Saturday, December 21, 2013

Apparently, liberals have a plan to bring an end to school shootings: Make disclosure of firearm ownership mandatory for all families enrolled in public education. According to the Missouri Torch:

A pre-filed bill in the Missouri Senate would require parents of public school students to report to the school if they own a gun.
 
Why don’t we just cut right to the chase, and write a law instructing would-be mass-shooters to report their intentions well ahead of time? Or, heck, we could just outlaw the act of killing innocent school children. And I’m sure criminals, owners of illegal weapons, and potentially dangerous sociopaths will be more than happy to follow along with such equally ridiculous legislation. Right?

More than being an egregious violation of personal privacy, the bill highlights the impotence of progressive “solutions” to violence conducted with firearms. Compulsory disclosure of gun ownership provides the authorities with such little actionable or useful information it is almost not worth mentioning.

Of course, in in places like New York, such disclosure of firearm ownership is actually aiding authorities. Without a public registry of firearm licenses, authorities in NYC would have a far more difficult time confiscating weapons from law-abiding gun owners who have accidently run afoul of newly enacted gun laws.

The Missouri proposal, however, does not call on parents to disclose the specific firearms they own…

See, according to Liberals, all guns are evil – and all gun owners merit increased scrutiny and surveillance by authorities. (Wow… And you wonder why people with guns don’t like more gun laws… Weird.)

The Missouri Torch reported:

This act requires a parent or guardian to notify a school district, or the governing body of a private or charter school, that he or she owns a weapon within 30 days of enrolling the child in school or becoming the owner of a weapon. The written notification only needs to include the names of the parent and any child attending the school and the fact that the parent owns a weapon.
 
Naturally, the question arises: What the heck is this proposal actually supposed to accomplish? Aside from giving schools (read: government) a list of the county’s child-bearing gun owners, actionable intelligence (and almost any other kind of intelligence as well) is non-existent.

More than likely, the bill is a reflection of the increasingly ambitious campaign to delegitimize gun ownership. After all, it’s not as if it is designed to prevent maniacs from shooting up a school. The good news is that the bill’s author, Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, has introduced this bill before…

And it went no-where. But her ambitions are telling of liberal impotence, and the left’s intrinsic inability to address the fundamental issues facing the nation.

There is no doubt that violence is a real, and tragically too regular, occurrence in the world. And while some schools are deciding to arm resource officers, permit concealed carry, and even hire additional security, the liberal solution is put up more “no guns” signs and ask parents about their personal interest in firearm ownership.

Heck, we should be recruiting gun-owning parents to volunteer (with rifle in hand) as “campus watch” guards. Most parents I know would be happy to guard their child’s life with a gun. But something tells me that’s not what the bill’s sponsor had in mind.

Instead of a Government-Guaranteed Income, How About a Plan to End the Washington Welfare State?  
Daniel J. Mitchell / Townhall Columnist


The welfare state is a nightmare.
 
Programs such as Medicaid are fiscal catastrophes. The food stamp program is riddled with waste. The EITC is easily defrauded, even sending checks to prisoners. And housing subsidies are a recipe for the worst forms of social engineering.

The entire system should be tossed in the trash.
But what’s the alternative? Some libertarians argue that we should eliminate the dozens of Washington programs and replace them with a government-guaranteed minimum income. I address this issue in an essay for Libertarianism.org.
Some libertarians argue that the state should provide a minimum basic income, mainly because this approach would be preferable to the costly and bureaucratic amalgamation of redistribution programs that currently exist. It’s hard to disagree with the notion that the current system is a failure. The Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner has produced a searing indictment of the modern welfare state, pointing out that more than $1 trillion is spent every year on redistribution programs for the ostensible purpose of alleviating economic hardship, yet (or more likely as a result) the poverty rate is at an all-time high. 
Perhaps one reason poverty remains high is that such programs make leisure more attractive than work, as painstakingly illustrated in a study produced by Tanner and Charles Hughes. Moreover, welfare programs create very high implicit marginal tax rates, making it very difficult for poor people to improve their living standards by engaging in additional productive behavior. It’s almost as if the system was designed to create permanent dependency.
In other words, it seems that nothing could be worse than the current system. And if you want more evidence, here’s a very powerful video on the failure of the modern welfare state.

But what about the idea of trashing what we have today and instead offering everyone some sort of basic income? As I noted in my essay, there are “…some very iconic libertarian figures who support at least some version of their approach, including Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Charles Murray.”

