Yesterday I listened to Joe Pags interview Texas Governor Rick Perry. The left is making unusually outrageous charges against Governor Perry's refusal to take "free federal money" in order to expand Medicaid in the great state of Texas. Governor Perry responded and commented on the truth about federal grants and "free money".
How I wish more of our local municipal, county, and state officials would think and talk like Governor Perry. This is not "free money" -- it is taxpayer money funneled to Washington where they skim off "their cut" and then "return" part of it to the local authorities where it should have been collected and spent in the first place (assuming it is for a necessary and warranted use, of course). If these misallocated funds are, in turn, funneled through state level bureaucracies, those also take "their cut" before doling it down to the local level. Everybody gets their cut at the expense of the beleaguered taxpayer.
And, these grants and "handouts" always come with federal strings attached. These always require the local government to cede a part of its authority (and our liberties) to the federal bureaucracies and power brokers. It's part of why we're headed toward an all-powerful central government. Governor Perry is courageous and wise to begin refusing to step into these traps and fall for the lure of "free money". There's a nasty hook hidden inside that lure!
And let's not forget a crucial principle here. The federal government is bankrupt. They're borrowing that grant money, adding to an untenable $16.8 TRILLION
debt and $123.4 TRILLION
in unfunded liabilities. By taking that money, you're hastening our national demise.
Hey local officials! Listen to Rick and learn!Bill Cochrane
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.
Greetings to all Americans!
It is early Sunday morning on July 1st, and I am reflecting on the astonishing events of the last week. For me, the events center on a simple theme of individual freedom and sovereignty.
On a beautiful Saturday morning, just yesterday, I gathered with almost 500 Americans, 300 of whom were about to participate in the First Annual US Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn Memorial Frogman Swim. Aaron gave his life in service to this country as one of the Navy SEALs killed in the Chinook helicopter shot down in Afghanistan last year. I have come to know his father, Billy, and met the entire family. One thing you can certainly ascertain is that Aaron grew up in a loving Christian family who understood devotion to Duty, Honor, God, and Country.
Looking at the splendor of the Atlantic Ocean, I reflected upon the sacrifices made over all these years by individuals such as Aaron for the individual freedoms, liberty, and democracy which we enjoy here in America. The wholehearted willingness to lay down one’s life for another is truly amazing and is an essential part of the American experience, our exceptionalism.
Aaron was one of the best this country offers, a US Navy SEAL. He was part of a legacy which began not too far up the coast in Ft. Pierce, Florida, home of the Navy Frogman, Underwater Demolition Team. However, Aaron is part of a legacy that spans all the way back to the first men who answered the call to arms -- those brave patriots at Lexington and Concord who fired the shot heard round the world.
It was those first “Minutemen” who stood ready to defend a new nation which embodied a fledgling idea of the sovereignty of the American individual... a sovereignty that emanates from our Creator, not from man or government.
And how those patriots would have shed tears upon hearing the decision coming from the Supreme Court of the United States of America this past week. This decision has set a precedent by collectively subjugating the individual rights of Americans to the subjective whims of the Federal Government. This decision has given the Federal Government unlimited taxing authority to unleash a new era of behavior modification by way of taxation. This decision has taken us back to exactly the point and reason for America’s founding -- onerous taxation.
As we come upon the 236th anniversary of the document setting America apart from all other nations, the Declaration of Independence, consider the achievement of Thomas Jefferson all those years ago. Thomas Jefferson would create the longest running Constitutional Republic the world has ever known. He would set forth a concept that was foreign at the time, of rule by the consent of the governed, not by the monarch. His idea that our unalienable rights did not come from a single ruler but were embedded in each of us from our Creator wholeheartedly altered the relationship between God, leaders, and the people.
Yet, in a single moment five Supreme Court justices decided that Jefferson’s words had no meaning. These Justices decided that James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton had it all wrong.
Quite contrary to the serenity of the morning where we memorialized Aaron Vaughn.
I respect our concept of separation of powers and the three branches of government, but I have utmost respect for the fundamental premise in America of individual sovereignty and liberty.
My parting challenge to all who read this missive before this 4th of July -- read the entire Declaration of Independence with your families. Read and understand that which Thomas Jefferson set forth here some 236 years ago.
Read the grievances which he listed from an invasive and intrusive King George III and England and find the similarities to today.
Read and understand the impeccable birthright of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that has been given to all who earn the title of American.
Read, and notice, that Thomas Jefferson stated pursuit of happiness, not guarantee!
Read, and read again if necessary to ensure that our children and grandchildren recognize the blessing of having been born in the greatest nation the world has ever known… a nation for which men and women have given their lives… a nation for which many have left other places in order to become a citizen within the laws of the land.
Read, my fellow Americans, and when you feel that swelling of pride within your hearts and the tears well in your eyes, then you are ready to do as 56 men did 236 years ago -- pledge your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor to restoring the legacy of this Constitutional Republic, these great United States of America!
Thanks to the five United States Supreme Court Justices who have reminded us, true Americans, of what tyranny looks like.
Steadfast and Loyal,
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.”
"The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained..."
"With respect to the 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."
"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare... they may appoint teachers in every state... The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America."
"A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering… And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."
