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Chronicle of Change

Documenting the Real Change

This Chair is Taken

Posted by GB on August 31, 2012
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After last night’s speech by Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention in which he had a “conversation” with an empty chair representing President Obama, the President shot back with a tweet showing a picture of himself in a chair at the White House. His tweet said “This chair is taken.” This has led to speculation that his twitter account may have been hacked or that he sent the wrong picture by mistake. Here is the corrected picture of the seat he meant was “taken”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does anyone hear a phone ringing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where did everybody go?

Twenty Questions

Posted by GB on August 24, 2012
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In  today’s American Thinker there is an excellent article entitled “Debate Questions That Obama Won’t be Asked” in which the author, Daren Jonescu, comes up with three excellent questions he would like to ask the President. Just click on the link on our blogroll if you would like to read the entire article.

The takeaway quote for me was “Thinking is, to a large extent, a matter of asking questions and of pursuing answers with enthusiasm, and without fear of the truth one might discover.” This set me to thinking about how so many in today’s shallow American society have either not learned or forgotten the art of actually thinking something through. To get to the truth, whatever it may be, you must ask yourself all possible questions until you can reach a conclusion. If new information becomes available you must ask any and all new questions which are raised and repeat this process over and over and over for your entire life.

It occurred to me that, in so many ways, liberals make their arguments on emotion rather than facts or as part of a “my team vs. their team” mentality. This often leads them to a conclusion so early in the process that they never really ask many questions which need to be asked. With that in mind, I’ve come up with “starter list” of a few questions with a bent toward helping those liberals who are stuck in emotional and/or team mode. Please feel free to add, share, or discuss.

1. When government taxes individuals and businesses it takes in “X” dollars. When it spends that money back into the economy, it spends “X” minus whatever it costs for the government to run the program. By taking out more than you put back how is that a positive for the economy?

2. In the entire history of the world there has never been a “collectivist” system (socialist, communist, pick your term) which has not suffered decline and/or financial collapse. All of Europe is currently following that path before our very eyes. What makes you think those policies will work now?

3. Assume you have a card which says you are guaranteed health care “coverage” by the government. If you have to wait 10-15 weeks to see a doctor and lower your odds of survival of the most common cancers by 20% (as in Great Britain’s National Health Service) is this a “coverage” you would actually choose were you given an option?

4. If a woman is allowed to choose a gender-based abortion solely due to the fact that the child is female is this a “pro-woman” position?

5. Is there a difference between the right to have access to something (health care, contraception, a cell phone) and the right to get it for free?

6. If it is contributing to the stripping of the planet, third world starvation, and is also forcing food prices at home to astronomic levels why are we still putting corn (ethanol) in our gas tanks?

7. How, exactly, does it help create jobs to make what is already the most expensive place in the world to do business even more expensive?

8. If you were going to open a business and you had a choice to open it in a location where the tax rate was 50% or one where the rate was 20% where would you set up shop?

9. In the above example, if you had an existing business which was having its tax rate raised from 50% to 52% do you think you might relocate to the 20% location?

10. When taxes are raised on businesses who always winds up paying those dollars?

11. In the case where a woman chooses an abortion which is “botched” should doctors be legally forced to allow the now living, breathing baby to die a slow, painful “death by abandonment” in a closet somewhere?

12. Due to the unpredictable nature of the wind, wind power turbines must be installed with a fossil fuel backup which must be left running. What benefit is gained in an ecological sense?

13. If the President can publicly state that he refuses to enforce a law passed by your representatives in Congress and you agree with that action on his part what will your reaction be when this power is in the hands of a President on the opposite end of the spectrum who refuses to enforce a law you agree with?

14. In a supposed effort to provide health care for millions more people, why does Obamacare hire tens of thousands of IRS agents and drive away doctors?

15. Which is better…. Medicare and Social Security programs with some adjustments now to keep them solvent or programs which go bankrupt and disappear entirely?

16. You have your choice between two retirement programs…. A program which takes roughly $580,000 from you over your lifetime and pays you back $550,000 in benefits when you turn 65 or a program which takes the same $580,000 and pays you back a minimum of $995,000 in benefits when you turn 65. Which would you choose?

17. What is your level of economic expertise or honesty (choose one) when you claim the same $780 billion savings twice in your budget projections?

18. What is your level of competence or honesty (choose one) if you are the chief law enforcement office in the country and cannot or will not find the person(s) in your own office responsible for willfully sending guns across an international border to Mexican drug lords which resulted in the deaths of dozens, including U.S. border agents?

19. Somewhere between 50 and 80 million people are not counted in the unemployment statistics you see on TV. This includes those who have “given up” looking for a job and college students who are looking but, since they have never been “employed,” can’t be “un-employed.” Can the numbers you see be anywhere close to accurate?

