Monday, April 30, 2012

Can you name the president...

Can you name the president that holds the distinction of holding all
ten of these records?

1. U.S. Sovereign debt downgraded for the first time in American history
2. Highest percentage of federal spending to GDP since World War II
3. Highest budget deficit to GDP since World War II
4. Highest federal debt to GDP since World War II
5. Long term unemployment highest since the 1930′s
6. Slowest job growth following a recession since World War II
7. Actual employment (% of population working) lowest in 29 years
8. Home ownership lowest since 1965
9. Percentage of citizens paying income tax lowest in modern history
10. Government dependency highest in American history


Friday, April 27, 2012

Obama's Tax Weapons of Mass Destruction

Allen West

Freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Wednesday evening likened President Obama's preference for higher tax rates to "tax weapons of mass destruction" that Obama is aiming straight at Middle Americans.

"Although he has never served our country in uniform, or risked his life to defend its freedoms and liberties on distant shores, it seems President Obama understands a thing or two about weaponry," West said on the House floor. "But in the president's case … the current weapon of choice is tax policy, and the enemies are small businesses, investors, entrepreneurs and corporations, who seemingly are deemed undesirable.

"President Obama seems determined to punish and wipe out economic success in this country, leveling tax weapons of mass destruction on all taxpayers."

West said Obama favors the expiration of tax cuts on marginal rates, as well as reducing estate tax exemptions and increasing taxes on capital gains and dividends.

"Next year, unless changes are made to the tax code, America will be bombarded with the heavy artillery of the largest tax increase in the nation's history, causing massive economic injury and destruction," West said.

West also criticized Obama's understanding of tax policy, arguing that increased taxes would do little to reduce the deficit, which he said is caused by overspending. He also said people facing higher taxes would react to these taxes, leading to less new revenue than the Obama administration anticipates.

"The American people … want a constitutional republic, not a socialist, egalitarian welfare nanny state," he concluded. "The American people want an economic future so bright that they will have to wear sunglasses."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lyme Disease

Medical Freedom, Lyme Disease, and Obamacare
April 22, 2012
By Zilla

Imagine that people who are ill with Cancer or AIDS are misdiagnosed and are left untreated for their Cancer or AIDS while desperately going from doctor to doctor to try to find out why they are so sick, only to be repeatedly told over a period of many months or even years that they have illnesses which nobody really knows anything about or that they are hypochondriacs (and instead of any attempt to treat their illnesses, they are given antidepressants and told that it will make them feel better because it's really just depression that is making them miserable, although it is more likely that being sick and untreated is actually what may be making them depressed!), before it is finally discovered that what has been making them sick is actually Cancer or AIDS and not a "mystery" or  psychosomatic illness as they had been previously told.

Lyme Disease is a raging epidemic:


The medical community at large creates the biggest barrier for the effective diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease, as innocent people suffer and the handful of doctors who try to help them literally risk everything to do so. Via

People who are suffering from advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease (also called Chronic Lyme Disease) and the Lyme-Literate Doctors (LLMDs) who work to help them are openly and publicly mocked and ridiculed by supposed infectious disease "experts" who would be better named as "Doctors of Denial". These doctors must have had their fingers crossed behind their backs when they took the Hippocratic Oath's vow to "First do no harm".

Obtaining appropriate medical treatment for serious, debilitating and potentially life threatening disease should not be a political issue, but it is.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hitler finds out Obama ate his dog.

Katie Pavlich's 'Fast and Furious'

Let me guess, you probably haven't even heard about this scandal, right?

Well it is real, and it's only because the media is in love with this administration that most have not heard about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Katie Pavlich's 'Fast and Furious'

Of all the myriad scandals of the Obama administration, there is one, largely ignored by the mainstream media, that could actually be its worst.

