Here is my latest submission to "The Public Speaking" column. It is really timely since it addresses basic issues relative to fiscal responsibility of Federal government and unsustainable, and possibly fraudulent, expenditures from the Social Security Trust Fund. The basic article is 300 words, not counting the writer attribution words. I hope this commentary will be published.
Get Honest About Social Security Debt
You ask “Why GRIDLOCK in DC?” Well, conservatives believe unsustainable spending is mortgaging the welfare of future generations! But liberals see no spending problem and continue their mindless “kick the can” policies to please low-information voters who remain unaware of the mortal fiscal damage they do with their votes.
We’ve reached a critical turning point, and there is a need, more urgent than generally understood, to get agreement on the fiscal danger we face. For openers, we need general understanding on how the Social Security Trust Fund has deceived us. Then we can work together toward achievable solutions.
A quick primer on the Trust Fund: Workers and employers make payroll tax contributions to the Treasury. These contributions pay benefits for current retirees, with any excess “remainder” being transformed into an IOU in the Trust Fund, called an “unfunded obligation”. Future redemption of an IOU requires funding this obligation with NEW MONEY!
This accounting trick ultimately allows payroll tax contributions to be used to pay General Fund liabilities. This accounting trickery unravels when benefit payouts exceed payroll tax income. The Treasury gets new money to redeem enough IOU’s by borrowing (i.e. selling treasury bonds/notes) or collecting more in payroll taxes.
The trust fund is basically a Ponzi Scheme à la Bernie Madoff.
Redeeming IOU’s has already begun increasing debt, and over the next decade, more than a half trillion more will be added to the debt. That’s just the tip of the iceberg! “ ... [A]ctual liabilities of the federal government ... already exceed $86.8 trillion ...” (That exceeds the Total World economy in 2011!) And we taxpayers are left holding the $86.8T bag...no -- our children are left holding that bag!
We DEMAND ACTION now! Starting with a TRUE and TRANSPARENT accounting of our TOTAL long-term debt obligations.
You are aware of the actions by the Obama Administration to gut, by another illegal Executive Order, the work rules established by Congress during President Clinton's signature welfare reform act.
But, just in case you've missed it, the first video below is a Fox News report of this issue that will bring you up to speed.
The old adage is that if you subsidize and encourage a behavior, you'll get more of it....
California is certainly a laboratory for the worst examples of encouraging and subsidizing terrible behaviors. So, the second video should not surprise you as a California welfare parasite extols the "benefits" of the welfare state -- and wonders why anyone would want to actually work in America.
But we all know it's really about buying votes through dependency programs.
What's that the old street preacher used to proclaim? "The end is near." He may have just been a bit too early in his timing.....
, for example, and also here
. But the folks who produced this video (and they do excellent work consistently) really bring home the problem. The only point I would personally add is that, when we keep doing what we're doing, and the system collapses, what system will replace it? We know what system is trying to replace it currently. This is not a good option. I hope we all awaken to see the danger and begin to correct it without a system collapse.Bill Cochrane
We've talked about this subject before
May I have some more, please?
Paul LePage, the Republican governor of Maine, mentioned an uncomfortable truth in a radio address this month: Maine has more welfare recipients than income tax payers.
the accuracy of this assertion.
The Bangor Daily News fact-checked LePage and discovered that 445,074 Mainers paid state income tax, while 453,194 received some sort of state aid. In Maine, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps and subsidies for education have a combined enrollment of 660,000. Adjusting for overlap clearly shows that there are more people on state assistance than there are state income taxpayers in Maine
Nationally, only 53 percent of the nation lives in a household that pays federal income tax.
While just about every worker has taxes withheld, many people have the entire amount refunded at tax time. With child tax credits and earned income tax credits, many people get more money from filing a return than they actually paid in. But 30 percent of Americans live in households that receive some sort of public assistance that is means tested, meaning a person must have an income low enough to qualify for the aid. The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2009. Some programs have expanded since then as the economy is growing very slowly.
That means 92 million people are on public assistance in one or more of its forms. That includes 33 million children – or 45 percent of all the people under 18.
Medicaid is the top government program, covering 74 million people. That is nearly one in four Americans. The next most used public assistance program is food stamps, which covers 34 million Americans or one in nine people. Almost 20 million people live on cash welfare and 11 million live in public housing.
Some policymakers have encouraged dependence on government programs and discouraged job creation. Producing more dependents than taxpayers is a formula for disaster. But the dependent class can always be counted on to vote for more and bigger government handouts and entitlements.Don Surber
This is likely a harbinger for the nation. The number of people who receive means-tested benefits from the state of Maine now outnumber the people who pay state income taxes. Either we are overdoing entitlements, or else we are in Charles Dickens' England.
