Tax time?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

As tax time approaches, we would do well to remember some recent history.

During his confirmation as Secretary of the Treasury (2009-2013), it was disclosed Timothy Geithner had not paid $35,000 in Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from 2001 through 2004 while employed at the International Monetary Fund. Neither did thousands of taxpayer-funded federal employees (although I believe that honorably-discharged veterans should receive lifetime exemptions from paying taxes). However, you and I would face steep criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment, as well as civil penalties. It must be nice to work for the government.

In fact, as of 2012, the federal government employed 2.8 million workers (excluding military personnel). Of course, as we discovered from last years “government shutdown”, more than 800,000 of that number were deemed “non-essential personnel.” There’s money well spent [insert sarcasm here].

Oh, and keep asking your accountant for the “Geithner Exemption”–it might actually be somewhere in the 73,954 pages of tax code.

UPDATE:

Today on Capitol Hill, the House Ways and Means Committee submitted recommendations to the Department of Justice regarding criminal charges and prosecution for Lois Lerner, the former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS. Committee members have stated they possess evidence proving Lerner broke the law during inappropriate targeting of conservative groups between 2010 and 2012. After multiple Congressional probes and numerous questions by Congress, she admitted during a conference in 2013 that the IRS had in fact, inappropriately targeted conservative groups.

Tomorrow, the House Oversight Committee will vote on whether to hold Lerner in contempt for failing to cooperate with Congress.

Not to worry though, because President Obama has already assured the American people that there is “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS.

Whew! I sure feel better about the Internal Revenue Service…especially considering they will be the ones enforcing the penalties for failing to enroll in Obamacare.

Got math?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

The unemployment rate is finally starting to turn around…NOT!

SOURCE: Erich Orisen & Gan Golan

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s numbers for 2013:

  • The United States population = 316,128,839.
  • The United States population under the age of 18 = 74,290,277.
  • The United States population aged 65 or older = 43,309,650.
  • The United States population of working age = 198,599,927.
  • The United States population that is working = 124,676,156.
  • The United States population that is not working = 73,923,771.

In other words, nearly 74 million (or 37%) Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 are not working. However, the “official” unemployment rate currently stands at 6.7%. Obviously, there are exceptions among the working age population, but certainly not enough to explain the dramatic difference between the two numbers.

I wonder if federal bureaucrats are using Common Core math to calculate the unemployment rate?

Jimmy Carter, foreign policy genius?

compiled  & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

When former U.S. President Jimmy Carter begins to look like a foreign policy genius, should America start to worry? Two opposing viewpoints should make for lively, intelligent debate or fodder for an inter-cubicle flame war.

SOURCE: Michael Ramirez

THE CONSERVATIVE: Kurt Schlichter, “Ukraine Illustrates Hard Truths Liberals Won’t Face”, Townhall.com (24 March 2014)

“Now we are in the almost unimaginable position of looking back at Jimmy Carter as an example of comparatively sure, savvy leadership.”

VS.

THE PROGRESSIVE: Fred Kaplan, “How to Stop Putin in His Tracks”, Slate.com (19 March 2014)

“He knows he’s weak. The West must show we know it, too.”

Obamascare?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

P. J. O’Rourke once remarked that if you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

SOURCE: www.sodahead.com

Last week, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sibelius, defended Obamacare’s track record on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, saying, “What we’re seeing is costs really come down for the first time in a very long time.”

Her unconvincing assertion came as eHealth, Inc., America’s first and largest private online health insurance exchange, released their “Cost of Comprehensive Health Benefits” report which “found the average monthly premiums for individual and family health insurance plans are 47% higher than average when they cover a comprehensive list of eight health benefits compared to 2012.”

Continue Reading »

The poster child?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Though many teachers are noble individuals who sincerely desire to make a difference, some are just in it for the money. 

ALAN ROSENFELD

 

A recent article by Susan Edelman, “Disgraced teacher is worth $10M, makes $100,000 a year, does nothing, & refuses to leave”, New York Post (29 January 2012), profiled the undisputed poster child for the “no-matter-how-many-bad-things-you-do-and-even-if-you’re-grossly-incompetent-lifetime-employment-protection” plan, otherwise known as tenure.

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Political tragedy?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Politicians are increasingly willing to prostitute our national tragedies to serve their personal ambitions.

