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Tax the rich! The rich must pay their fair share! No more private jets! We keep hearing these refrains from our President and others on the left.  Is our debt problem caused by the rich?  Is our deficit problem caused by the rich?  Is our spending problem caused by the rich.  Recently, I happened upon an interview of a gentleman named Robert Frank.  He wrote a book call “Richistan”.

It seems that he took a pencil to paper to calculate the affect on our deficit and debt “taxing the rich”to solve our problem of spending would have.  His calculation is stunning and would suggest that our President and the left need to break out their calculators – their solution simply does not work. I have always believed that the left attended the voodoo school of economics and maybe I am correct.  Really, the far left progressives are not as much concerned about economics as they are about insuring that the few dictate to the many, how to live, how to work, and how to play – economics and facts just get in their way.

  • In the interview, Mr. Frank was asked “If we reverse the Bush tax cuts would that solve our problem.
  • His answer: this would yield $100B annually against our $1.65T annual deficit.

 

  • What if we taxed all those folks making $250,000 annually and up at a 100% tax rate – take all their earnings?
  • Answer: this would yield $900B annually, but would still leave us short of the $1.65T annual deficit.

 

  • What if we confiscated all the wealth of the Forbes list of wealthy Americans?
  • Answer: This would net $1.6T and would solve the deficit for only one year.  (deficit, under our spending ways is annual)

 

  • How about if we were to end that corporate jet depreciation?
  • Answer: This would yield a couple billion against a $1.65T deficit.

We owe more than $14 Trillion and add to that debt at the rate of $1.65 Trillion annually.  We are increasing our debt at nearly 12% per year.  When will the reckless spending end?  We need to end the spending before we have any hope of lowering our debt.  To lower our debt we need a surplus every year and not a $1.65T deficit.  In Washington they are wringing their hands over proposals that might yield $2Trillion over ten years.  They do the Irish Jig if they achieve a 1% cut from the spending growth rate.  These “great” plans will not solve our annual deficit.  More taxes will not solve our deficit.  Only sustained substantial spending cuts are the answer.

We, the federal government, should be taking from the economy – the taxpayers – just enough to provide the basic obligations of the federal government as found in the Constitution.

 

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Are our school districts/systems, run by educated education professionals, spending your money wisely?  Has the U.S. Department of Education had a positive impact on our kids?  Has too much money gone to support the teachers’ unions’ demands, and bigger government; has too little information gone into the area between the ears of our kids? You be the judge.

 

Many thanks to the brilliant folks at the Cato Institute for the work they have done on so many important issues.  This work was done by Andrew J. Coulson and the complete Cato article can be found at President to Call for Big New Ed. Spending Here’s a Look at How that’s Worked in the Past.  Charts republished with the permission of the Cato Institute.

Let’s start with the U.S. Department of Education, elevated from the Office of Education in 1979.  The Department’s website  states “The Department’s mission is to serve America’s students— to  by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”  How is this working for you?

It has a $67 Billion budget, over 4,000 employees and distributes another $100 Billion in education support.  By the way, this $167 Billion is derived from tax revenue taken from tax payers in the fifty states and territories.  If this money is left in the states, the states can then collect and use this money as they see fit and not as directed by educators with a progressive bent on how our children should learn.  There are almost 60 million students enrolled in K-12 education in this country.  The elimination of the Department of Education’s operating budget would ensure another $1,100 per student in education funding.  Would you contribute to a charity that had a 40% overhead rate as does the Department of Education?  How much of your district’s budget is spent on U.S. Department of Education compliance?  Add these compliance expenses to the overhead and the amount freed up for students climbs even higher.

The states do not need the U.S. Department of Education; the states’ PhD’s are just as smart as the PhD’s at the Department of Education.  The department has miserably failed its mission because we have an abysmal return on our Federal investment and a relatively zero increase in student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness, as is the mission since 1979.  There is no education excellence in our children.  We need to shut it down and despite numerous tweaks by Congress it is an abject failure and a gargantuan waste of money.