That scandal is the operation run from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the Justice Department, known as "Fast and Furious," through which the federal government actually encouraged and even ordered American gun shops to sell guns -- against the store owners' better judgment -- to "straw" purchasers who were funneling guns to Mexican drug gangs while the ATF sat back and watched and did nothing.

As Katie Pavlich shows in her remarkable and eye-opening new book, "Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up," the whole scheme was either absolutely harebrained or, as some have more ominously theorized, intentionally designed to manufacture "evidence" for tightening gun control legislation.

Pavlich exposes how extreme gun control measures have been a top political goal for President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and other important leaders within the administration -- and she draws the lines that link this goal directly to the implementation of Fast and Furious. Just as importantly, she shows how the administration has shamelessly tried to obscure those links.

The operation resulted in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the murder or wounding of some 200 Mexican citizens.

In the operation, there was no attempt to track the weapons sold, and some agents who tried to follow the purchasers were told to stand down. Not only that, but our government kept Mexican authorities wholly in the dark about the operation. Allowing these guns to "walk" into Mexico without surveillance and behind the backs of Mexican authorities guaranteed they would end up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels and only be recovered after crimes had been committed, which is exactly what occurred.

As one ATF agent testified to Congress, "you can't allow thousands of guns to go south of the border without an expectation that they are going to be recovered eventually in crimes and people are going to die."

In their reports on Fast and Furious, congressional investigators concluded that the Department of Justice "had much greater knowledge of, and involvement in, Fast and Furious than it has previously acknowledged." Indeed, Attorney General Holder claimed that he had been unaware of Fast and Furious until a few weeks before May 3, 2011, but it was shown that he had received numerous memos about it much earlier, which he later insisted he had not read.

Rep. Darrell Issa has said that the DOJ has spent more time and resources trying to protect the careers of its officials who knew about the operation than in holding accountable those who were involved. In fact, the evidence shows that the only ones who have been punished are those who blew the whistle on the operation, while those who were engaged in wrongdoing have been rewarded -- reassigned or promoted with their pensions still intact.

Meanwhile, the DOJ, according to the committee report, "has blamed everyone except for its political appointees for Fast and Furious." Ken Melson, then the ATF's acting director, said that the DOJ is "circling the wagons to protect its political appointees."

Though Holder told the House Judiciary Committee his office was working "tirelessly to identify, locate and provide relevant information" to Congress, Republican representatives and senators say he and his department have been stonewalling their investigation. Sen. Charles Grassley said that Justice was withholding some 74,000 pages of relevant documents from the investigators.

The ongoing investigation also reveals a disturbing lack of coordination and cooperation among the ATF, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI, all of which are under the domain of Holder's DOJ. One deputy attorney general, upon being confronted with this issue, just casually replied, "We will look into it."

The committee's report said that everyone involved was blaming others: The ATF pointed the finger at the Justice Department for encouraging the operation, and Justice blamed the U.S. attorney's office in Arizona for implementing it. DOJ officials who could have stopped the operation blamed their staffs for not bringing critical facts to their attention. Making matters worse, U.S. attorney's office personnel have taken the Fifth Amendment in refusing to testify before Congress, or the DOJ has prohibited them from appearing before Congress at all.

Katie's book is a real reporter's book, loaded with interviews with inside sources, including conscience-stricken government agents who are appalled by the politicization of the ATF. She quotes ATF agent John Dodson, who says, "I have never heard an explanation from anyone involved in Operation Fast and Furious that I believe would justify what we did."

This book, which is the best reporting yet on the Obama administration's bloodiest scandal -- and its most unconscionable one -- will make your blood boil. You should purchase and read it.

Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up by Katie Pavlich $16.77


David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, "Crimes Against Liberty," was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction for its first two weeks. Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at

An economy that produces a growing middle class

"The choice in this election, is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead and an economy that continues down the road we are on."