I agree, but only sort of. I like the idea of radical reform, but I think there’s a better road to Rome. It’s called federalism.
The bottom line for advocates is that anything would be better than the current system, so why not try something new? They’re right, but there’s actually a better way of approaching the issue. Why not take all income-redistribution programs, put them into a single block grant, and then transfer the money – and responsibility – to state governments?
Here’s my argument for decentralization and federalism.
In an ideal world, the block grant would gradually diminish so that states would be responsible for both the collection and disbursement of all monies related to welfare. But that’s a secondary issue. The main benefit of this federalist approach is that you stop the Washington-driven expansion of the welfare state and you trigger the creation of 50 separate experiments on how best to provide a safety net. Some states might choose a basic income. Others might retain something very similar to the current system. Others might try a workfare-based approach, while some could dream up new ideas that wouldn’t stand a chance in a one-size-fits-all system run out of Washington, DC. And as states adopted different systems, they could learn from each other about what works and what doesn’t work. And since it’s easier to influence decisions that are closer to home, taxpayers at the state level almost certainly would have more ability to impact what happens with their money.
And here’s the bottom line on why a federalist approach is the libertarian solution to the welfare state.

Last but not least, I’m just a policy wonk, but I think the federalism strategy also has political appeal. As just noted, it worked with welfare reform. And I suspect a lot of non-libertarians and non-conservatives will intuitively understand that you’ll get better results if you allow diversity and experimentation at the state level.

P.S. There would be some bad news if we decentralized the welfare state. It could mean an end to the Moocher Hall of Fame.

P.P.S. Replacing the welfare state with a (hopefully shrinking) block grant only addresses the problem of “means-tested” programs. If you also want to solve the problem of old-age entitlements, that requires Medicare reform and Social Security reform.

Conservatives Choking On Boehner’s Phony Deficit Reduction

by   / Personal Liberty Digest

Conservatives Choking On Boehner’s Phony Deficit Reduction
UPI
Only a true sociopath can lie to your face when he knows you know he is lying, and then chastise you for not believing the lie.

Such is the case with House Weeper John Boehner. Such is the case with Representative Paul Ryan. Such is the case with most, if not all, politicians.

When the big Weeper stood before cameras lauding the budget deal House Republicans had reached with Senate Democrats, Boehner claimed that the deal creates a smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal government. “It’s doing what the American people expect us to do,” which is to “stick to our principles but find common ground,” Boehner said in a pre-vote speech. He even said it with a straight face.

What the deal does is add back $63 billion in spending that had been cut by the so-called sequester deal President Barack Obama and the House had agreed to in 2011. It increases so-called discretionary Federal spending to $1.01 trillion for this fiscal year, an increase above the $967 billion 2011 budget plan. It also raises $12 billion in fees on air travelers to pay for aviation security. These increased taxes, by the way, were called “savings” by the elected class. Note that total Federal spending in 2014 is expected to be about $3.21 trillion, even with the so-called “cuts” outlined in the agreement.

In an essay titled “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell wrote, “Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Such is the case in Washington, D.C., where ever-increasing Federal spending is called cuts, taxes are called savings, lies are called the truth and progressives and statists call themselves conservatives.

The Weeper took to the microphones after the vote and proclaimed: “I came here to fight for a smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal government. And, uh, this budget agreement takes giant steps in that direction… All the things that we’ve done over the three years I’ve been speaker have not violated any conservative principal. Not once.” And again, he kept a straight face.
Conservatives can only wish his lie were true.

Boehner became speaker in January 2011. His “fight for smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal Government” since then has resulted in the official U.S. “debt” as measured by the Treasury Department rising from $14.1 trillion to $17.2 trillion.

After the deal, Boehner crowed that among the deal’s good points was deficit reduction. That might indeed be considered a positive were it true that scraping $20 billion to $23 billion out of a $3.21 trillion and-sure-to-annually-increase budget over 10 years was meaningful reduction — especially considering that the Federal Reserve pumps $85 billion a month in new spending into the economy through quantitative easing to infinity.

Winners in the budget deal included the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex, which get back much of the money they lost in the sequester deal, and the growing bureaucracy of the Federal leviathan. Remember: As the government steals your money, it hires more people to staff the bloated bureaucracies and sit around thinking of more ways to steal more of your money.

Losers are the American people, who see government growing ever larger and recognize there is no one in Washington, D.C., with the stomach to make significant cuts.

