Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cut, Cap & Balance the Budget

In his July 17 newsletter Steve Pearce, a New Mexico Congressman, mentioned his participation in the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. He wrote:

"On Thursday, I played in the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, an annual tradition reaching back to 1909. We raised over $150,000 for local charities. During this difficult economic time, I am happy to spend my time helping charities who are struggling with limited resources. My hit in the 6th inning ended the Democrat teams' no-hitter, and I was named the team's MVP."

That's not the extent of Steve's MVP status. Monty Newman, Chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, expressed his gratitude to Steve for "supporting the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation that passed the US House this week."

In the House, Pearce voted for Cut, Cap & Balance Act; other New Mexican Congressmen, Ben Ray Lujan and Martin Heinrich, voted against it. In the Senate 46 Republican Senators voted for the Cut, Cap & Balance Act. Fifty-one Democrat Senators voted against it---including Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, both New Mexico Senators.

Bingaman asserted the bill "did not achieve shared sacrifice." Lujan declared that the act "would cut the deficit on the backs of New Mexico's seniors and working families." Heinrich stated something about "breaks for the ultrarich, while making dangerous cuts to Social Security and Medicare."

To be blunt, such remarks are dishonest. The bill, HR 2560, states: Exempt From Direct Spending Limits - Direct spending for the following functions is exempt from the limits specified in subsection (c):`(1) Social Security, function 650.`(2) Medicare, function 570.`(3) Veterans Benefits and Services, function 700.`(4) Net Interest, function 900.`(c) Limits on Other Direct Spending

The entire bill can be read at

Evidently, Democrats did not read the bill. Harry Reid deemed it "the single worst piece of legislation to hit the Senate floor." That was good enough for Democrat Senators.

Politisite writes: "They actually didn't even get a chance to vote on the actual bill. Reid used a parliamentary maneuver to force a vote on whether to allow the bill to come to the Senate floor to be debated. That motion to "table" a "motion to proceed" is what passed 51-46. Once again, rather than debate the actual bill, so everyday Americans could "see what's in it," to borrow Nancy Pelosi's famous words, Democrats didn't even want to talk about it." [ibid]

It has been made clear---particularly during last week---that Democrats are not trying to solve the debt problem. Yet they characterize Republican proposals as either (a) ridiculous, á la Obama, or (b) disastrous, á la Harry Reid, or (c) does not achieve "shared sacrifice" á la Bingaman.

An Op-Ed in the July 23 Albuquerque Journal offered an explanation for this curious behavior, although that was not the author's actual theme.
Carl P. Leubsdorf, former Washington Bureau Chief of The Dallas Morning News compared the difference in attitude toward problem solving among politicians of the past and present day.

He wrote that problem-solving on a large, national scale is not the motive of most politicians these days. Instead, their approach to politics is partisan. Today, politicians are wedded to their political party. They seek to maintain party unity rather than solve a given problem besetting the nation.

But partisan politics is neither productive or predictable. Mr. Leubsdorf pointed out that "Barack Obama's disdain for Republicans in 2009, when he told them pointedly he could call the shots because he "won" in 2008, backfired when the GOP won House control in 2010."

Partisan politics boils down to "my gang is bigger than your gang; so, you have to do what I say." This is the hallmark of the gangster, the dictator, the totalitarian---call it what you will. It is an attitude that does not approach problems with a solution but with an edict.

This has been the attitude of Obama and his supporters during the debt talks. They have refused to cut the 70+ programs the Republicans proposed, which would save $2.4 trillion. They chorus one melody: "Tax the rich. Raise the debt ceiling." That's not a solution. It's an extension of the same problem of reckless, wanton spending, without thought, without plan, without concern for tomorrow.

Obama and his supporters continue to claim they need money for "seniors and the poor and the unemployed and the sick and the disabled and the maimed and the blind, for oppressed Haitians and Samolian's, for Afghan and Iraq politicians, for Libyan and Syrian and Egyptian rebels, and for anyone else they can dream up.

But not for the American earners who produce the values that pay for it all. If you're tired of politicians stampeding into your pocketbook with their pretended concern for everyone except the American producer, we need not wait for 2012. We need to start calling and writing the Democrats now and simply say, "No more money. Pass Cut, Cap and Balance the Budget."

And if they should say, as some do, "Leave me alone! You're not my constituent." Simply respond, "Thank goodness for that. I plan to convince those who are, not to return you to office."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Freedom, Profit and Prosperity

A reader sent me 5 photographs of people in Arizona in front of the capitol building. Many American flags had been placed on the ground. Graffiti of some sort was scribbled on some of the flags. Men, women and children were shown striding across the flags, stomping on them, spitting at on them and burning them.