Is money the answer in itself – No!  Much of the money provided to the students has gone to support the teacher unions’ contracts.  We cannot remove a bad teacher, we cannot improve work rules, and the unions even call the shots on how our children are prepared for the future.  Unless you consider socialist propaganda prepared, they are simply not prepared for the future.  We are not making widgets here; these children are the nation’s greatest resource.  They are not a cog in the wheel of a union contract.  The unions have benefited financially from favorable union contracts; have the children benefited?  If you think so, look at the charts again.  Are there good teachers?  Yes of course.  Are these good teachers allowed to innovate, no!

Stop throwing money at the problem and change the paradigm.  We need to focus heavily on English, Math, Sciences, History, and Social Studies above all else.  Yes art and music and others have their place, but the Titanic is sinking, so let’s not rearrange the deck chairs.  First we need a good hard look at the content of the books and then we need to actually teach our kids that passing or failing is important in life.  The real world requires critical thinking skills and believe it or not in non-government or non-academic careers success matters, so why not truly prepare our kids for the future.

Parents who care need to pressure their school boards to become totally transparent.  Put all budgets and salaries online.  Put the progress of each class online.  We need to measure our teachers by testing their classes at the start of the semester/school year and then again at the end of the semester/school year to judge whether the teacher has adequately promoted student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness. Since our children are important and our future lifeblood, we need to compensate our teachers based on quality control.  If they actually deliver student achievement  and prepare these kids for the global economy – pay them well.  General Electric became very successful after Jack Welch instituted a policy that each year the bottom 10% of managers were let go and replaced by new hires – remember this is the real world.  Why shouldn’t this real world accountability be applied to those entrusted to prepare our to children succeed for themselves and for this country?

 

 




We have heard from those politicians, who need to join spenders anonymous, that if we do not raise the debt ceiling we will default on our debt and plunge the country into chaos.  This answer to this is super simple.  We take tax revenue that continues to come in and use that to pay the debt and interest on the debt.  We take whatever is left and use it to run the country.  Yes, we will have to cut expenditures to make this smaller pot of gold work, we will not default, or lose our credit rating – it might even be strengthened.

We have heard that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling that our credit rating will drop – lie, lie, lie!!!

When creditors look at lending to you or the country, they look at your ability to repay – they do not look at an abritrary debt ceiling deadline that has been increased more than a dozen times in the recent past, just so we can borrow more money.

Either these politicians are just plain stupid or they are lying to you.  I will go with lying to you.  Remember, they are spendaholics and need spendaholics anonymous.  They like being spendaholics because they spend your money and other people’s money to buy votes and retain power.  Well, they have reached the rail head – their is no more track.  It is time to send these “We Must Raise The Debt Ceiling Or Collapse” liars to spendaholics anonymous or out of Washington and back home.

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Well the title is misleading because we don’t have an official energy policy and have not had anything resembling an energy policy since World War II.  We do have a shadow energy policy that inhibits and/or blocks drilling for oil, drilling for natural gas, mining coal, and the building of nuclear power plants.

The green and environmental movements, now augmented with the global warming crowd, all essentially preach for us to switch to enormously expensive solar and wind.  Solar and wind have zero chance of fulfilling 100% of this nation’s energy needs.  We would be lucky to get 40% of our energy needs from wind and solar in ten years, even if we went all in tomorrow.  The wind and solar infrastructure would have to be incredibly massive covering a state or two for us to eventually reach 100% of our needs.  An additional downside is that we would have to use important farmland, now used for growing food, for this energy production.

World Oil reported in 2006 that the United States has over 1,124 Billion Barrels (1,124,000,000,000) of oil undeveloped and oil in place combined.  For those of you who like big numbers this is more than one trillion.  Currently we use 18,690,000 barrels per day.  This equates to a 165 year supply domestically, without importing one drop.  How about we begin drilling everywhere?

Natural gas is another issue.  In a 2007 report by the Colorado School of Mines this headline appeared
It further stated in the report that
 “When the PGC’s results are combined with the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest available determination of proved gas reserves, 238 Tcf as of year-end 2007, the United States has a total available future supplyof 2,074 Tcf, an increase of 542 Tcf over the previous evaluation.”

