A Real Solution

Posted February 8, 2013 By Founding Ideals

Originally published February 8, 2013 @ American Thinker

 

Following the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school by a mentally disturbed individual, the political left has pursued gun control with renewed vigor. In addition to an ‘assault weapons ban’ the left has called for universal background checks. Unfortunately the proposed programs are a canard and amount to little more than a national gun registration program. Gun rights advocates know from history (and experience) that registration is the first step in any gun confiscation program and have vigorously opposed such suggestions.

 

A better course of action for gun rights groups is to propose a better system, one that protects individual liberties and can’t be used as a back door registration program. In recent polls there has been strong support for a “universal background check” so it’s important to put these suggestions on the table before the anti-gunners put their programs in place (too late for New Yorkers). Here is one such plan;

 

Every state issued drivers license or ID must contain 3 items.

  • 1. A stamp or text that identifies the holder of the ID as qualified/unqualified to purchase a firearm.
  • 2. A stamp or text that identified the holder of the ID is a US citizen/Non citizen.
  • 3. A phone number & website for any person to verify that the license is still valid.

 

This allows any seller to verify quickly if a buyer is qualified. It utilizes already in place ID verification systems and data bases. More importantly it does not discriminate, every person that gets a state ID must have a background check and have their citizenship verified. Using already in place ID system also means that there are mechanisms in place to revoke or change the status of an ID quickly. Should someone be adjudicated incompetent their IDs can be updated in an instant.

 

The law closes the so called “gun show loophole” whereby private individuals can sell firearms to each other without a background check. Now the seller can ask for an ID, call the number on the back and they will have performed a background check. The system doesn’t just apply to people selling firearms. The state IDs can quickly and easily be verified to tell if a person is eligible to vote or if that ID provided with a personal check is valid. It also gives the law enforcement officer a bit more information about who they are talking to when they looks at a drivers license.

 

It’s not hard to come up with a program that won’t violate our liberties while still helping us enforce current laws. A state ID program like the one outlined above puts valuable information directly into the hands of the people, where it can do the most good.

 

 

Some minor wordsmithing since original post – 0810 02/08/2013

      

Social Security Is An Entitlement

Posted December 9, 2012 By Founding Ideals

Recently I received an email whose author was indignant that his social security check is considered an entitlement. The email goes on about how he “earned” his social security and medicare and therefore they aren’t entitlements. Below was the response I penned to the person who forwarded me the email.

 

I always look at it a little bit differently, as I am one of those that probably won’t collect a single dime from social security, even though I’ve been paying into the system for nearly 30 years.

  • 1. Social security is a ponzi scheme. One doesn’t have to pay into the system to collect benefits. If you’re collecting it now, it’s not because you paid in, it’s because I pay now. I’m forced by law to join the ponzi scheme.
  •  

  • 2. The government never invested our money (nor did it intend to). It took money from you and I via a payroll tax and spent it. Voters returned the biggest spenders back to Congress because they were bringing home the ‘bacon’ for their district. After decades of this behavior our countries debt is in excess of our GDP.
  •  

  • 3. Every single time someone tried to reform Social Security voters rose up and acted like the sky was falling. Raising the eligibility age by 5 years would have saved billions. People live a lot longer now than they did in the 1930s when the program was implemented. It took nearly 25 years to get a raise of a mere 2 years put into law.
  •  

  • 4. Medicare is one of the most inefficient and wasteful programs in existence. You aren’t paying for it, I am, and I get to pay twice because medicare is so poorly run that it doesn’t even cover the cost of most procedures. People who pay cash or have insurance make up the difference. That’s why EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2003 Congress passes the “Doctor Fix“.
  •  

  • 5. Every single time someone tried to reform Medicare voters rose up and acted like the sky was falling (again). Does it really make sense for the government to pay for a multimillionaires health care just because they are over 65? Can’t they afford insurance on their own? We want to raise taxes on the wealthy but won’t make them pay for their own medical care.


Now you know why so many younger people would like to get out of this poorly run ponzi monopoly that takes 15% of our salary every month and will be totally bankrupt by the time we might be able to use it. You pay 7.5% and your employer pays 7.5%, if you’re lucky enough to be self employed, you cover the whole 15%.