-- David Axelrod on "Fox News Sunday" has offered the best and most succinct case for a Romney presidency yet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One of Obama's favorite Dog Recipes: Michael Vick's Ol' Fashioned Backyard Jambalaya

#ObamaDogRecipes Michael Vick's Ol' Fashioned Backyard Jambalaya

-- David Burge @iowahawkblog

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Barney Frank: Passing Obamacare was a mistake

Epoch! Frank's late date confession is a reason to forgive him, but only if congress will heed his advise and repeal the bill and replace it with common sense, smaller measures like intra-state competition which is now prohibited.

Barney Frank: Passing Obamacare was a mistake

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Re: Congratulations Obama

I would add...

Murdering infants is a choice, but paying mandatory government health insurance premiums is not a choice.

  • You must have health insurance to be a citizen, but you don't need proof of citizenship to vote.
  • Profit is scorned, non-profit revered.
  • A man is innocent until proven guilty, unless his guilt suits a convenient narrative.
  • Arming foreign criminals with guns that kill our agents is unworthy of investigation or a staffing change.
  • Forty million new patients will receive health care without increasing the number of doctors, but your doctor and your health care plan won't suffer.
  • The Constitution says whatever the man wearing the flag pin says it says.
  • We betray our friends' secret plans, while transmitting comfort to Vladimir.
  • Fifty billion dollars of other people's money is nothing between pals, GM.
  • After a full year of receiving unemployment checks, you have 47 more weeks to go.
  • If you give up trying to find a job, you are no longer unemployed. Congratulations.
  • Dividing citizens against each other, according to union membership, skin color and wealth, is called "leadership."
  • Seizing money from the rich is called "justice," and, for our present purposes, let's call our great grandchildren's generation "rich."
  • Murdering infants is a choice, a choice that will be funded by the American taxpayer.
  • When money is needed, money is printed.
  • It is possible to lead from behind.
  • Up, henceforth, will be down … but subject to change.
  • When he said "hope and change," we should have asked for specifics.

Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at


Congratulations Obama

  • You must have health insurance to be a citizen, but you don't need proof of citizenship to vote.
  • Profit is scorned, non-profit revered.
  • A man is innocent until proven guilty, unless his guilt suits a convenient narrative.
  • Arming foreign criminals with guns that kill our agents is unworthy of investigation or a staffing change.
  • Forty million new patients will receive health care without increasing the number of doctors, but your doctor and your health care plan won't suffer.
  • The Constitution says whatever the man wearing the flag pin says it says.
  • We betray our friends' secret plans, while transmitting comfort to Vladimir.
  • Fifty billion dollars of other people's money is nothing between pals, GM.
  • After a full year of receiving unemployment checks, you have 47 more weeks to go.
  • If you give up trying to find a job, you are no longer unemployed. Congratulations.
  • Dividing citizens against each other, according to union membership, skin color and wealth, is called "leadership."
  • Seizing money from the rich is called "justice," and, for our present purposes, let's call our great grandchildren's generation "rich."
  • Murdering infants is a choice, a choice that will be funded by the American taxpayer.
  • When money is needed, money is printed.
  • It is possible to lead from behind.
  • Up, henceforth, will be down … but subject to change.
  • When he said "hope and change," we should have asked for specifics.

Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at

socially destructive superstition

John Stossel says that the most socially destructive superstition of all is the intuitively appealing belief that problems are best solved by government.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Obama brings a ray of sunshine!

It turns out, if he doesn't stand there in the middle of that solar field, and hold his hand just that way, the sun won't shine, and the solar grid goes offline. Hey, at least he'll have a good job lined up for himself in 2013 when he'll need it!

In his time in office, President Obama has made some seriously bad proposals and decisions on energy policy, and Americans are paying the price, whether it's in higher energy costs, wasted tax dollars, or in jobs that have been left on the table. For those who aren't keeping track, we've compiled a list of the President's ten worst energy policies:

1) Saying "NO" to Keystone XL: With oil prices going through the roof, the best way to drive down prices is to increase the supply of oil and it can be done by safely increasing access to resources in North America. The Keystone XL pipeline would bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the United States (as well as jobs, economic growth and stat tax revenue) but President Obama said "NO" the project despite bipartisan support and despite the Department of State's conclusion that the project would pose no significant environmental risk.