SOURCE: www.sodahead.com

In the aftermath of the inexplicably tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, our national focus should remain on comforting the grieving families who are enduring a pain that no one else comprehends—except for them. Since grief affects everyone involved at 100%, it should never be compared or minimized and it most certainly should be experienced free from shameless political distractions.

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Moving “forward”?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Politicians are selling the idea that our economy is improving, but is anyone buying?

SOURCE: William Stout

QUESTION: How does the United States economy compare to the rest of the world?

According to the Fraser Institute, who publishes the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) index:

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Eat the rich?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Taxing the rich will solve all of our problems, right?

According to Forbes, as of September 2012, the top 10 richest people in America were:

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Promises?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

A preview of what to expect as Americans begin to shoulder the onerous regulations imposed by Obamacare.

The Promise:

One of the most poignant promises of Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was that he would fulfill “a sacred trust with our veterans” by significantly reducing the government’s lengthy backlog of pending claims for disability coverage and qualifying all veterans to receive a decision on their disability claims within 125 days.[1]

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The coincidence?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

“We have to pass the bill so that you can see what is in it.” So, perhaps the U.S. Congress should spend more time reading the bills and less time passing them?

“TRUST ME, THIS WON’T HURT A BIT.”

As a general principle, Americans should always think for themselves to prevent someone else from thinking for them. This fundamental principle is more important than ever, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

QUESTION: What will actually happen when the national health care law is fully implemented in 2014?

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It’s all in the numbers?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Sometimes words are unnecessary because the numbers say it all.

“TRUST ME.”

Numbers, unlike politicians and sleazy used car salesmen, don’t lie:

1) 46.2 million, or 15.1% of Americans, are in poverty. [1]

2) 46.7 million Americans are using food-stamps.[2]

3) 48.6 million Americans lack health insurance. [3]

4) U.S. median household income is $50,054.[4]

5) Between 1 January 2009 and 31 August 2012, U.S. unemployment averaged 9%.[5]

REMEMBER: The current unemployment rate is actually above 16% because the “official” statistics are NOT based on “how many people don’t have jobs?”, but rather “how many people don’t have jobs and are actively looking for them?” For example, let’s say you’ve searched unsuccessfully for five months and exhausted every job listing in your area. Discouraged, you stop looking, at least for the moment. According to U.S. government statistics, you’re no longer unemployed. Umm………congratulations?


[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2036961/US-poverty-rate-climbs-27-year-high-1-6-Americans-officially-poor.html. Accessed 17 September 2012.

[2] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-04/food-stamp-use-climbed-to-record-46-7-million-in-june-u-s-says.html. Accessed 17 September 2012.

[3] www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ed14fc70-fc51-11e1-aef9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz26qBsywzd. Accessed 17 September 2012.

[4] www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ed14fc70-fc51-11e1-aef9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz26qBsywzd. Accessed 17 September 2012.

[5] http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/labor/national-employment-monthly-update.aspx. Accessed 17 September 2012.

Do as I say, not as I do?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Every American should pay their fair share…unless they work for the government, of course.

According to an article written by Andrew Malcolm, “36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes” Investors Business Daily (26 January 2012), it would seem that hypocrisy is being redefined.

How many times have the American people been reminded that everyone needs to “pay their fair share” of taxes?

When it comes to political leadership, it must be nice NOT to have to lead by example.

Continue Reading »

Government Motors?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Despite a dismal track record of failure, politicians continue to believe that government intervention is always the solution.

“AN AMERICAN REVOLUTION?”

 

British writer Ernest Benn (1875-1954) once remarked, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”

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Guns kill people?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Don’t you wish that politicians, media, and elites would stop using tragedy as a reflexive lament to advance their agendas?

SOURCE: www.henrymakow.com

Though the recent shooting tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater and left 12 dead and 58 wounded is heartbreaking—the incident will instead become a “talking point” for the reflexively hysterical demands of gun control advocates.

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Raising taxes?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

The only thing you can consistently rely on politicians for…is their inconsistency.