 

Imagine what you could do with that money! The 1/2 your ‘employer’ put in could have been part of your salary. Hell even if your employer only gave you 1/2 of his share, that means that every month you would have taken home 10% more money. If you had invested that over your lifetime it would have at least returned 3%. Most of you would be millionaires. Image what you could have done with the money TAKEN from you over a lifetime. Instead of you spending it, your social security tax money kept some bureaucrat paid while they were wasting our money.

 

The mistake was to give the folks that invented waste & fraud control of a big portion of our retirement! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

 

The IDEAL of Social Security and Medicare is admirable. You paid a tax (or not) and now your entitled to a government benefit. In practice it just feeds a ravenous government or is used as a political bludgeon to beat anyone that dare ask for an efficient, transparent, & sane government. The problem with ponzi schemes, you eventually run out of someone else’s money. The money you paid in is long gone and the government is fast running out of my money.

 

Respectfully,
-A Taxpaying Employed Person (An endangered species)

      

Compassion

Posted November 5, 2012 By Founding Ideals

The stereotypical conservative argument for a candidate is one based on ideals, theories, and is usually an intellectual appeal. Appeals to emotion from conservatives usually deal with very specific cultural issues such as abortion. In these pages and across the internet the cultural and the intellectual arguments have been made over and over. I’d like to offer a different argument for supporting the Romney Ryan ticket. Compassion for my fellow Americans and the humility and passion of a leader that understands his limits.

 

There are a more than 46 million Americans on food stamps (now called SNAP). More than 23 million Americans are either unemployed or under employed. Half of all college graduates have no job after college. Every man, woman, and child in the United States is currently on the hook for $51,585 in national debt. When once calculates the debt per citizen for the huge unfunded liability that we carry, that number jumps to over a million dollar per US taxpayer. Our collective debt continues to grow by the second.

 

Those number should make you weep. The increase in poverty alone should be a national scandal. Behind these numbers are real people, in real need, and they’ve been ignored in favor of a hyper left wing statist agenda. President Obama makes excuses as more people are forced to rely on government assistance. Instead of programs designed to stimulate jobs the Obama actually spends your tax money to convince people that they shouldn’t be ashamed of using public assistance. The failure of leadership shows a decided LACK of compassion.

 

Romney understands that if people had a job they wouldn’t have to feel ashamed. He has compassion for their plight.

 

The breadth and depth of these problems requires serious reform and the ability to work in a deeply divided legislature to come to some consensus. Barrack Obama’s ability to work across the aisle can be summed up in two words “We Won”. He used that phrase to tell Republicans what he thought of their ideas during negotiations for the massive failure none as Obamacare. Instead of jobs and a recovering economy, Obama delivered a massive new entitlement that suppresses job growth and punishes innovators and the working poor.

 

Romney doesn’t have Obama’s ego that snuffs out any chance of bipartisanship. He has the humility to succeed.

 

The debt crisis and the looking fiscal cliff loom large on the financial horizon. Cutting the federal government from it’s addiction to cheap credit will be a massive undertaking. The national debt already exceeds the total annual economic output of the entire Untied States. Without judicious action the this generation will not be able to pass on to their children a country better than they found it. Without immediate changes, Social Security and Medicare will go bankrupt and leave millions without any safety net or retirement. The Obama plan repackages more of the same failure and seems predicated on his being out of office before it all comes crashing down.

 

Mitt Romney firmly believes that we have to save the programs we have and put the country on a path to sustained growth so our children are left with a better country than we were. He has a passion for getting the numbers right.

 

Our country and countrymen have suffered under four years of failed leadership. A leader whose compassion has more to do with his ego than the plight of everyday Americans. A leader whose passion has been his golf game and the trappings of office, not getting the job done for ordinary Americans. It’s time to elect a leader that brings compassion for the American people, a passion for the American ideal, and the humility to work within the system to get the job done. It’s time to elect Mitt Romney.

 

      

Freedom To Succeed – Thomas Peterffy

Posted October 31, 2012 By Founding Ideals

      

Not Optimal

Posted October 29, 2012 By Founding Ideals
Not Optimal

Not Optimal

      

You’ve been screwed

Posted October 28, 2012 By Founding Ideals

In polite company using the slang phrase “You go screwed” may be a regarded as unseemly, perhaps even rude. Among friends though, everyone understands the phrase means that you got bilked or cheated. The sad fact is that we’ve all been screwed by government programs that were designed ostensibly to help us. A perfect example is the most recent recession which was caused by government programs that were supposed to help us. Instead of helping, federal housing programs forced institutions to make bad loans, created massive housing inflation by inflating the credit market which was followed by a bust that still has many underwater on their mortgages. President Obama’s first term is full of programs that hurt far more than they help, funded by borrowed money. Here is a a short list of programs, what their end result was, and who got screwed.