What does this mean?  This is just about a 111 year supply of natural gas without importing one cubic foot.

Let’s talk nuclear energy.  We need to talk softly because the naysayers will point to a five hundred year tsunami that severely damaged the external pumping infrastructure of four Japanese nuclear plants of a forty year old design.  They will fear monger about the risk of nuclear power generation – the cleanest form of energy production on the planet.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) simply does not approve totally new licenses and has approved a few for development on existing nuclear plant campuses.  Even when they approved them, the environmental movement uses every possible means to stall the building of a plant with EPA complaints and challenges in court.  You can inscribe the names of the nuclear plants completed and put on line in this country since Three Mile Island, which killed no one, on the head of a pin.  How about we begin drilling everywhere?

If we were smart we would have the NRC approve one state of the art design for an underground nuclear plant that would have to be placed far enough from the oceans and fault lines for safety and have Congress, by law, grant that design to be free from NRC review and authorize this design as an exception to all EPA and other environmental challenges.  This would fast track the building of the 200 new plants needed in this country.

This sounds like an energy policy to me. 

 
 

We have reached the point of extreme absurdity with the refusal of the Democrats in Congress and the Democrat in the White House to address cutting our national spending in a meaningful way.  This country is drowning in debt.  This debt is retarding the improvement in unemployment rate and inhibiting the growth of GDP.  Yet, the President offers a total of $6.5 Billion in cuts – one day’s spending deficit – from a multi-trillion dollar problem and the Democrats in Congress believe that the $6.5 Billion is too much of a cut and attempt to reduce it to $4.7 Billion.  The biggest ship in the world, the U.S., is sinking and the Democratic Party’s Progressive Socialists are bailing with a tea cup.

I am sure that the Cowboy Poetry Festival held in Genoa, Nevada is a very nice event.  But this festival now serves as a giant symptom of just how rabidly incompetent the Democratic Party leadership in this country is.   The majority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, is distraught that the Republicans want to cut federal funding from the Festival.  Are these Democrats delusional?

Harry Reid on the Senate floor actually called the Republicans “mean-spirited” for wanting to de-fund this festival as part of overall proposed cuts, insufficient as the proposed cuts may be.  These Democrats are in a national security dangerous and overwhelming denial as they simply refuse to cut anything and apparently believing that we can continue down this “spend, spend, more than you take in road –  forever”.  As pundits have been saying a whole lot lately: “You can’t make this stuff up.”


Over the last 100 years and more specifically throughout the last 50 years progressives have infiltrated our media, unions as progressive socialists, universities under the protection of tenure, K through 12 school systems via the socialist teachers’ unions and tenure, judiciary, and a host of other key areas of society, especially the U.S. Congress.

Of little note was the infiltration of our state legislatures, with 49 separate houses (Nebraska has only one), by progressive candidates masquerading as moderate and liberal Democrats and Republicans, yes Republican in name only – RINO.  After the election of 2008 and the supreme take over of the U.S. Senate and the House, along with the White House, by the progressive socialists of America, now known as the Democratic party, these folks got pretty smug.  Nancy Pelosi truly thought she could ram unpopular legislation through the Congress and did just that.  President Barack Obama, stocked the executive branch with one communist or communist sympathizer after another to begin his quest for one branch rule of this nation,with the help of his union and other friends (by the way, who is on the other end of his Blackberry).  The new Congress promptly accommodated him by abdicating its role of law making to the executive branch.

These folks knew that in 2010, a limited number of Senate seats were up for election and that the way congressional districts have been defined by federal law a host of safe seats existed, insuring that the core progressive faithfull, many ranking members of committees, would be reelected, and they were.  Despite the historic turnover of Congress, Pelosi kept her role as the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Well surprise, the progressive playbook had a flaw.  It did not properly consider the role of the state legislatures.  2010 meant that nearly 700 democrat and democrat progressives were thrown out and replaced by Republicans, conservative Republicans to boot.  27 states currently have both houses controlled by Republicans.  Many more states have at least one branch and the executive branch controlled by Republicans with the other branch holding only a tiny majority for democrats.  Wisconsin replaced a progressive Democrat controlled Senate, Assembly, and Executive Branch with Republicans.