Despite what Boehner wants you to believe, the Federal government’s problem is not the deficit. It’s spending, and the deal in no way addresses that. The government took in a record $2.77 trillion in tax revenue in the just completed fiscal year. For perspective, that’s $200 billion more than the previous record in 2007. That year, the government took in $2.57 trillion and spent $2.73 trillion. If the government were cut back to 2007 levels, it would be operating well in the black. I don’t recall there being complaints of too little government in 2007… or 2006 or 2005.

When several Tea Party-aligned groups pointed out that the deal grows government rather shrinks it, as Boehner claimed, he lashed out, calling them “ridiculous.” But pointing out that a deal that increases Federal spending, raises taxes and puts off meaninglessly insignificant “deficit reduction” to later years is far from “ridiculous.” What Boehner has done is used an accounting gimmick common among the political class.

The deal also breaks the “Read the Bill” promise made the Boehner and GOP in 2010 that said that all bills would be available for reading online for 72 hours before they are voted on. The bill was posted at 11:25 p.m. on Tuesday, five hours after an agreement was announced. The bill was passed out of the House on Thursday. The House then adjourned and Boehner and his minions scurried out of town.

Now the bill moves to the Senate where Republicans, still peeved with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s move toward mob rule, plan to launch procedural efforts to kill it. For some of them the unhappiness is not that the deal cuts too little government spending — it’s in where the cuts come from. Whether they will unite to stand in the breech remains to be seen.

Tea Party-aligned groups are unhappy with the agreement. That makes Republican Senators set to face the electorate in 2014 just a little antsy. But a large group of House Republicans — and Boehner in particular — seem to not care.
ObamaCare Is Dead
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com  


On Friday, December 20, 2012, ObamaCare died.  The president announced that if your health care plan was cancelled as a result of the requirements of ObamaCare, you are relieved from having to obey the individual mandate to have health insurance.  He also said that a simple catastrophic policy would suffice if you chose to get one and that he would make them available through the exchanges.  (In other words, if your policy was cancelled because it was not sufficiently comprehensive, you can buy one even less comprehensive and that will be okay).

But the big news, buried in his Friday afternoon press conference is the retreat from the individual mandate.  Right now, the retreat only applies to individuals whose policies have been cancelled, but inevitably, next year, when cancellations of group plans cascade down on the system, these folks as well will be exempted from the individual mandate.  Obama can't exempt those with individual policies that were cancelled without exempting everyone who has been cancelled.  Its not tenable politically.  Either he exempts everyone or he can't exempt anyone.

So the goal of the Tea Party and the Republicans in shutting down the government in October -- the end of the individual mandate or at least its suspension for a year -- has been achieved!  Victory is ours!

The president trumpeted the fact that 500,000 people had enrolled through his exchanges in the first three weeks of December.  But of those who enrolled through the end of November, two-thirds enrolled in Medicaid and only one-third in ObamaCare.  If that 2:1 ratio holds up, it will mean that there have been only135,000 new enrollees in ObamaCare through the third week of December, bringing the total to a measly 500,000.

The Administration had predicted that 2.2 million would sign up for ObamaCare by December 15th.  It missed the target by only about 80%!

The fact is that nobody wants what Obama is selling and they are not buying it.  With the relaxation of the individual mandate, the signups will become ever sparser.

ObamaCare is dying from a lack of interest among the very people it was supposed to help.  A New York Times survey showed that 77% of those who are currently uninsured do not approve of ObamaCare and have no intention of signing up.

With the president in full retreat and the individual mandate eroding, the end of ObamaCare is in sight!
Op-ed: 
An end-of-year press conference full of deflections and lies...par for the course 
(golf pun intended)
By: Diane Sori 

"The basic structure of that law is working, despite all the problems — despite the website problems, the messaging problems, all that." - Barack HUSSEIN Obama 12/20/13

And so I watched yesterday's Obama press conference remembering that throughout this year Obama has tried to shift blame for all his screw-ups away from his narcissistic self by passing any and all questions that needed answering off onto his joke of a mouthpiece, Jay Carney. Questions about ObamaCare's many failures...questions about the NSA spying on American citizens...questions about his response...or lack thereof...to his self-instigated 'he built it he owns it' Middle East disasters...questions about Benghazi and Extortion 17...have all been basically ignored or worse...LIED about.

And in this, Obama's last press conference of the year before he jets off to Hawaii for a two-week holiday...on our taxpayer dime of course...Obama now suddenly has decided to answer those questions himself but of course NOT with the truth...but with answers filled with more round-about bloviations that were lacking in facts but strong in additional subterfuge.