2) Wasting Billions on Loan Guarantees: President Obama has a grand vision for a green energy revolution, funded by taxpayer dollars. So in his trillion dollar stimulus, he added billions of dollars to the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program, empowering it to to hand out Americans' money to alternative energy companies. His plan failed miserably, as company after company went bankrupt, including Solyndra, Solar Trust of America, Beacon Power and Ener1. Others including Abound Solar and A123 Systems laid off American works despite receiving  millions in loan guarantees.  The federal government should not be playing venture capitalist with taxpayer money.

3) Banking on Electric Car Dream Machines: President Obama made electric cars like the Chevy Volt a central part of his energy policy with subsidies for both the production and purchase of electric vehicles.  But the trouble is the American people just aren't buying them, even with $7,500 taxpayer-funded rebates. In 2011, GM missed its projected sales volume for the Volt, shipping 7,671 of the vehicles — well short of its target of 10,000. Meanwhile, the DOE handed half a billion dollars in loan guarantees to Fisker, an electric car maker that has delayed production in the U.S., and another half billion in low interest loans to Tesla Corporation, which produces six-figure electric sports cars that can only travel 55 miles.  Even if electric cars save fuel, they still cost more to own than similar gasoline-only vehicles.

4) Saying "No" to Domestic Energy Production: While Americans struggle to cope with high energy prices, President Obama has made it even harder for companies to explore and extract domestic energy resources. Federal production onshore and offshore has been down from 2010 to 2011.  The Administration either cancelled, delayed or withdrew a number of lease sales for exploration and development. Meanwhile, huge swaths of federal lands have been put off limits for energy exploration.  Delays and restrictions in oil and gas production has resulted in abundant energy sources being unavailable and prevented job growth, economic activity and increased government revenue. The federal government also withdrew an approved permit for a coal mine and blocked and obstructed uranium mining.

5) The EPA's Regulatory Train Wreck: The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ream of new regulations will adversely affect existing power plants, requiring them to be retrofitted or in many cases shut down because it will be too costly to install emission-reduction controls The most recent announcement of the President's ongoing campaign against carbon-based fuel, the EPA released a new rule to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants, which would effectively ban new coal power plants, as its emissions standards are too low to be met by conventional coal-fired facilities. That will result in higher energy costs, fewer jobs, a less prosperous economy and no discernible difference in global temperatures.

6) Cap-and-Trade and the Clean Energy Standard: When he came into office, President Obama latched on to the notion of cap-and-trade — a system of energy taxes and credits designed to reduce carbon emissions. The end result would have been disastrous for American businesses and the economy. When that legislation failed, the President proposed a Clean Energy Standard mandating that the power industry  meet government-determined goals with respect to renewable energy production. The effect, though, is the same.  Both serve as a draconian energy tax that burdens businesses and consumers – with no environmental benefits.

7) Subsidies for Some, Higher Taxes for Others: President Obama likes to play favorites in the energy industry, handing out subsidies for those that he thinks are the "right" industries — in his view, wind, solar — while calling for higher taxes on the "wrong" ones — namely, oil. Whether it is for fossil fuels or renewable energy sources, subsidies waste taxpayer dollars, stifle innovation, create industry complacency, crowd out investment, and give industries the incentive to lobby Washington for handouts and special protections. Meanwhile, the President wants higher taxes for oil companies — the costs of which would be handed down to consumers who are already suffering from high gas prices. The problem is that the President is manipulating language to frame the energy debate to his liking while disregarding the facts.

