is perfectly legal right now (1), but the White House wants that to change. 

President Obama vowed Monday to “detect and pursue” American tax evaders(2) and go after their offshore tax shelters. 

In announcing a series of steps aimed at overhauling the U.S. tax code, Obama complained that existing law makes it possible to “pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, N.Y.” 

The president said he wants to prevent U.S. companies from deferring tax payments by keeping profits in foreign countries rather than recording them at home, and called for more transparency in bank accounts that Americans hold in notorious tax havens like the Cayman Islands. 

“If financial institutions won’t cooperate with us, we will assume that they are sheltering money in tax havens and act accordingly,” Obama said. (3) 

The president, who hammered on this issue during his long campaign for the White House, said at a White House event that his plan would generate $210 billion in new taxes over 10 years and “make it easier” for companies to create jobs at home. (4) Over a decade, $210 billion would make a modest dent in a federal deficit expected to swell to $1.2 trillion in 2010. 

He said the government also is hiring nearly 800 new IRS agents to enforce the U.S. tax code. (5) 

Under the plan, companies would not be able to write off domestic expenses for generating profits abroad. The goal is to reduce the incentive for U.S. companies to base all or part of their operations in other countries. (6a) 

“The plan will reduce the ability of U.S. companies to compete in foreign markets,” said John Castellani, who heads the Business Roundtable, which represents some of the largest U.S. companies. “We believe it will not only reduce jobs, but it will also cripple economic growth here in the United States. It just couldn’t have come at a worse time.”

Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says eliminating the deduction on U.S. expenses associated with foreign profits would encourage multinationals to move more of their essential functions abroad. (6b) 

“Those are the good jobs at good pay that America should want,” Hufbauer said. “I mean, do we want these headquarters’ expenses to be incurred in Singapore or London?” (6c) 

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the proposals would end “indefensible tax breaks and loopholes which allow some companies and some well-off citizens to evade the rules that the rest of America lives by.” (7) Geithner called them “common-sense changes designed to restore balance to our tax code.” 

Once again I ask you  – can you believe what you just read? I highlighted in the copy some key statements woven into this story. Here are my observations based on these key statements in the same order they appear in the story. 

  1. First and very important to note, while the administration may not like it, the practice they are complaining about is not illegal.
  2. Even though it is not illegal, the President referred to the users of this “legal loophole” as “American tax evaders.” He also vowed to “detect and pursue” them. What does that mean? If it’s not illegal, does this mean the administration plans to bully, harass and attempt to publicly embarrass these companies? At a minimum it means that Obama’s full scale assault on capitalism and American business will continue. The administration seems to be intent on making the business community the bad guys for everything in the eyes of the public. Of course, the savior for the average citizen in “Obama World” is more government oversight and control.
  3. Now for the scariest statement in the article “If financial institutions won’t cooperate with us, we will assume that they are sheltering money in tax havens and act accordingly,”  – what does he mean by this? In America, there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. We don’t assume guilt and persecute. Plus let’s not forget that what these companies are doing is not illegal under the current rules. The financial institutes the President is referring to are in foreign countries so what is their incentive to cooperate with his administration? So without the cooperation of these foreign institutes the result will mostly likely be a smear campaign against these “evil corporations”.
  4. The President goes on to assert that by closing these loopholes it will “make it easier” for companies to create jobs at home. What?? So paying higher taxes will stimulate job growth? What school of economics teaches this business theory? This quite possibly the dumbest thing I have heard from the administration so far.
  5. We are also finally getting to see how the president is going to stimulate job growth. He is going to make government bigger by adding IRS agents to persecute real businesses. This will result in increased job loss in the private sector. Is it possible to have a prosperous economy with a giant government workforce? Who are you going to tax in that model? The last time this model was tried we referred to it as the Soviet Union and as I recall their economy collapsed.
  6. (a, b,& c) In yet another stroke of business genius, the administration asserts that by eliminating certain write off and deductions it will reduce the incentive for U.S. companies to base all or part of their operations in other countries. However, conventional wisdom would indicate just the opposite is likely to occur. Rather than moving things back to the U.S., it is more likely that large multinational companies would move their headquarters offshore taking high paying executive and management positions with them.
  7. Of course this brilliant strategy would not have been be complete without a comment on this “common sense” approach to fair taxes by everyone’s favorite “tax evader” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who is certainly an expert on “indefensible tax breaks and loopholes which allow ……some well-off citizens to evade the rules that the rest of America lives by.” Apparently it is O.K. to be a “tax cheat” as long as you have a cabinet post but “make no mistake”, this won’t be tolerated in the private sector. The arrogance of this administration is at times overwhelming considering how little any of them seem to understand about how business works in the real world. Maybe they should all go get a job at a company that produces a product. Then they could learn what it takes to satisfy customers, to stay competitive, and make a profit so that the business can succeed. 

So what is the solution – instead of creating more ways to tax businesses which drives jobs to other countries, let’s lower business taxes to stimulate job growth domestically. The U.S. has some of the highest business taxes in the industrialized world which is why jobs are leaving the country. The U.S. has been steadily climbing the world rankings for business taxes. We are currently ranked #1. Since 2000, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Greece, Italy and Mexico have all lowered their business taxes to stimulate business growth, some by more than 10%. Since 1993 U.S. business tax rates have remained virtually flat. Currently, the effective federal business tax rate is 39.3% in the U.S. which is down from 39.4% in 2000. Japan is at 30% down from 40.9% in 2000. However most of Europe has rates between 25 and 35%. Of course, China arguably the world’s largest competitor is communist and they succeed in the global economy on the back of their people and the ability to play by their own rules. 