Strutting to the podium and leading off by trying to make us believe that all is getting better economically, Obama said that 2014 "can be a breakthrough year for America after a long era of recession and slow recovery." Hey Obama, tell that to the millions of Americans still out of work...the millions who want to work that is...NOT your gimme-gimme you owe me 'sponges.' And of course tell that to the millions of Americans left in health insurance limbo...many still without health insurance...many still walking around in total shock after seeing just how unaffordable the Affordable Care Act really is...especially unaffordable when they are out of work.

In his remarks defending ObamaCare, Obama said with a straight face, “The health care website problems were a source of great frustration...On the other hand, since that time I now have a couple million people who are going to have health care on January 1. And that is a big deal. That is why I ran for that office.”

NO...again more lies for Barack HUSSEIN Obama ran for office for one reason and one reason alone...to bring about the downfall of our beloved American republic... period. And adding that the early problems with the Obamacare website "have largely subsided and that the chaos sown by the structural reform of the insurance industry will soon be smoothed over"....Obama is once again trying to place the blame for its failures on the insurance companies and off of his miserable self.

And continuing doing what he does best, Obama out-and-out LIED by claiming that more than one million Americans have signed up for health insurance on the exchanges over the past three weeks. Absolutely NOT true in any sense of the word for even if one million people logged onto Healthcare.gov just to take a look-see...one million Americans did NOT do finalized sign ups nor did they make the much needed first payments for policies 'supposedly' purchased. And the great majority who did sign-up signed up for Medicaid...thus getting a free ride that we taxpayers will have to finance with our hard earned tax dollars...yet again.

And now add in that as he's done before Barack HUSSEIN Obama has unilaterally changed the ObamaCare law as passed by Congress. After seeing that the majority of people whose insurance policies were cancelled...cancelled because of his lying about being able to keep their health care plans and because of the law's stringent and ridiculous regulations...could now simply NOT afford the new ObamaCare compliant policies offered on the exchanges and so would NOT sign up on them, Obama announced that he would 'allow' Americans to purchase 'bare-bones' policies...as in catastrophic insurance but at a higher deductible...actually at a much higher deductible than they were previously paying...and that they can now get a 'hardship exemption' from what Obama is trying to pass off as just another little glitch in the continuing ObamaCare 'work in progress'

With this move, this most miserable of presidents is NOT just overstepping his executive bounds, but also, as in the past, is in violation of our Constitution as he once again is initiating changes into a law of the land of his own volition without Congressional approval. And as an added bonus he is creating millions of new 'hardship cases' that were NEVER 'hardship cases' before his abomination of a law was passed...passed before those in Congress even bothered to read it.

Visibly nervous as he claimed that any of the problems currently popping up “don’t go to the core” of the health care reform program, Obama still does NOT get that the fundamental concept and premise of ObamaCare is flawed for you do NOT cause the cancellation of millions of policies people were happy with just to insure the 'sponges' who get free medical care anyway by just walking into any emergency room in this country.

And with the crucial upcoming sign-up deadline fast approaching and Americans justifiably nervous and out for blood, Obama tried to deflect further criticism off of ObamaCare. But he should have continued on with ObamaCare because then thrown in his face was the harsh reality that 2013 was the worst year of his presidency...something Mr. Narcissist will NEVER admit. With his job approval rating at 42.5%/disapprove at 53.6%...with the direction he's taking the country rating at right direction 29.5%/wrong direction at 63.6%...these reflect numbers much lower than George W. Bush's were at this time in his presidency.

Guess that makes it official...Barack HUSSEIN Obama can NO longer blame GWB for all our country's woes...Merry Christmas Obama...what a so deserved happy little lump of coal in your stocking.

And with that Obama switched topics yet again...this time to the NSA spying scandal. Saying there was NO evidence that the programs in question were “abused,” and adding "I have confidence that the NSA is not investigating in domestic surveillance or snooping around," Obama remains totally clueless to the realities around him, for why then did he quickly add that it's “important” to rebuild public confidence in the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

All more Obama empty rhetoric because just last week his own presidential advisory panel obviously agreed with 'We the People' as they recommended sweeping changes to government surveillance, including limiting the 'bulk collection' of Americans' phone records by stripping the NSA of its ability to store the data in its own facilities.

So as he, Michelle, and the kids slink off to Hawaii....waving bye-bye to all the mess of his own doing...let's hope and pray that new surprises do NOT pop-up during this Christmas week for Barack HUSSEIN Obama has given 'We the People' enough so NOT happy presents to last us a lifetime.