8) Terminating the Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.  The Obama Administration   says it wants to pursue nuclear power, but its rhetoric does not match its nuclear policy.  Its decision to abandon the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project without any technical or scientific data is a case in point.  With nearly $15 billion spent on the project, the data indicates that Yucca would be a safe place to store America's used nuclear fuel.  Yet purely for political reasons the Obama administration decided to terminate the program without having anything to replace it. Absent any nuclear waste disposal options, the United States simply will not significantly expand nuclear energy.

9) Green Jobs Stimulus: With the U.S. economy struggling to recover from a recession, President Obama turned to a trillion dollars in stimulus spending in an attempt to spend America out of the economic doldrums. A significant part of that stimulus was directed toward a new "green" economy with taxpayer dollars directed toward creating alternative energy jobs. Obama promised to create five million green jobs over 10 years. The trouble is that his plan didn't work, and the jobs didn't materialize. As The New York Times reported, it was nothing more than "a pipe dream." Further, these are taxpayer-funded jobs that destroy jobs elsewhere in the economy. When the government gives money to build a windmill, for example, those resources cannot simultaneously be used to build other products. The net effect is job and income losses.

10) Job-Killing CAFE Standards: Obama's EPA has imposed a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard requiring auto makers to hit an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared to today. The Center for Automotive Research warned that overly stringent standards could add $10,000 to the cost of a new car, decreasing sales and thereby reducing production, destroying as many as 220,000 jobs, according to a report by the Defour Group. And a 2002 National Academy of Sciences study concludes that CAFE's downsizing effect makes cars less safe and contributed to between 1,300 and 2,600 deaths in a single representative year.


The President's policies are not working

Obviously the main stream media is biased! Just look at this exchange...

QOTD: "CURRY: Do you acknowledge that poor people will suffer...


CURRY: ...under [t]his budget?


CURRY: That you have shown a lack of empathy to poor people in this budget?

RYAN: Quite the contrary. Our poverty rates are the highest they've been in a generation. One out of six people are in poverty today. The President's policies are not working and we're advancing pro-growth policies to get people off of welfare on to work. What we want to do is replicate those successful strategies that worked in the late '90s, that were not applied to these other welfare programs, to get people on to lives of self-sufficiency, from welfare to work. And we're proposing reforms and transitions that do that. We just don't agree that throwing more money at failed programs works. We want to reform these programs so that they actually achieve the result of getting people on their lives of self-sufficiency.

--Paul Ryan, interviewed by NBC's Ann Curry

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In three years we’ve begun to see what change looks like

Here are just seven economic facts that begin to capture the economic pain Americans are presently experiencing as they struggle to survive the ravages of the Obama economy :

1.  Every fifth man in America is out of a job.   Indeed, black male unemployment is now at the highest rate it has ever been since the U.S. government began collecting statistics on the subject in 1972.  Just 56.9 percent of black men over the age of 20 are now working.   Indeed, according to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), one out of every six African Americans, male or female, are now unemployed.

2. Every seventh person you pass on the sidewalk now relies on food stamps.

3.  On the last day of President Bush's presidency, gas prices were $1.84 a gallon. Today under Obama, the average price of a gallon of gas costs $3.94.   Easter weekend in Catalina Island, California, drivers saw prices topping $7 a gallon.

4.  In 2006 and 2007, 90% of all college graduates found a job.  Under Obama, just 56% of college graduates are able to find a job.

5.  More than one in four U.S. homeowners are "under water" or owe more than their homes are worth.   The housing crisis has now destroyed $7 trillion in U.S. household wealth.  Another 9.5 million homes are still at risk of default, sparking what analysts believe will be a second wave of foreclosures in the months to come.

6.  President Obama has increased the national debt more in three years than President Bush did in eight.  Under Bush, the debt rose $4.899 trillion in eight years.  In three years, Obama has exploded the debt by $4.939 trillion.

7. A record 87,897,000 Americans are no longer in the labor force.   When the number of individuals who have stopped looking for a job and/or who are working part-time but desire full-time employment is included--a figure known as the "underemployment rate"--real unemployment stands at 19.1%.

