Archive for July, 2011
JTPNY guesstimate: $55 trillion - Social security, medicaid, medicare, future obligations $14.4 trillion - National debt owed by public $16 trillion - US insurance guarantees Total: USA 85.4 Trillion in debt 0r $285,000 per person Michael Tanner's (Cato Institute) estimates the nation's total debt -- including unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Social Security -- is $119.5 trillion -- $400,000 per capita
“But even if one assumes that taxes can be raised without having any impact on economic growth, taxing the rich still wouldn’t get us out of our budget hole — because the hole is quite simply bigger than the amount of revenue we could raise from taxing the rich even if there were no disincentives,” Tanner writes in a Cato policy analysis titled, “Bankrupt: Entitlements and the Federal Budget.”
“To put it in admittedly oversimplified perspective: our current obligations, including both implicit and explicit debt, total more than 900 percent of GDP. The combined wealth of everyone in the United States who earns at least $1 million per year equals roughly 100 percent of GDP. Therefore, you could confiscate the entire wealth of every millionaire in the United States and still barely make a dent in the amount we will owe.”
Michael Tanner, Cato Institute, “Bankrupt: Entitlements and the Federal Budget.”
I’m still searching for one Liberal policy that has been successful. People and the media always seem to ignore the unintended consequences of these decisions.
Cash for Clunkers..Fail.
Community Investment Act – Fail.
Fannie and Freddie – Fail
Obamacare – guaranteed fail and already failing with companies going out of business and 2,000 others already exempt.
Doing nothing about Iran and their invevitable march towards getting a nuke- Probably the biggest issue of our time.
“Normally, you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we’ve instead cut taxes. …You don’t raise taxes in a recession.” –President Obama to NBC’s Chuck Dodd, Aug. 2009
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has made the democratic State of Israel the target of incessant condemnation while neglecting its mandate in challenging the oppressive regimes around the world.
The following film clip uncovers the factors behind the United Nations bias against Israel. We encourage you to view the clip, forward to friends, and partner with us to counter the hypocrisy and expose the truth.
Senator Barry Goldwater was quoted in 1971 by the Congressional Record as saying:“The time has come to recognize the U.N. for the anti-American, anti-freedom organization that it has become. The time has come for us to cut off all financial help, withdraw as a member, and ask the U.N. to find a headquarters location outside the United States that is more in keeping with the philosophy of the majority of voting members, someplace like Moscow…”
Republicans plan cuts to US State Dept, UN contribution
February 2011, http://www.channelnewsasia.comWASHINGTON: A Republican budget plan would cut billions of dollars in spending on the State Department and foreign programs, including US contributions to the United Nations.
The proposed cuts, announced Friday, are part of an overall Republican effort in the House of Representatives to reduce spending by $100 billion over the next seven months. Leaders in the Democrat-controlled Senate say the proposals are unrealistic.
The planned cuts to State Department and foreign operations amount to $3.8 billion, or an eight per cent reduction from last year.
“I will ensure that our foreign aid is not used as a stimulus bill for foreign countries,” Republican congresswoman Kay Granger, who chairs a budget subcommittee, said in a statement.
The bill proposes “scaling back contributions to the United Nations and other international organizations, and eliminating wasteful, duplicative and ineffective programs.”
However, the measure would maintain $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt and up to $250 million in economic assistance.
Granger said the bill “protects key national security priorities by fully funding the $3 billion US commitment to Israel and sustaining current diplomatic and development actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.”
“The spending priorities in the bill reflect the fluid and tenuous situation in the Middle East,” Granger said.
“Volatility in the region highlights the importance of reaffirming our strategic partnerships and commitments,” she added. “The events in the Middle East have a direct impact on the safety and security of the United States and our allies.”
By Ilya Galak, Frank Santarpia, Barbara Poalucci
Photo: Ilya Galak
Let’s play pretend. Let’s pretend that you and I are neighbors, that we share a common fence in our backyards, and that we respect each other’s rights and privacy.
It’s been a hot, dry summer, and I like to spend the evenings sitting in my backyard listening to jazz. I can do so, each and every night, as long as the music remains below a certain decibel level and it’s before 11 PM. I’m a good neighbor – I play by the rules. I make sure that the music I listen to is played neither too late nor too loud.