My article on the Supreme Court ruling below upholds these principles. We now have an unlimited government with unlimited power to tax. Thank you Supreme Court. Thank you Progressives. Thanks to all who have compromised or abandoned principles. Our Constitutional Republic appears doomed unless the people change themselves, awaken, and demand principled and virtuous candidates.
Moore TEA Citizens held its Fourth Annual Tax Day Rally at the Southern Pines Post Office on SW Broad Street from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. A number of candidates and elected officials stopped by and some made speeches. Tea Party Patriots, Americans for Prosperity, the John Locke Foundation, and Civitas all were represented and had speakers there.
The weather was great, the crowd was enthusiastic, and a grand time was had by all.
Have you paid any attention to what's in the budget that the Obama Administration presented to Congress yesterday? I know, I know..... it's dead on arrival anyway.... There is so much terribly wrong in it, I don't exactly know where to start. But I do know what is most evil in it.
Obama and his advisors have adopted the United Nations' and European Union's calls for global taxes. Yes, that's right. If these evils b******s get their way, you and I will be paying global taxes levied and collected by some unelected, remote bureaucracy in the U.N. We will not only be funding the socialistic follies of our own federal government, we will not only continue to fund the same through our "foreign aid" programs -- now we'll fund global socialism through global taxes.
The United Nations has been calling for a global financial transaction tax -- a percentage of every financial transaction conducted by anyone anywhere would be collected by the U.N. to "help the poor" around the planet. Can you imagine the havoc from this redistribution scheme? The European Union, in spite of their own economic collapse from inability to fund their own internal redistribution programs, echoed the call
for the UN's global transaction tax scheme.
But the Obama Administration was not satisfied with the "modest" global tax proposal from the United Nations. No. Obama has to up the ante. He decided to outdo the United Nations and European Union. He really, really wants to redistribute wealth globally. Yes Obama has proposed
in his budget that Congress adopt a Global Minimum Tax
! You cannot make this stuff up!
If our own government were to completely betray us again, to completely shred the Constitution and subject U.S. citizens to global taxes, will anyone even shout "Taxation without representation!"? Will they? Will people even object anymore when our own government begins to surrender our national sovereignty to the U.N. or some new global governance system? Will they? Do we want to ultimately become a provincial territory in some global new world order? Do you really still think these things are the subject of some crazy conspiracy theory?
Looks like it won't just be Obama and Democrat Congressional candidates running on a platform of raising taxes this year. All three of the NC gubernatorial candidates (Etheridge, Dalton, and Faison) support raising state taxes such as the sales tax
. I understand that, overall, the Democrat platform of higher taxes is a cynical populist class-warfare play for the votes of those who pay no income tax and few, if any, other taxes. It's a "soak the rich", "get 'em!", "envy-exploitation" play commonly used by left wing ideologues around the world. I get that.
But the sales tax is, according to these same populist left-wing ideologues the most "regressive" tax in existence. It supposedly, if you buy into their rhetoric, impacts and "hurts" the poor the most of all. So why would NC Democrats be running on a platform of raising sales taxes?
Oh yes! It's supposedly for the schools... "for the children".... It's all about "the children", isn't it?
No. The more money they dump into the school bureaucracy, the more dedicated that bureaucracy is to helping elect Democrats. And the more money that can be funneled into teachers' unions, the more union contributions and support for Democrat candidates. It's a tax-money-laundering vote pump.
But it still seems odd and self-contradictory that these Democrats feel they can successfully "sell" higher sales taxes to the "poor and downtrodden" "oppressed" "masses" by playing on emotional arguments that it's all for "education" of "the children". I wonder if this will be a successful campaign ploy? It will certainly be a defining issue, won't it?
.Their 2012 Report shows that NC ranks #47 in Sales Tax (very bad), #43 in Individual State Income Tax (bad), and #29 in the State Corporate Income Tax rate (moderately bad).The entire report may be read or downloaded with this link.The new Republican dominated NC Legislature made some good progress during their 2011 session, but they have a lot more work to do. North Carolina needs to be competitive in attracting business
es and jobs/careers, especially if we want to turn this economy around. Being at the bottom of the list is not a good competitive position!Bill Cochrane
NC ranks #44 out of the 50 states in overall business tax climate according to the
.Ending ethanol subsidies is a good thing for many reasons, which are outside the focus of this blog entry. But the NC State Legislature must do something during their 2012 session to roll back and reform the NC Gas Tax.
NC cannot remain competitive if it continues to impose among the highest tax rates in the nation. Businesses and people will move to more competitive states. Just look what has happened to high-tax, "progressive" states all through the rust-belt and left-coast.Bill Cochrane
The NC House passed a bill to freeze the higher gasoline tax enacted by the previous Democrat-controlled state legislature, but the NC Senate ran out of time and recessed the 2011 session without taking it up. Result: NC which already has one of the highest gasoline tax rates in the country will now be among the top 10% of states with the highest taxes on gas. In January, an automatic tax increase will take effect in combination with the effects of the phase-out of ethanol subsidies. The matter is explained well by the Charlotte Observer
The new Republican legislature made progress this past session on reducing taxes and holding the line against Democrat attempts to hike NC taxes yet again. Yet NC remains at the upper end of the spectrum on state tax burdens:
Click for larger version.
Very, very tough economic times are coming. If we want NC to remain competitive and protect our jobs and businesses, it's time to cut the size of state government, reduce state regulations, and cut taxes correspondingly.