As President Obama said in a speech a week ago, "In three years we've begun to see what change looks like."

Certainly only 75% of the blame goes to Obama -- some of the blame goes to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats who took over Congress in 2007, and to Harry Reid and the Democrats, who took over the Senate also in 2007, and are still in control of the Senate today, blocking every attempt by the Republicans to fix the mess we are in. I'm optimistic because that will all change next year when the Republicans take over the Senate and the Presidency.

Unelected EPA mandates E15 which causes engine damage in older cars

Does your car take Flexfuel?
If not, look out for the new E15 coming soon to the pumps near you...
My car is not so happy with the current E10 -- I'm getting 5mpg less since they put that mandate in effect.


The EPA is also preparing signage and information campaigns to warn owners of older vehicles about E15.  On March 2, the EPA released an "E15 Misfueling Mitigation Plan" with directions for "Labeling," "Product Transfer Documentation (PTD)," an Educational Outreach Coalition (E15EOC), and instructions for a "survey plan," in which "samples will be calculated as follows":

I hope that's clear to everyone.

I can't imagine that local gas station owners are excited by the prospect of investing in renovating their pumps to accommodate a fuel that provides fewer miles per gallon and might cause engine damage.  Not to worry, however.  Oil and Gas Journal writes:

To enable its widespread use, it said the Obama administration has set a goal to help fueling station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next 5 years. In addition, both through the Recovery Act and the 2008 Farm Bill, the US Departments of Energy and Agriculture have provided grants, loans, and loan guarantees, it said.

None of these funds doled out from Obama's stash had to go through an appropriations process governed by a "democratically elected Congress."  Unelected EPA officials make decisions and the money is already available.

Ethanol is currently cheaper than gasoline, but this will surely change if the federal government gets out of the business of rewarding ethanol producers and hamstringing gasoline producers.  If ethanol can be sold for a profit without government mandates, it might play a role in our energy future.  Brazilian sugarcane seems like a more promising feedstock than American corn, but the market can make this decision.

In the meantime, let's hope that President Romney has the wisdom to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Scary:Foreign company acquires leading U.S. vote processing firm

A big reason for concern!   Why no coverage by the State-run media (MSM).

I'd wouldn't put it past the Dems to cheat in the November elections. If they can't win on the issues, then lie, steal and cheat.

I wrote a letter to the editor way back on this very issue!

A Record 88 Million Missing From Labor Force: Breitbart

Here's the true measure of unemployment:

The Swedish Disaster – America’s Future?

Sven Larson grew up in Sweden, so he should know.

To me, this is the key sentence:

"Adding insult to injury, the welfare state itself de-incentivizes work: when government promises all sorts of perks to people, one big reason to work hard is gone. "

And without hard work, we won't see prosperity, but rather, like Obama is giving us with his trickle down tyranny, next there comes trickle up poverty.

I prefer the opposite win-win scenario that Reagan gave us where we all see prosperity because the size of government is small (its taxes, regulations and bureaucracies) -- this lets the free market take over and do what it does best, pull everyone who is willing to work up by their bootstraps.

The Swedish Disaster – America's Future?
By Sven R Larson on Apr 09, 2012 in 2012 Election News, Opinion, Politics

If Obama gets re-elected, and if the Democrats gain any more power in Congress than they already have, it is almost certain that America will quickly turn into a full-fledged European welfare state.

Obama's America is not the America you grew up in. It is not the America you want your children to grow up in.

I know, because I actually grew up in Obama's America. It's called Sweden.

For decades, the American left has touted Sweden as a role model for America: its income security system, its universal, tax-paid child care, and of course its government-run, single-payer health care system. From college professors to politicians, liberals have done everything in their power to convince America that they should entrust their and their children's future to a Swedish-style social democratic welfare state.

God help America if they succeed.