Now let’s pretend that your child is ill, and needs bed rest and quiet. You come to me and tell me that the music – even though it is played at the proper volume – is disturbing your sick child’s sleep. You ask me if I would mind not playing the music…because it causes your child to feel even worse.
I have two options. I can be a truly good neighbor, respect your request and honor your wishes – or I can tell you that what I am doing I have a right to do: the suffering of your child be damned! Besides, I will tell you, despite what you may think the music will help to heal your child, and it will be a bridge-builder between our families.
Those who would build this mosque are not listening to their neighbors. They are not listening to those upon whom they will afflict great pain. They are not listening to the vast majority of Americans who have suffered emotional wounds at the hands of jihadists.
The Imams are deaf to the pleas of the very people to whom they want to build bridges; just as so many of our elected officials are deaf to the pleas of their constituents – both are blind to our pain.
It is hard to believe that there is a caring bone in their bodies.
They keep telling us that they want to build bridges. Fine . All people of good will want that – we just do not believe that the Imam and the politicians who support the Mosque mean what they say.
Why do we not believe them? The list is long, and does not indicate a willingness to build bridges: so many articles, investigations, interviews, studies, statistics and massive amounts of literature contradict their peaceful overtures.
And the actions taken in the name of Islam speak for themselves: 9/11, Fort Hood, Times Square… thousands of deaths throughout the world over the last decade in the name of jihad.
So come, then, Imams and politicians, let us really talk. Stop hiding from the people; we are not hiding from you – we are here on the street. We will meet you anywhere, anytime. Let’s sit down in one big hall, and we’ll invite you to explain all that is on your mind. Tell us exactly how you will build these bridges. Tell us why the Ground Zero Mosque is good for the American people. Tell us why we are uneducated because we think that the goal of Islam is to dominate the world? Convince us that the funding is legitimate, and that the money is not promoting jihad.
Speak to us. Bring your experts and the politicians who support them; open your books. It’s easy: show us that we have nothing to worry about. Educate us. Explain there are no ties between your organizations and the terror. Come right out and unequivocally condemn Hamas and Hezbollah.
Allow people to ask you questions at this meeting, and answer with the truth – not doubletalk and obfuscation. What is the problem if you have nothing to hide?
We want peace. We tired of the hatred and the fear. By all means, let’s build bridges. Take a giant step by trying to understand our concerns. Answer our questions…
America was built on freedom of religion, and they want to be friends with Muslims – as long as Islam is a religion, and not an ideology that wishes to conquer all opposing religions and thought. Convince us that Islam is not trying to be more than a religion, but a dominant political system.
And while we’re at it – let’s really build bridges. Let’s build a few churches and Jewish temples in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others Muslim countries; such actions would go a long way towards convincing us of your bridge-building goals. Let people of different religions and races to travel to Muslim countries, and let them pray in their own houses of worship while they are there. Show US the tolerance you demand we show to you.
Let’s stop the wars and stop the terror. Let’s all live in peace and harmony on the same planet – free to enjoy all freedoms, including freedom of religion in every country in the world.
That is what we want, Imam Rauf. Do you and your politician friends hear us? Do you? We’re listening; we’re waiting to hear your answer.
Is the world just plain stupid?
An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates
If you are so sure that ” Palestine , the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :
1. When was it founded and by whom?
2. What were its borders?
3. What was its capital?
4. What were its major cities?
5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
6. What was its form of government?
7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
8.. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.
12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
You are lamenting the “low sinking” of a “once proud” nation.. Please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?
And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over — or thrown out of — the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?
I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won’t work here.
The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel ; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people” and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria . How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the “West Bank” and Gaza , respectively?
The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called “Palestinians” have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel , and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation” — or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.
In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East . Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel ‘s ancient sovereignty over Gaza , Judea, and Samaria .That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?
Can this story be presented any more clearly or simply?
Our tax system explained in terms of beer using actual percentages, the impact of a tax cut, and the public reaction that everyone should be able to understand.
Let’s put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
* The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
* The fifth would pay $1.
* The sixth would pay $3.
* The seventh $7.
* The eighth $12.
* The ninth $18.
* The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.”
So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.
So, the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share’?
The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the
fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being ‘PAID’ to eat their meal.
So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
* The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
* The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
* The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
* The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
* The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
* The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man “but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than me!”
“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for
even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they
just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.