President Obama has been demanding that Congress raise taxes on “the rich” for as long as he has been in office. Naturally, everyone is entitled to their own views on the economy. However, at a House Republican retreat in Baltimore, Maryland (29 January 2010), Obama agreed to restrain his desires for tax increases based upon the following reasoning:

…“I am just listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. And what they will say is that if you either increased taxes or significantly lowered spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that that would have a destimulative effect and potentially you’d see a lot of folks losing business, more folks potentially losing jobs. That would be a mistake when the economy has not fully taken off.”

It would seem that Barack Obama is merely the latest in a very, very lengthy list of politicians, both past and present, whose principles are…er…less than consistent.

A “taxing” question?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

So Obamacare was not a tax, before it was a tax, even though it is not a tax?

SOURCE: Nate Beeler

Here’s the exchange between President Barack Obama and George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, taped at the White House:[1]

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To your health?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Healthcare for our own good…whether we want it or not.

SOURCE: Scott Stantis

Though critics of Obamacare are fuming over the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling, my fellow Americans should take heart that this represents a bi-partisan legislative accomplishment [insert sarcasm here].

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Fun with IPOs?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Developing uncommon cents in today’s financial markets.

SOURCE: www.forbes.com

Suppose that you had $40,000 to invest (because–insert sarcasm here–who doesn’t these days) and you chose to put $10,000 into each of the four most “exciting” IPO’s of recent years—Pandora (P), Groupon (GRPN), Zynga (ZNGA), and Facebook (FB).

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The nanny?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Don’t worry about your life, the government knows how to live it better than you do.

SOURCE: www.politicalhumor.about.com

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City and self-appointed “Emperor of the Nanny-State”, has successfully outlawed trans-fats in restaurant food and forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus.

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The “state” of things?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Why the epic failure of California’s public school system may actually be by design.

LAUSD

The larger and more powerful the State becomes, the more it attempts to uniformly regulate the behavior of its “human resources” (a.k.a. citizens), to achieve greater predictability for the purpose of effective management.

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Latenight laughs?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Only the truth is funny…which is probably why politicians are not.

JAY LENO

Since politicians are such easy targets for our derision, it almost makes you feel bad pointing out their numerous shortcomings…almost. After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself, make fun of other people.

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Neither snow, nor rain?…

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

DEFINITION: Collection of self-interested federal employees working desperately to (1) save their salaries and benefits and (2) er…provide a public service.

Proving that not everything gets better with age—especially the U.S. Post Office—consider this article from 1985…

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The “working” man?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Remember when “unemployed” used to actually mean that you were unable to find a job? Not according to the new federal government dictionary.

U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DICTIONARY

The U.S. Labor Department’s official unemployment index, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is based on a monthly survey of sample households that only counts individuals who reported looking for work in the past four weeks.

What the Labor Department’s BLS index DOES NOT INCLUDE:

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Meet the national debt

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

The federal government’s plan to get us out of debt…by increasing it as much as possible.

SOURCE: www.americanmajority.org

To see the national debt statistically

To see the national debt visually

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I owe, I owe…

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

The federal government’s plan to keep our children and grandchildren in debt for generations to come.

Though the sheer size of our national debt makes it difficult to grasp, perhaps the following illustration will help:

NOTE: All dollar amounts are expressed in 2010 USD

In 2010, the annual interest on the U.S. national debt was $414 billion.

To put that number in perspective, remember that the ANNUAL INTEREST on the U.S. national debt is MORE than the ENTIRE GDP of the following countries:

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Mental slavery?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

George Orwell wisely noted in his dystopian masterpiece, 1984, that he who controls the past, controls the future and he who controls the present, controls the past.

BOB MARLEY
SOURCE: www.kumbaya.com

“But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.”[1]H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

It is no secret that America’s public school system is failing—badly. Learning “how to think” has been replaced by “what to think.” Education has been replaced by indoctrination and the freedom to discuss important issues of our time has become increasingly restricted. Education bureaucrats (“educrats”) continue to force-feed American students a steady diet of political correctness and trendy multiculturalism—for our own good of course. It would seem that our public high schools and universities have now adopted the motto: “We support your constitutional right to free thinking—as long as you agree with us.”

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Playing favorites?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

If we have learned anything from history…it is that we don’t learn anything from history.

FACT OR FICTION?

Presidential approval ratings since 1950:[1]

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The good old days?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

As Ludwig von Mises once remarked, government cannot make a man richer, but it can make him poorer.