 

The Program: Auto Industry Bailout
The Result: Designed to help the car industry the bailout superseded the normal, well established bankruptcy procedure and replaced it with a highly politicized plan that rewarded political allies. The plan forced investors to take massive losses, while giving large chunk of the car companies to directly to unions. It also made union member’s pension and healthcare plans whole while drastically cutting non union delphi employee benefits. Decisions were made to favor political allies, not to bolster the business of a failing US auto maker. To add insult to injury, most experts predict GM will be back in bankruptcy by 2016. The true cost to the American tax payer won’t be fully known until the government sells its GM stock. 
Who got screwed: GM and Chrysler investors and stock holders, the rule of law, non union auto workers.

 

The Program: Fast & Furious
The Result: In a claimed attempt to curb illegal guns going to Mexican Cartel members, the ATF allowed thousands of guns to go into Mexico with no way to track them. The ATF never informed their Mexican counter parts about the firearms and even overrode local field officials that begged their superiors to allow them to arrest gun walkers. The firearms that the ATF deliberately allowed to flow into the hands of criminals have shown up at the scene of hundreds of violent crimes in Mexico and killed US Border Patrol Agent Brian TerryPresident Obama asserted executive privilege to block the release of documents on the program to the House oversight committee which was investigating the program.
Who got screwed: Poor Mexicans living in the unmarked border areas between rival Mexican gangs all across Mexico. Americans living along the porous border with our southern neighbor & the men and women that work there for the border patrol.

 

The Program: Cash For Clunkers
The Result: Designed as a 3 billion dollar gift to the US auto industry, the program ended up paying 24,000 for each vehicle sold, and had little impact on new car purchases. Besides costing a ton of money the program destroyed and removed from the used car market thousands of cars driving up used car prices. The average increase for a used car was more than 10%, but because of the number of largish SUVs that were traded in, the market for used SUV’s and full sized trucks rose 30%.  On the coasts among the green elite these vehicles are known as “gas guzzlers”, for the rest of America, the same vehicles are known as the work truck.
Who got screwed: The poor, especially the working and rural poor in need of basic transportation. All hard working Americans and businesses that needed affordable used cars and trucks.

 

The Program: The Federal Takeover of Student Loan Guarantee Program
The Result: Designed to help more students afford college, the federally guaranteed loan program has helped fuel education inflation rate which is running 498% (no that isn’t a typo) since 1986. That inflation rate is outpacing the consumer price index, healthcare prices, and even such highly volatile commodities like gasoline. Much like other federal programs, pouring money into the market place has driven prices up and helps account for the huge debt that students graduate college with. Sadly some of the increase in costs has to do with increased back office staff required by federal government dictates helping create a vicious cycle. More money is required in tuition to support more staff to get more money. Is it any wonder students graduate with more than 25,000 dollars in debt?
Who got screwed: Students and the people that pay for their education.

The Program: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)
The Result: In an effort to help the 15% of US citizens that were uninsured the Obama administration gave us a monstrous healthcare bill that makes 100% of us pay. Unlike the promises, the program will cost over a trillion dollars and puts into law some of the most perverse economic incentives imaginable. The law provides incentives for employees to drop coverage (up to 20 million by CBO estimates), incentives for business to drop the number full time workers, and punishes medical innovators. The increased complexity and coverage required is costing consumers through increased costs for all healthcare insurance and in 2018 the law adds a 40% tax to “gold plated” healthcare benefits. One of the other perverse incentives is that the ‘free contraceptives for women’ clause has sucked the dollars out of research into advanced oral contraception for women (Popular birth control advances like Seasonale would never have been invented if this law went into affect earlier).
Who got screwed: Everyone that purchases or uses the US healthcare system. It hurts the working poor and Senior medicaide recipients the most.