So, she makes the point that the American public will be expecting quick action as soon as ObamaCare meets its demise. She points out that the Republicans have had plenty of time to be working out the details of their replacement bill. So she basically asks, "Where is it?" And she warns that the Republicans will take a hit if they disappoint the Americans by letting the "popular" aspects disappear without having a Republican solution to quickly keep those provisions in place.OK. Here's my point-by-point response to her proposition:❶
This writer is not actually a conservative. Like so many others in the Republican Party who like to think of themselves as conservative, she thinks she is conservative. However, conservatives champion small government principles and honor individual freedom and self-responsibility. True conservatives do not look to government to supply solutions to most issues faced in their private lives. True conservatives do not expect another massive bill to "replace" ObamaCare. True conservatives just want ObamaCare to go away and for the government to get the hell out of their private lives.True conservatives do not simply want a Big Government solution with red paint rather than blue paint
. If the Republicans are just going to give us another massive bill to inject Big Government into all aspects of our health care, then they will simply be acting like the Democrats. We conservatives do not want Big Government solutions at all. Stick to the enumerated powers laid out clearly in the U.S. Constitution.By expecting and advocating a Republican-flavored government health care "solution"
, she is revealing that she is actually progressive. Progressives look to the government for their solutions. Right-wing progressives simply believe that "their" solutions are "better" than the "solutions" of the left-wing progressives. That's all. I don't want progressives to bring me any more of their liberty-destroying "solutions". Period.❷
The "popular" provision she cites as an example of what the "Republican solution" must preserve is the government mandate that 26-year-olds must be covered on their parents' health care plan. Really! That's what we want? NO! This is an entitlement mentality which, again, reveals her progressive mindset. Why should 26-year-old adults be allowed to depend upon their parents' health care plan? When do people become adults anymore? I kinda thought that was at least by 21 years of age.This provision is a progressive tactic to foster ever increasing dependency and entitlement. People who are more dependent are much easier to control and can be counted upon to always vote for more Bigger Government. I say get rid of this abominable mandate!Oh, I'm being cruel to those 26-year-old dependents who just can't afford their own health care and whose parents WANT to cover them? No I am not. OK, If you want or need to cover your indigent offspring, by all means cover them! Allow parents who wish to have this feature in their health insurance to purchase a plan which includes that coverage. Allow those same families to pick up the costs of their own decision. Why should others be forced to subsidize those personal, individual decisions? Answer: Others should not be forced to help pay for such personal decisions.❸
She says that Republicans need "a single, detailed plan that all Americans can understand easily". No we do not!
We need to have as many choices and options as a free market can provide. Again, we do not need a GOPcare plan any more than we needed or wanted an ObamaCare plan!What the Republicans should do, if they wish to remain true to their principles and platform, is to make discreet, targeted reforms in the health care sector which will create the environment for people and doctors to make th
eir own cost-control decisions. To manage their own risk levels. Tort reform to eliminate esurient or vindictive lawsuits. Stop corrupt meddling at state level to create government-approved local insurance monopolies. There should be separate, small bills which are carefully written to address heath care reforms in ways which do not generate thousands of new federal regulations and unintended consequences.___OK, you get the point. I am dismayed by how many of us "on the right" have fallen into the trap of progressive thinking, all the while believing ourselves to be "conservative". When we are considering an issue, we should all begin with the question: "Will this proposed 'solution' increase government power, government intrusion, government dependency, and entitlement mentality? Or will this proposed 'solution' increase individual liberty, self-responsibility, limited government, economic prosperity, and personal choice?"Read: Memo to Republicans: Where's ObamaCare's Replacement?Bill Cochrane
The supposedly conservative writer who authored the article below asks a very pertinent question: "Where's ObamaCare's replacement?" She explains how long the country has been talking about the need to repeal this awful, un-Constitutional monstrosity which was forced upon the country. She speaks of how likely it is that the bill will be ruled un-Constitutional by the Courts (as we all know already that it is un-Constitutional; we do not need the courts to tell us what we already know, but we do need for them to officially throw it out). Finally, she makes the point that the Republicans have been promising to "Repeal and Replace".
I watched the fools' game being played out in Washington last week with growing disgust and dismay. The Republicans were trying to one-up the Democrats by forcing them to agree to include a "resolution" that the Administration must seriously "consider" the Keystone Pipeline, and the Democrats were trying to one-up the Republicans by "trapping" them into voting for a "popular" payroll tax extension.