It will certainly come as no surprise to anyone who has been conscious since 2008 that the United States economy is…ah…struggling. High unemployment, market insecurity, government overspending, and the declining dollar are just a few of the problems plaguing the nation. Lost amidst this gloomy financial news, is the full extent to which the average American’s purchasing power has declined.

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Feeding the homeless?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Those that know not why they think what they think, do not think at all.

Once upon a time, there lived a man, his wife, and their six year old daughter. One day, they were visited by a long-time family friend. Later that night while they were all eating dinner together, the guest asked the six year old what she wanted to be when she grew up. The girl answered that she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents were college professors at a prestigious university who taught “Super-useless-information-that-won’t-get-you-a-job-but-will-get-you-in-a-lot-of-debt” and they beamed with pride at their daughter’s lofty ambitions.

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Money well spent?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

And we wonder why teachers are always the first to go whenever educrats start discussing budget cuts.

SOURCE: www.eagnews.org

Since 2001, the Los Angeles Unified District (LAUSD) has spent $1.2 billion (2009 USD) to “educate” 8,400 students at a cost of $142,857.14 per student. [1] [2] [3] [4]

  • $578 million to build the Robert F. Kennedy Community School which houses 4,200 students and opened in 2010.
  • $377 or $375.5 million (2009 USD) to build the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center [formerly Belmont Learning Center] which houses 2,500 students and opened in 2008.
  • $232 million to build the Visual & Performing Arts High School which houses 1,700 students and opened in 2009.

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Making the grade?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked that no one should escape our universities without knowing how little they know.

Once upon a time, there lived a young woman who had almost completed her first year of schooling at a prestigious university that she could never afford to pay for herself. But fortunately, her parents had worked hard and saved enough money to cover her tuition.

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Worth considering?, Part 2

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

The media has enjoyed a long-standing, careless love affair with the conflicting theories of global warming and global cooling.

SOURCE: www.fedupusa.org

NOTE: A few of the headlines even manage to contradict the “conventional wisdom” of the times.

FROM THE 1860’s TO 1920’s…GLOBAL COOLING?

Worth considering?, Part 1

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

CLARIFICATION: Al Gore did not invent the internet, he invented global warming.

SOURCE: Stuart Edwards

Although going “green” has been extremely lucrative for Al Gore as he is poised to become the world’s first “carbon billionaire”, [1] he is better known for his Nobel prize-winning documentary (An Inconvenient Truth, 2007) [2] advancing the theory of global warming.

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How government “works”?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Maybe the federal government should use less red tape and more caution tape when it comes to making policy.

Once upon a time, the government owned a vast scrap yard in the middle of the desert. But Congress grew concerned that someone might steal from it at night so they formed a Scrap Yard Oversight Committee to determine what should be done. After several drafts and numerous revisions the committee eventually decided to create a night watchman position, GS-1, and hired someone for the job.

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WWJFKD?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

What would JFK do (about taxes)?

What would JFK do?

President John F. Kennedy appeared to have an excellent grasp of fiscal reality and perhaps ALL members of Congress would do well to heed his advice concerning the immutable relationship between raising taxes and ruining the economy.

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Buying influence?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

LOBBYISTS: Because it’s hard for politicians to decide stuff on their own.

“The legislature, like the executive, has ceased, save indirectly, to be even the creature of the people: it is the creature, in the main, of pressure groups, and most of them, it must be manifest, are of dubious wisdom and even more dubious honesty. Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle—a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism.” —H. L. Mencken, American Mercury (May 1930).

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An “agreeable” debt?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Perhaps our government needs a bipartisan fiscal reality check because the national debt isn’t getting any smaller.

SOURCE: www.demonocracy.info

Given our nation’s precarious financial condition, I hope that ALL Americans can agree with the following:

“Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

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“Big labor”?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Money talks and BS runs the marathon, so unions get to talk to a lot of politicians (who are usually running for something).

In reviewing the “Top 100 All-Time Donors, 1989-2010″, it is interesting to note that several of the top donors are unions. [1]

Just follow the money… [2] [3] Continue Reading »

Got energy?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Considering the vast reserves possessed by the United States, energy should be exceedingly cheap (should be).