 

These are but 5 examples that come from thousands of pages of legislation that have been passed during President Obama’s first term. An underlying problem with Obama’s programs is that the people dreaming them up them have little or no experience with a functioning marketplace. The administration has proven that it has no respect for the unintended consequences of government interference. The same administration has proven that it doesn’t care how much debt the government takes on. President Obama’s total disregard for fiscal responsibility has brought us a national debt that is now more than 16 trillion dollars! That’s more than 51,000 for every person that lives in the United States.

 

You’ve been screwed.

 

 Is it any wonder that voters are breaking for Mitt Romney, a man that understands how the economy works, how markets work, and actually has a plan for our nation’s future?

 

      

Another Son Lost

Posted October 28, 2012 By Founding Ideals
Another Son Lost

Another Son Lost

Another Son Has Been Lost
      

Funding Failure

Posted August 21, 2012 By Founding Ideals

Originally published August 21, 2012 @ American Thinker

 

Jerry Brown has a problem. His state continues to spend billions more than it collects in taxes. Outlays for pensioners are starting to bite into day to day government functions. Unable to get higher taxes through his state’s legislature Brown is turning to the voters with proposition 30, asking the voters to raise their own taxes. Proposition 30 is being sold to the public as a way to balance the budget and prevent cuts to schools and public safety.

 

Brown parades around the state preaching that his citizens must accept the tax ”for the children”. Already the most tax burdened state in the union according to a Pacific Research Institute study, more taxes just continues the status quo. The revenue generated will not do much to fill this years 16 billion dollar deficit, nor go to schools, or public safety. That money will be used to shore up a broken retirement system that is underfunded by hundreds of billions of dollars.

 

The other sad truth is that much of the income promised by this new tax will never be collected. With nearly 2,000 upper income Californians leaving the state every week the amount of money garnered from Brown’s latest “tax the rich” scheme is sure to be much, much, less than forecast.  California already has the worst business climate in the United States which makes raisingtaxes that much more damning. Businesses are leaving the state and with them taxpaying workers.

 

Proposition 30 is a smoke screen that will not balance the budget or come close to fixing California’s budget problems and what do Californians get for their money? With half of the general revenue required to go toward education by the state constitution, you’d think California students would be doing well in the most populous state in the union. In fact, California typically ranks among the worst as far as academic achievement is concerned. Pulling the data and comparing student outcomes to a state like Florida is enlightening.

  • 4th grade scores for Math & Reading In 2009
  • Florida – spending per pupil $8,760. Reading ranked 10th, Math ranked 27th,
  • California – spending per pupil $9,657. Reading ranked 46th, CA ranked 45 in Math
  • 4th grade scores for Math In 2012
  • Florida – spending per pupil $8,983. Math ranked 23rd
  • California – spending per pupil $9,313. Math California ranked 46th.

Californian’s spent nearly 1,000 dollars more per student than Florida in 2009, and has some of the best paid public school teachers in the nation. The result; students scored in the bottom ten percent compared to students in the rest of the country. With such poor performance is it any wonder that republicans in the legislature are adamant about blocking tax increases until real reform is implemented?

 

Special interest groups especially public employee unions have so corrupted the political system that changes through the legislative process are nearly impossible. California is in desperate need of fundamental structural reform of it’s pension system and education. Brown had a chance for real reform that could help his state survive the coming financial calamity by taking his case directly to the people. Instead he doubled down and decided more of the same will do. Subsidizing failure is what Brown is proposing in prop 30, and without real change, California is well on the way to fiscal collapse.

 

      

Powerful New Romney Ad “These Hands” Hits Home

Posted July 19, 2012 By Founding Ideals

A new Romney political ad came out today and is especially powerful.

 

 

A stark reminder that one candidate is a collectivist at his core, while the other is a capitalist. The collectivist refuses to acknowledge that government services are bought and paid for by tax dollars. The collectivist talks about government services aimed at very specific groups, but that is only a pay off. President Obama is robbing from the successful to sustain political patrons. The practice is corrupt and unsustainable. There are two eventual outcomes from unsustainable collectivism; the first outcome is like Greece the second was the USSR. Neither option is palatable to the vast majority of Americans.

 

      

2 Sons Reprieve

Posted June 20, 2012 By Founding Ideals


2 Sons

Click on image for full sized cartoon

 

In light of President Obama’s decision to evoke executive privilege we
are running a reprieve of Safe Environment’s excellent cartoon titled “2 Sons”.

 

For the latest news – check out the following hash tags on twitter #fastandfurious & #rememberbrianterry

      

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