There are many things one could say about the mind-set of those who desecrate a nation's flag. Intelligence is not one of them.

Desecrating a nation's flag is not argument to persuade others to your point of view. It is not a demonstration to show that your actions have merit. It is not even a show of loyalty to an opposing principle, such as those who might rip apart a Nazi flag to show loathing of fascism.

To try to debase the flag of the United States by throwing it whole upon the ground and stomping on it, is the attempt of the mindless, savages who stick pins in dolls or drink his enemy's blood---as if such actions were power-enabling.

The flag of the United States is unique among nations. And most people know it. It symbolizes freedom. No other flag, save perhaps that of Great Britain, carries so powerful a message. To desecrate the flag of the United States of America means one has no regard for freedom, and more: no regard for the human life freedom protects and advances.

What does freedom mean in action? Freedom is the absence of cocerion; therefore, in action it is the opportunity to live one's life, to achieve happiness. What provides us with material happiness? Prosperity. How is prosperity achieved? Through profit.

When I was a free-lance artist working in Manhattan, in order to live, profit was essential. I had to have money to buy oils, canvas and stretchers, illustration board, brushes, and all the other materials and equipment necessary to running an artist studio. There were also models' fees to pay and my own rent and groceries.

When I was paid for my illustrations and/or paintings, the price I received had to be at least a bit more than my combined expenses. To be paid less than my expenses, or to break even meant I could continue to produce paintings only by going into debt. If such a situation continues for any length of time, the business goes into bankruptcy.

Profit, even a little profit margin, kept me afloat. The same is true of any business whether you are a free-lance businessperson, or own a small company or a middle-size or large one. Profit is not "surplus income." It is not "gravy." It is the muscle and bone, the essential means of doing business. It is the means to keep on going. Without profit, business is impossible. If one takes in a bit more than the cost of one's own expenses, it means the business can stay afloat without undue strain. If it earns a lot more than its expenses, it can expand, offering more values to a larger clientele, creating more jobs improving services and so forth.

Many people, including businesspeople, do not understand the virtue, purpose and need of profit. We have been led to believe profit is somehow "dirty" or "usurious" as if making more than one's expenses was somehow "dishonest."

The truth is, profit is essential to doing business. Profit, since it supports a businessperson's life and that of his employees, is a virtue. By means of efficiently producing values and keeping a business' product desirable, profit says: "You're doing good. You're benefiting life."

The attack on profit is ancient. Today, Leftist habitually attack profit as a sure-fire way to create conflict between those who earn their own way and those who do not. Mr. Obama does the same, feverishly trying to make Americans hate "the rich." Such individuals try to convince us profit is some kind of evil that destroys society. The opposite is true.

Profit is what makes prosperity, improving and increasing the number of values that businesses offer---whether in manufacturing or in service industries. It is profit that raises the standard of living for everyone.

It is the lack of profit that is destructive. A lack of profit destroys a business, a neighborhood and a society. But profit requires individual freedom. One look at the difference between North and South Korea, or again, during the Berlin Wall the difference between East and West Berlin, attests to that. Those cities demonstrate the individual's need of freedom and the prosperity possible when he has it. Profit generates prosperity.

Our flag symbolizes freedom. It is the portable display of what our Statue of Liberty represents. When one sees the stars and stripes, one immediately thinks of freedom, of opportunity, of happiness. People the world over know that. Those who desecrate the flag of the United States of America are making an explicit statement. They are not stomping upon a mere piece of fabric. They are stomping on a symbol of man's need for freedom and the best that he can achieve. What do you call a creature who seeks to destroy the best in man? A criminal? A heinous monster? That which feeds and breeds upon a corpse? Whatever description you choose, he is a killer.

Not even anger is any longer possible toward such creatures. What remains is only a cold contempt re-enforcing a determined resolve to never give in to those who would kill freedom, the profit it can generate and the prosperity that follows.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Politicians Call for Sacrifice to Solve the Mess They Created

Jeff Bingaman is one of New Mexico's Senators. On July 07, 2011 he sent a newsletter to his constituents. It is a very long newsletter, filled with many questionable statements, premised on the usual Leftists' view of man as a sacrificial goat.

I'm posting here only some of Senator Bingaman's paragraphs and my comments. The Senator's paragraphs I've chosen to post here do not necessarily reflect the Senator's worse demands. They do, however, reveal his worse premises.

Senator Bingaman writes: 1. There has been a lot of discussion in Washington and around the country about how we can sustain and strengthen our country's two federally-funded health insurance programs - Medicaid and Medicare - even while we rein in our budget deficit.