The U.S. Congress bears sole responsibility for artificially increasing oil prices since it is OUR oil that remains largely untapped beneath OUR deserts, OUR forests, OUR swamps and OUR oceans. These politicians that we have freely elected…and re-elected…and then re-elected [sigh] are preventing OUR oil from being drilled by us and sold to us. Continue Reading »

One nation under God?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

The United States of America was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles…where it has gone from there is a matter of debate.

Regardless of your personal religious–or non-religious–views, it is a historical fact that the United States of America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. The true controversy is simply that apologists argue Judeo-Christian principles are the source of our national strength, while critics argue that these same principles–if they are even true–have actually been detrimental to our national progress.
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If the shoe fits?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Judge for yourself how successfully the planks of the Communist Party platform have been grafted into the tree of American liberty.

On 10 January 1963, the following was entered into the Congressional record [1] by U.S. Representative Albert Sydney Herlong, Jr. (1909-1995) [D-FL] who served in Congress from 1949 to 1969.

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It’s the thought that counts?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Including wages and benefits, federal workers now make twice what their private sector counterparts make…our taxpayer dollars hard at work [insert biting sarcasm here].

The federal government is growing at a faster pace than any other sector of today’s economy.[1] [2] [3] [4]

WHAT THE TAXPAYER PAYS FOR…

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From the horse’s mouth?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Small business is the most important engine for economic growth in America…so naturally, the federal government does whatever it can to punish small businesses.

Successful coaches reward their most productive players with additional playing time and do not punish their productivity by benching them. Likewise, successful governments reward their most productive citizens with tax cuts and do not punish their productivity by oppressive taxation. After all, the more the government takes, the less incentive business owners have to be productive. Continue Reading »

1 Comment

Take me out to the ballgame?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Redistribution is becoming the federal government’s favorite past time.

Once upon a time, 50,000 people went to a baseball game, but sadly the game was rained out. A refund was then due.

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2 Comments

A fable for our time?, Part 2

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Just another reminder that not all fables end well–especially when they are politically-correct.

THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER (classic version)

Once upon a time, there was an ant and a grasshopper that lived in a beautiful meadow.

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A fable for our time?, Part 1

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

A shorter, updated version of George Orwell’s dystopian classic, Animal Farm.

THE LITTLE RED HEN

Once upon a time a little red hen called all of her neighbors together and said, “If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?”

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Peace out?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

With some notable exceptions, the Nobel Peace Prize has ceased to be a meaningful award–especially considering some of it’s winners and losers.

SOURCE: www.canadafreepress.com

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on 8 October 2010 and has been awarded 90 times to 120 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2009—97 times to individuals and 23 times to organizations.

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Economic “snapshots”?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

WENDELL PHILLIPS (1811-1884) | “Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the people.”

SOURCE: www.nowtheendbegins.com

OVERALL…

  • From 1790 to 2010 the DJIA increased by 29,373%.
  • From 1790 to 2010 the NYSE price of gold per fine ounce increased by 389%.
  • From 1790 to 2010 the Real GDP increased by 334,626%.
  • From 1790 to 2010 the Real GDP per capita increased by 4,165%.
  • From 1790 to 2010 the National Debt increased by 1,409,974%.
  • From 1790 to 2010 the National Debt per capita increased by 17,861%.

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Failing our children?, Part 4

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

So what’s higher about higher education?

SOURCE: www.marqui.com

Perhaps the statistics cited in Parts 1, 2, and 3 should come as no surprise considering the following institutions of “higher learning” sanction general education standards that DO NOT REQUIRE the study of U.S. History/Government…[1]

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Failing our children?, Part 3

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Thomas Jefferson once remarked, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.”[1]

The freedom that Jefferson spoke of is imperiled by a growing ignorance of America’s heritage as evidenced by our collective historical amnesia.[2] [3] It is absolutely crucial for the future prosperity (and longevity) of our great nation that today’s college students [read our nation’s future leaders] become sufficiently grounded in their nation’s history and founding principles. Higher education must do more than simply produce expensive degrees to display on an office wall; it must produce informed and engaged citizens who are capable of assuming the larger responsibility of guiding America’s destiny.

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Failing our children?, Part 2

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Even though we are failing in every measurable national and international test, at least we are leading the world in self-esteem.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), “the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.”

“Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly using the same sets of test booklets across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and selected urban districts. The assessment stays essentially the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. This permits NAEP to provide a clear picture of student academic progress over time.”

Although the real-world value of standardized test scores remains dubious at best, it serves as an accurate baseline from which to evaluate, using its own preferred method of measurement, the results of public school education. Continue Reading »

Failing our children?, Part 1

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

QUESTION: How much does state government(s) spend on the public school system?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the state spending per student and their corresponding graduation rates for (2005-2006) is…er…you be the judge[1] [2] [3] [4]

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Fiscal Promiscuity?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

SOURCE: Rascal

With a seemingly insatiable appetite for taxpayer dollars, it would appear that Congress has forsaken their solemn obligation to the People to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and in particular, the sections that restrain their spending.

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You get what you pay for?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

SOURCE: John Darkow

QUESTION: Considering Congress’ low approval ratings, lengthy criminal history, and profligate spending, are they actually worth their collective salaries?

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Foxes guarding the henhouse?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

SOURCE: Lisa Benson

Comedian Dennis Miller once remarked that, “Politicians are people whose deepest, darkest secrets should prohibit them from seeking higher office.” In fact, as the inestimable Mark Twain wryly noted, “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”[1]

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14 Comments

Congressional ineptitude?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

SOURCE: Despair, Inc.

If your approval rating was this low at your job…would you still have one? Congress does.

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1 Comment

The sacred cow of environmentalism?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

“But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.” —H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)

DISCLAIMER: It should be obvious to anyone who has bothered to read the historical record that Europeans/Americans have mistreated–sometimes brutally–the North American Indians. However, that is not the whole story.

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Mainstream media bias?

compiled and edited by Daniel Hagadorn

SOURCE: www.imgur.com

“If you have a long enough lever, you can move the world.” –Archimedes (c.287 BC – c.212 BC)

One of the most powerful “levers” of our modern era is the influence currently wielded by the mainstream media, whose political bias will be examined below…[1]

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Death and taxes?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

SOURCE: Ron Beitler

Most law-abiding citizens acknowledge the unfortunate necessity of paying taxes, but since the Civil War era, our government has advanced decidedly unconstitutional policies that would appall the Framers, who never envisioned a tax system like the one we presently “enjoy.”

“To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the miss-managers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another]…till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”[1]

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Has life since 1901 gotten better?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

America’s rapidly disappearing middle-class will likely become the next “species” placed on the endangered list. Only a century ago, life was very different for the middle-class who enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and a first-rate standard of living. In fact, the middle-class lifestyle of yesteryear would today be more accurately described as “upper-class”.

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H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Timeless insights from the “Sage of Baltimore” that continue to challenge our thinking today.

SOURCE: www.lhup.edu

“The truth that survives is the lie that it is pleasantest to believe.”[1]

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Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

One of America’s greatest intellects who thoroughly understood our country’s past and wisely predicted the steps which would be required to secure its future.

SOURCE: www.biography.com

…ON WHAT BASIS WAS OUR GOVERNMENT CONCEIVED AND FROM WHERE DOES IT DERIVE IT’S AUTHORITY?

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An article worth re-reading…

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Ronald Reagan once remarked that he often wondered what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress…it’s kind of a scary thought.

Charley Reese, “Looking for someone to blame? Congress is a good place to start,” Orlando Sentinel Star (7 March 1985)[1]

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How much is $1 trillion?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

SOURCE: www.demonocracy.info

…If you were a contemporary of Jesus Christ and began spending $1 million every day from the time of His death until now…you would still not have spent $1 trillion.

…If you laid one trillion dollar bills end to end, it would form a chain that stretched from the earth to the moon and back again 200 times.

…A military jet flying at the speed of sound—trailing out a roll of dollar bills behind it—would fly for 14 years before reaching $1 trillion.

…Using $100 dollar bills, $1 trillion would be stacked 224 feet wide, 432 feet long, and 7 feet high and would cover approximately 2.2 acres (an area considerably larger than a football field). [1]

…Put another way, one million seconds equals 11.5 days—one billion seconds equals 32 years—and one trillion seconds equals 32,000 years.


[1] http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/calculations.html.

Government spending in perspective…

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver. –Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Thomas Jefferson stated with prescience beyond his era, “I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”[1]

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