20. A hypothetical President has total control of government for his first two years and control of two-thirds of the three branches for the second two years. His results include $5 trillion in new debt (more than all previous presidents combined), over 8% unemployment when he projected 5%, an economy on life-support, total paralysis in the business community, and a large transfer of power from the Congress to the Executive Branch. Should this President be re-elected?

These twenty were very easy to begin with. Many more are possible as well as needed but it’s a start.

 

 

 

 

 

As of late, taking into account all the moral and practical sides of the issue, I’ve decided it is time to come around to the “pro-choice” position. Morally, it is the only option and practically works out far better as well. Therefore I have decided to make it official and declare myself “pro-choice” …. in regard to Medicare and Social Security, that is. Our future generations deserve a choice and if we don’t give it to them shame on us.

Having been involuntarily enrolled in these two programs since my first job, I have been contributing to them for almost my entire life. Hundreds of thousands of dollars which I earned were taken from my paychecks to fund these programs and were, supposedly, for my future benefit. As with many things in life, I wish I could go back and know what I know now.

I wish I could have known then that there would be no “trust fund account” with my name on it, from which I would be paid my benefits. I wish I could have known then that the money would be raided by an out-of-control federal government to fund their own appetite for spending one and a half times as much as they take in. I wish I could have known then how much better I could have done on my own and, above all, I wish I could have known then that massive federal government is always the absolute worst way to try to accomplish anything.

Medicare, as currently structured, will force me into their program, give me no choice at all as to what kind of coverage I will have, and herd me into the few remaining doctors who still actually accept new Medicare patients. Even with an exponentially growing number of users, Medicare will be providing services from a shrinking pool of quality doctors going forward due to those making the choice to quit rather than deal with Obamacare. Polling shows that a large percentage of doctors are considering quitting (one sets the percentage as high as 85%) and I personally know a couple who will be “out the door” as fast as possible should Obama get re-elected and ensure the survival of Obamacare.

Medicare’s own actuary, a current Obama employee, recently said, “It is important to note that the estimated savings shown in this memorandum for one category of Medicare provisions may be unrealistic.” According to his report, 15% of hospitals and healthcare providers will be forced out of business by the Obamacare cuts in rates of reimbursement. He further states that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (the fifteen government appointees who will decide the rules determining your medical future) will be forced to cut services by another 0.3% to contain costs (you probably haven’t heard a lot about that one). Nearly one-third of all Medicare payments for medical devices are fraudulent totalling tens of billions of dollars. And finally, without structural changes to Medicare the program will go bankrupt. Suffice it to say, Medicare could be renamed “Medisaster.” Someday soon I will have a card which says I have “coverage” but a card for a free meal isn’t all that great if all they are serving is dog food.

After paying in a lifetime of their hard-earned money are today’s seniors entitled to benefits under the “contract” they were forced into accepting? Absolutely. Whatever benefits they have built up should be paid. Unfortunately, there is a great truth which it seems few are willing to face, and even fewer seek to remedy. The “contract” we were all herded into was, and is, the mother of all bad contracts. There is only one moral and logical solution to this mess; honor the contract for those who are stuck in it but give a choice to our younger citizens to opt out. They will be better off with a choice and so will the country. 

Social Security is an even worse contract if that is possible. It is hard to believe that our generation, with the experience of living through this negative-yield, soon-to-be-bankrupt Ponzi scheme, would wish to burden our children and grandchildren with the same failed model. They could easily do much better on their own. Recently, Social Security reached a historic milestone and it was not a good one. AP recently said of the average married couple, For those who turned 65 in 2010, the amount paid was more than the amount received. Lifetime Social Security benefits come to $555,000, while taxes total $588,000.” This gap will ever widen over time. Over my lifetime, I and millions of my co-baby boomers had hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money locked up by the government at a negative yield! Not only are we not getting our money back with some kind of interest, they actually lost part of it for us! We literally would have done better putting it under the mattress.

If we had only been given one basic choice, just one, imagine where we could be. If only our contract had been just a little bit different. It is easy to calculate how much better off we would be if we were simply allowed to invest our retirement funds (our own money) in something as simple as U.S. Treasury Bills. T-bills are not complicated and are often touted as the safest investment on the planet. Since 1960 the average rate of return on T-bills has been in the neighborhood of 5%. Just assuming that half of our contributions were made half way through a fifty year career, we could have amassed enough by age 45 to guarantee $995,588 in benefits. We could have more than doubled our money on our own by retirement with a totally safe investment. Instead we actually lost money under mandatory government confiscation.

I ask you, should we pass these wonderful government plans on to our children or should we give them a choice? It’s too late to make much of a difference for those of us who have already been scammed but it’s time to fight for our kids so the government can’t do the same to them. We must leave them with more than empty promises, massive debt, third-rate health care, and diminished retirements.

Pro choice. It’s the only moral thing to do.