Before I share the true story about Sweden, let me explain how close we are to fulfilling this wet Swedish dream of the left. The federal government only needs to add three more features to the already large American welfare state: single-payer health care, universal child care and general income security.

As I explained in my column last week, the road to a single-payer system is already paved. Proposals for federal, universal child care have been floating around in liberal circles for many years. Thankfully the idea has not yet gotten serious traction here in America, but don't hold your breath on that. As recently as in 2008 Hillary Clinton made it one of her major issues.

The second biggest trophy for welfare statists, after single-payer health care, is a general income security system. It means, plain and simple, that government taxes us to hand out income replacement checks when we are home from work for a variety of reasons, such as caring for a sick child.

Sweden's general income security programs are very elaborate. Predictably, they have also eroded workforce participation and raised government dependency to alarming levels.

In 2009 Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced a bill to create a general income security program. It was called the FIRST Act, "Family Income to Respond to Significant Transitions", and gained two dozen sponsors. Thankfully, it never made it out of committee.

That does not mean it won't come back. Keep in mind how relentless the liberals were in getting a government-expanding health reform done. Behold Obamacare. The idea of a general income security program has strong support by the influential Center for American Progress, whose senior economist Heather Boushey has testified before Congress in ardent support of the act.

One of the most serious problems with the welfare state is that it is socially and economically deceitful. It comes front-loaded with benefits – you get your entitlements from day one – but the true cost does not appear until much later. And when the cost comes, it hits others than those who cashed in on the benefits.

Let me use my own background to illustrate. My grandparents were born in the 1910s into a country that had no welfare state whatsoever. They got married and had children in the late '30s and '40s, still without a welfare state to take care of them. They lived by the old-fashioned work ethics that has underpinned Western Civilization for centuries: work hard, be virtuous and charitable, and take care of your family. They were poor, but they were still able to feed, clothe, house and educate their children. And they were proud of it.

My mother once said of her upbringing: "We never had time to complain about how poor we were. We were too busy doing our homework."

As my parents grew up during the '50s, the Swedish welfare state started growing. The socialists who ruled Sweden uninterruptedly for 44 years expanded government in all thinkable and unthinkable directions. There was universal child care, and all kids were supposed to be in it. There was socialized health care. Public housing was expanded to such a degree that only families with very high incomes could afford a house.

Private landlords were reduced to a curiosity.

Even when you rented from public housing you got a tax-paid subsidy check toward your lease. You got an annual child benefits check (as opposed to the American tax credit version).

And then of course there was general income security.

In Sweden, the general income security was set up to pay the paycheck for pregnant women, for women who had just had a baby, for women who wanted to stay home with their baby, for anyone who wanted to stay home and take care of a sick child or a relative in need of assistance.

In 20 years' time, from 1960 to 1980, the size of government as share of GDP went from 18 percent to 40 percent. For my parents' generation, it looked like Sweden had found The Ultimate Solution to all social and economic problems. They voted passionately to keep the welfare state in place, even when systemic problems began showing up in the early '80s.

To pay for its enormous spending, government needed tax revenues. Lots and lots of tax revenues. Local income taxes doubled from 1960 to 1980. The top bracket of the national income tax reached 80 percent and in some absurd cases even topped 100 percent! The value added tax (a complicated European replacement for the sales tax) climbed to 25 percent.

To pay for the general income security system the Swedish government raised the payroll tax year after year. It is now twice as high as the American payroll tax.

Inevitably, this max-tax policy started affecting the free part of the economy. Economic growth slowed to a crawl, private consumption virtually stagnated, and after the recession in the early '90s Sweden never recovered from its huge private-sector job loss. Today Sweden has as many private-sector jobs as the country had 20 years ago.

This stagnation in the private sector also shows itself in sharp increases in the actual tax burden. For every $100 a taxpayer paid in taxes in 1990, he paid $143 in 2000.