This administration has capitalism and business squarely in it’s sights. America became the great nation it is by becoming the preeminent economic force in the world. Government jobs do not improve the economy or the GNP. The only way that America can remain a powerful and respected nation that can protect its’ people, its’ sovereignty and its’ way of life is to remain an economic powerhouse. The only way this happens is, we change our tax laws to make America more competitive, instead of forcing us to compete with one hand tied behind our back. 

I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it’s time America was run like a business. – Donald Trump 

The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, the public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.  – Ross Perot

Calling all Leaders, Statesmen and Patriots……………..

“Come forward, then, and give us the aid of your talents and the weight of your character towards the new establishment of republicanism.” –Thomas Jefferson to Robert Livingston, 1800.

 Warning: Today’s blog is mostly based on my opinion, observations and perception of what I see going on in Washington, the government and the media.  The things I see could cause me to lose faith and hope in our great country but I refuse to give in to those feelings. Instead, I am recommitting myself to spreading the word, partnering with others who also refuse to give in and making a passionate call to American citizens across our country to step forward. It is time to get involved and make a difference.

Webster offers a couple of variations on the definition of a “politician” but the one that seems most fitting these days is “one who seeks partisan or personal gain often by crafty or dishonest means.”

In recent years it seems we have had a difficult time attracting anyone other than “politicians” to take leadership roles in our government, real leaders want less and less to do with elected office. This is most likely due to the harsh light cast on those in public life. The level of personal scrutiny that an individual must endure to embark on the path to public service is enough to scare off most sane people.

 Successful, intelligent and ethical individuals who have lived a “normal” life and made common mistakes shy away from throwing their hat in the ring. The personal sacrifices that they and their families must make are often too steep a price to pay for the privilege of serving ones’ country, state or community.

Ironically, character is often what is most lacking in today’s political leaders. Yet the very mistakes, trials and tribulations that become the subject of scrutiny are often the life changing experiences that build character and moral fiber. 

And of course, there are the games, compromises and the abandonment of values that seems to be a requirement of “getting anything done.” 

Today’s politicians have become largely a collection of “actors’ playing the part of leaders. They have self serving agendas that are equally split between their personal goals and repaying debts to those who supported their candidacy. Most are career politicians who have made a job out of “public service”. 

How do we change this trend? How do we get real leaders and statesmen to get involved in government again? Let’s start electing real people with character, ethics, morals and flaws, who were forged in the real world under fire.

We need:

  • principled men and women who are willing to represent the values of their constituents and do what’s best for their country, their state or community
  • true leaders that will not mortgage our future for short term victories or sell their values to the highest bidder in exchange for support on an item they want
  • leaders who have common sense, love their country and believe in the American dream

 I’ll close the same way I opened with the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson:

 “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, rottenness begins in his conduct.”  – Thomas Jefferson

 “Public offices were not made for private convenience.” -Thomas Jefferson

 “I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.” – Thomas Jefferson

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” – Thomas Jefferson

Calling all Leaders, Statesmen and Patriots……………..

After the Tea Party………….

So what’s next? Now that the Tea Parties are over, will those who participated go quietly into the night after having their moment in the sun as many in the liberal media are predicting? If our little group in St. Paul, MN is any indication, I think not.
 

 

As our emcee Sue Jeffers said, “This isn’t a one-time hissy fit; this is the start of something big.”
Our grassroots steering team is already planning future events for July 4th (Independence Day) and Sept. 17th (Constitution Day). We are also going support the events of other groups that became part of the coalition that made our event so successful, starting with the Jason Lewis Tax cut Rally on May 2nd.

The inaccurate media coverage and the continued bashing of the Tea Parties by the liberal press has only strengthened our commitment to our message and our cause. We are not a bunch of right wing extremists trying to be disruptive; we are concerned citizens trying to make our voices heard and participate in our political process. We are not protesting people or political parties; we are protesting the direction and policies of the current Congress and the new Administration.

Our issues are:

 

·  excessive taxes

·  out of control government spending

·  nationalization of private businesses

·  redistribution of wealth

·  the T.A.R.P. bailout plan

·  loss of individual freedoms

·  excessive government regulation

·  socialized medicine

·  loss of national sovereignty

 

It is time for concerned citizens everywhere to find a way to get involved. We have a unique right as Americans to participate in the process of government. If you value your freedom, you have a responsibility to exercise these rights. Our Constitution is the most original government charter every created and it gives to Americans guarantees of liberties and freedoms that exist no where else in the world. Those rights and freedoms fueled America’s greatness, the American Dream and the innovation that made us the most powerful nation in the world.

 

As Dr. W. Cleon Skousen asserts in his book, The 5000 Year Leap, the founding fathers established 28 principles of freedom which were framed into the Constitution. Adherence to these principles in our laws and beliefs for the past 200 years has created more progress than had been made in the previous 5000 years. Why would we want to give this up?

America it is time to wake up! Let’s take back our country and our destiny. We are a good and generous country. We need to return to a government that follows our Constitution and its principles. The Tea Parties represent a desire by many citizens to return to these roots. Through our peaceful rallies we attempted to promote these ideals and make our voices heard by those that we elected.

 

As Thomas Jefferson said,” I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical.”

 

So go, find your voice and join us. We are not going away, we are here to stay!