On the surface, to anyone still thinking, the dance was hilarious. The spectacle should have resulted in ridicule and derision for what once might have been a revered institution, Congress. But, that was not the reaction from the public or the media, was it? I guess very few of us have our thinking caps on these days.
Let's examine each of the "objectives" for the moment, ignoring the fact that neither was the real objective. Republicans wanted a Congressional statement to "force" the Administration to carefully "consider" approving the Keystone Pipeline. The pipeline would create a significant number of jobs, yes. It would help the US obtain reasonably priced oil, reducing the price of oil and helping the economy as it struggles to recover, yes. It would enable the US to obtain more oil from a friendly ally rather than sending our money to countries and people who despise us and promise to kill us, yes. So, how much good would this Congressional resolution ― that the Administration must seriously consider the pipeline ― actually do?
Well....the Administration has alread considered it. And then they killed it (well, supposedly, they "postponed" it pending another study... yeah!). So, let them reconsider it again.....OK, they killed it again! Wasn't that easy?! Didn't really require a lot of fighting and false news out of Washington to figure that one out, did it? No.
Let's examine the Democrats' position that an extension of the payroll tax "holiday" was essential to economic recovery. First, we must ignore that this is the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax which would be suspended. Both entitlement programs are going bankrupt, and everyone with two functioning brain cells knows it by now. And, supposedly, a large majority of those same people insist that these programs must remain "healthy" and that these programs be "left alone". Yet a majority of these same people now believe that the funding source of these programs should be eliminated for some period of time? Egads! That doesn't make much sense does it? I wonder what the truth is.....
So, after we ignore that 800 pound gorilla in the room, we are treated to a fantasy play of how desperately the American proletariat needs a $40 payroll tax break. The Republicans pointed out how paltry the "stimulus" of a two-month "holiday" would be ― only $40 ― and that it would cost businesses considerably more than $40 just to handle the paperwork associated with such a folly. That doesn't count the additional costs in the IRS and other government agencies. So the "bottom line" would be a negative to the economy, not a positive. So, the Republicans proposed a full year's payroll tax holiday, surely enticing the Democrats and one-upping them with a good poker bet.
But, never mind logic, the good Democrats, who were certain that the illusion of their "fight for the 'little guy' and the 'working man'" would carry the day, stood their ground like the best Spartan warriors. How dare the Republicans foil their "fair" proposal by proposing a bigger tax cut!!!? No, it must be a two-month reduction, not a 12-month reduction, and no other answer would be acceptable! And they rolled out the anecdotal sob stories to support their premise.
And, at the request of the White House, the sob stories did come in:
“Our cable internet bill is $49 per month. If we lose this payroll tax cut then we will have to give up either (our) internet access or possibly our ‘Friday Family Pizza’ night. Either way, we will lose something that brings us together as a family,” wrote “K.Z” from Frederick, Maryland. What a dolt.
Another person wrote that $40 will “buy lunch from the cafeteria for almost a whole month for my twins.” Here's your hanky....
And the media bought it! And the media promoted it! And the American proletariat bought it! And the Republicans caved to the Democrats! And the Democrats trumpet their mighty victory! And the Republicans are "damaged"! And the American proletariat cheers!
And the deficit and national debt grows.
And I weep for the nation.
This is, as he says, "jaw dropping"!
The following is a poem published in 1949, the year I was born.... In the course of my lifetime, I have never seen our government so bent on socialistic transformation as it is today. The truth in this poem is timeless. I don't have personal knowledge of how much it applied to U.S. governments in 1949, but it does show that people realized back then how destructive the progressive path to socialism and communism would be.
Well, if you watch this video, you will begin to understand. This woman is an unmarried mother of 15, 12 of whom are under 12 years of age. She has been living a completely irresponsible lifestyle, and her attitude and actions have alienated all who have tried to help her. Everytime she interacts with people, she escalates her problems.
Just listen to what she says! She expects ― actually she demands ― that the government pay for all her and her kids' expenses and needs. She is outrageous. But she is an example of the entitlement mentality and dependent class that our socialist policies have built over the past decades. This recipient class feels no stigma, no shame, no inhibition about demanding more and more while contributing nothing but more dependency. If we do not reform our government and restore personal responsibility, principles, morals, and (yes, I will shout it!) Faith, this problem will eventually overwhelm the producing class. This country will become another Cuba or Venezuela.
So much truth in so little space presented in an entertaining fashion.