Again, under the world's highest taxes the private sector has stagnated. Tax revenues have stagnated as well – but demand for services and entitlements from the welfare state have skyrocketed. This is the work of a combination of reckless generosity from the welfare state and rising poverty due to a poorly performing economy.

In response, Sweden's lawmakers have instituted perpetual austerity programs. They cut services, reduce entitlements and try to change eligibility rules to lock more and more people out of the welfare state. But they don't cut taxes to compensate; if they did, they would admit that the welfare state is no longer working.

The price for this perpetual austerity policy is high. Health care services have been cut to bare bones, with, literally, deadly consequences. Patients die of curable conditions at rates that would cause a revolution in America.

When my grandfather got heart problems in the 1990s, after a long life of hard work and putting his faith in the welfare state to be there for him when he needed it, he was admitted to a government-run hospital, courtesy of the Swedish single-payer system. His experience was so terrible that he begged my grandmother: "If I get ill again, please do not send for an ambulance. I'd rather die at home than go back there."

He passed away peacefully at home. My grandmother, on the other hand, ended up in the harsh, budget-starved hands of a government-paid elderly "care" home. After a traumatic period of neglect, malnourishment and carelessness she died alone, humiliated and abandoned by a welfare state she had put her faith and money into all her life.

Her experience is shared by vast numbers of Sweden's elderly today. Despite the world's highest taxes the Swedish welfare state still cannot care for the most vulnerable. Elderly care homes are cutting costs to the point where they impose severe rationing of food, coffee and personal hygiene for their residents/patients.

The rest of the welfare state is in equally bad shape. The general income security system orders cancer patients back to work in the name of cost cutting. What was once created as a compassionate government institution to allow people to get well without the pressure of having to rush back to work, is now a bureaucracy with one single goal: to cut its costs and terminate entitlement payments to individuals as quickly as possible.

All this is systemic and inherent to the welfare state. It brings this destructive ausiterity upon itself. Its confiscatory taxes crush the private sector. Adding insult to injury, the welfare state itself de-incentivizes work: when government promises peall sorts of perks to people, one big reason to work hard is gone.

My parents grew up to enjoy all the perks the welfare state provided for them; my generation, born in the '60s, pays the price in the form of low income, perpetually high unemployment, low and stagnant standard of living and a grim outlook on the future.

I left Sweden in the late '90s. I have never looked back. The last thing I want is for America to become another Sweden.

There is still time for America to turn the tide on the welfare state. But not much. Only a strongly conservative Congress and a freedom-minded president can safeguard us against being transformed into another Sweden.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Would you do anything for mother Russia?

Sexy Russian Spy Anna Chapman Arrested Because She Was Getting Too Close To Someone Inside "Obama's Inner Circle"?

That's what a former FBI counterintelligence officer reveals.

The Independent (UK) highlights the six hundredth revelation that Iraqi informant "Curveball" lied. They bury the actual new news -- that the FBI felt it had to move quickly to arrest and deport Anna Chapman, for fear that someone close to Obama was about to snork her, and get caught in a "honey trap" (sex, followed by extortion for secrets/influence).

That someone "close" to Obama? A "sitting cabinet official," this FBI counterintelligence officer says.

Another revelation in the series is the real reason why the FBI swooped on Russian spy Anna Chapman in 2010. Top officials feared the glamorous Russian agent wanted to seduce one of US President Barack Obama's inner circle. Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI's head of counterintelligence, reveals how she got "closer and closer to higher and higher ranking leadership... she got close enough to disturb us".

The fear that Chapman would compromise a senior US official in a "honey trap" was a key reason for the arrest and deportation of the Russian spy ring of 10 people, of which she was a part, in 2010. "We were becoming very concerned," he says. "They were getting close enough to a sitting US cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue." Mr Figliuzzi refuses to name the individual who was being targeted.

Notice that at no point in the paragraph above
the photo is the targeted "individual's" gender implied.

Posted by: Ace at 03:18 PM