The movements bubbling up from the states offering a host of federal government push back are building steam.  These include efforts for state driven balanced budget, debt ceiling, nullification, and general states rights U.S. Constitutional Amendments.  A reassertion of the 10th Amendment, herculean efforts to stop Obama-care, reclaim land seized by the federal government, anti-public union give-aways, and a host of other anti-federal government legislation and lawsuits.

The war between traditional individual liberty, free market, limited government believers – the Tea Party types, and the progressive socialists who despise our Constitution and equal justice system – everyone has an opportunity not a promise to succeed way of life – is not over, but of late the progressives have been seriously outflanked.


In 1803, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall wrote a majority, five to nothing, decision in the case of Marbury v. Madison.  The nature of the case was not as important as Chief Justice Marshall’s previous position as Secretary of State under President John Adams.  Both were Federalists.  After losing the election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson, Adams nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice on January 20, 1801 – two months before his term expired; subsequently he received the consent of the Federalist controlled Senate and was sworn in.

After being sworn in as President, Jefferson appointed James Madison (Marbury v. Madison) as Secretary of State.  Again, the case itself is of little importance except that it allowed Marshall to include in the majority opinion, “Judicial Review”.  This was the opinion that even though the Constitution did not provide specifically for the Supreme Court to declare an act of Congress or actions of the Executive Branch unconstitutional, that if a law or action was contrary to or not empowered by the Constitution, it could be declared unconstitutional.  Neither the Executive Branch nor the Congress did anything about this power grab, which effectively made the judiciary superior to the other branches, because it now had the last word.  What exacerbated this decision was that it extended to the States.  Acts of state legislatures could also be struck down as being unconstitutional, making the Supreme Court and inferior courts, a branch of the federal government, superior to the States, individually or as a union.  Some would say that this was not a power grab, but it did elevate the Supreme Court as superior to the other two branches and the states under the theory of checks and balances.

If we accommodate a Supreme Court of five jurists at that time, and now nine jurists from 1869, making decisions of constitutionality, at least we have a panel of jurists with varying opinions voting.  What is unconscionable is that judges of inferior courts, individuals, now routinely declare acts of entire legislatures and constitutional referendums, whether it be from the States or Congress and even of the citizens of States, as unconstitutional – one person can do this?

Just recently a federal judge declared that the military must eliminate its “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and thus was attempting to force the military to change to an openly gay policy.  Whether you like the policy or not, should one unelected jurist be allowed to possibly have a detrimental effect or any effect at all, on our armed forces and our national defense structure?  Should one jurist decide how our military is structured?

This decision was appealed – reversed – and stayed, but ultimately “Don’t Ask Don’t tell” is now a law of the past.  One must ask why this case was in an inferior court, since the Constitution stipulates that the Supreme Court is the court of original jurisdiction in cases involving the Federal Government and States, among other cases.

Back to John Marshall’s opinion: the real root importance of the Marbury v. Madison case was an attempt by Marshall, a staunch Federalist, to stick it to Thomas Jefferson, his political enemy.  Yet, now we have given progressively trained, individual jurists supreme power over the States, Congress, and the Executive Branch – this incredulous situation was never intended by the founders.  The separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government and the equality of the branches started to unravel as early as 1803.

This decision, “Judicial Review”, made the Supreme Court unequal and superior to the other branches.  No longer did a check on the authority or decisions of the Court exist.  Congress and the Executive Branch were now junior partners.  The Court was now able to remake our Constitution, write law, and at times enforce the law.  The tearing apart of our Constitution had begun.  For more on this go to FindLaw to learn about the history of judicial review.  For more on the history of Marbury v. Madison go to “John Marshall’s Judicial Mind”.

This is an excerpted chapter from U.S. Constitution: “Sine Die” a sixteen chapter book-blog on how the constitution has been marginalized, abused, or just ignored to build an all powerful federal “central” government.

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