Note Senator Bingaman's characterization of who pays for government health programs. "Federally funded?" Surely, the Senator knows the source of "federal funds." Is it possible he's trying a bit of sleight of hand?

2. Medicare and Medicaid are extremely important to New Mexico. Medicare pays for the bulk of health care provided for Americans age 65 and older as well as people with disabilities; about 300,000 New Mexicans are enrolled in Medicare.

"Medicare pays?" No. Earners pay. Through their taxes. Why does Senator Bingaman ignore the fact that taxpayers pay those costs?

Out of New Mexico's population of 2.1 million, with only about 1/3 the population being producers/earners and about 9% of these out of work, 300,000 enrollees are a mammoth number. The cost to earners who are expected to foot that bill will be onerous.

Senator Bingaman and his colleagues are adroit at making citizens pay for politician-created problems. Notice how they pretend Medicare is absolutely imperative, the totally essential life and death remedy to care for "the children," "the elderly" and "the disabled." Without Medicare, Senator Bingaman seeks to convince us, these helpless and dependent souls would horribly suffer for eons and/or die in a New York minute.

3. As we take the necessary steps to address our budget deficit . . .

The budget deficit is not ours. It is Senator Bingaman's and his colleagues'. They are the ones who voted for the reckless spending, the stimulus packages, the bailouts and buy-outs and forced lending and approval of risky loans and "affordable housing" and implemented Fannie Mae and Freddie Max corruption. They created it. Let them dig into their own pockets and pay for it.

But, of course, for Senator Bingaman and all such politicians, such an idea is not de rigueur.

4. Medicaid primarily provides health care coverage to Americans with low incomes, for example children and the elderly. It will come as a surprise that two-thirds of Medicaid funds go toward care for low-income seniors and the disabled.

Why on earth would anyone be surprised? The entire "affordable" health care law is undisguised robbery of those who earn in order to support those who do not. It's not about the children and seniors and the disabled. It's about politicians' lust to control the entire medical industry, including pharmaceuticals and insurance. It's a wholesale attack on the medical profession and the innumerable charitable foundations and organizations---to which Americans generously give---in order to place those skills and those funds under government control.

5. I believe we must ensure that the burden of sacrifice is shared broadly and not placed largely on the backs of our most vulnerable populations, such as seniors and children.

Seniors and children are our most vulnerable? Not true. With the numerous taxes, regulations, restrictions, guidelines, ruled by thousands of agencies and thousands of bureaucrats, our most vulnerable population is producers/earners. They are the ones who work to create values that we all need and buy. They are the most burdened with government's intrusive laws, which make them virtually helpless, vulnerable to any government official's whim demanding bribes, "kickbacks" and the like. Our businesspeople are the ones who take the risks and sink or swim on their own judgement. Who is it that goes down the drain if they are not protected? The entire nation, including the children and the elderly.

You can bet that politicians who are paid salaries 3 to 4 times more than the average earner most assuredly will not carry on their backs "the children" and "the elderly." Instead, as the Senator amply makes clear, it is earners that must bear the "burden of sacrifice." Why?

The call for producers/earners to "sacrifice" has worn thin. Senator Bingaman and his colleagues, snug in their taxpayer financed retirements, taxpayer financed pensions and self-exempt status, continue to demand that producers/earners "sacrifice"---counting on that word like some holy moral principle that will work its magic by making producers and earners feel guilty if they protest. Politicians such as Senator Bingaman seek to flood taxpayers with guilt should anyone dare say they have not the slightest interest in using their hard-earned money to help strangers when they want instead to help their own higher values, their loved ones.

The demand for sacrifice is long past needing to be expunged as a solution to politically generated problems. In the name of common sense and the well being of those who work and work and work and pay and pay and pay, the demand for sacrifice must be ended. Senator Bingaman and his colleagues created the problems. They should solve them without demanding that taxpayers' "sacrfice."

Congress voted for and created terrible problems as a result of their own negligence and excesses and lack of aforethought. They should cease demanding that earners/producers "sacrifice" to save politician's rear ends.

Determined to make producers/earners pay for politician's errors of judgement, Senator Bingaman of course is not at all in favor of Paul Ryan's proposed budget. He claims Paul Ryan's proposal does "not require a shared burden"---by which he means: not enough sacrifice.

There is more to object to and reject in Senator Bingaman's Newsletter. However, nothing Mr. Bingaman says is new or news or even a letter. It is a prolonged complaint that earners pay for Congress' devastating mistakes and dreadfully bad judgement.

I hope producers/earners say, "No way."

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