Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Great Recession: what is the root cause and is there a way out?

(Updated 12/05/2010)

Subprime Mortgage: a mortgage given to an individual who is likely to default on payments and the mortgage as a whole.

The narrative promoted by Obama and the Democrats and passed along to the public by the lame-stream media, is that eight years of Bush administration policies, cronyism with big corporations and Wall Street, and war-mongering with loss of U.S. treasure on contrived foreign wars led to the collapse of the housing sector and U.S. financial markets, which has caused our current Great Recession with volatility in financial markets affecting the retirement savings of millions of Americans, the loss of U.S. manufacturing industry, high unemployment and business stagnation.

The story goes on to claim that because of Obama policies, bailing-out and taking-over private companies, and the high level of government spending under the Obama administration working in concert with a Democrat majority in Congress, significantly deeper and more painful economic disaster has been averted by stimulating the economy and saving or creating millions of jobs.

Further Democrat narrative claims that the new Obama financial law brings much needed regulatory control of financial markets that prevents Wall Street from taking the kind of risks that they took with subprime mortgage derivatives that led to the financial collapse. The narrative also claims that the new financial law frees the taxpayer from ever having to pay for anymore bail-outs of companies “too-big-to-fail”.

While this grand Democrat myth seems plausible on the surface and has a certain appeal to a public that has been much abused by the excesses of Wall Street and the loss of gainful employment by businesses moving offshore and deserting everyday Americans, there is the minor annoyance that the facts just don’t support the story.

In fact, the collapse of housing and financial markets, the loss of U.S. industry and jobs, and our current Great Recession were brought about and then worsened by failed Democrat policies that persist in supporting unacceptably high-risk Wall Street ventures based on taxpayer-guaranteed, subprime mortgages that Democrats continue to encourage, and future government-mandated, tax-payer-funded bail-outs of failing “too-big-to-fail” companies that was written into the new financial law.

The new Obama Financial Law canonizes for select, large financial companies that profits are privatized while losses are socialized (i.e. if these big firms undertake high-risk ventures and make huge profits, they will pocket the gains; however, if in taking on high-risk ventures they lose big, their losses will be absorbed by the government with taxpayer funds). Some call this close relationship between government and large corporations State Capitalism, but a more appropriate term would be National Socialism (from which the German National Socialist or Nazi Party name was taken and whose precepts Hitler and the Nazi Party embraced).

It is also the inconvenient truth that Democrat policies have produced the loss of U.S. industry and jobs, and Obamacare, the new financial law, the promise of higher taxes and Democrat anti-business rhetoric has dramatically increased the costs of doing business and created such uncertainty that American businesses are virtually paralyzed. While large, government-favored financial institutions have been showered in taxpayer funds to keep them strong, small banks and businesses on Main Street have been abandoned by the federal government and hung out to dry.

Beginning with the Clinton administration, Fannie, Freddie and other mortgage banks were coerced by the Democrats to give mortgages to low-income families so these families could participate in home ownership and enjoy some of the economic benefits of the middle-class, a seemingly noble humanitarian goal.

While it's a worthy goal to want to help as many low-income citizens as possible join middle-class America through home ownership, what may have seemed initially like a blessing has now become a curse. In the medical profession's Hippocratic Oath it encourages physicians to do all they can in the interests of the patient, with this final caveat: But above all, DO NO HARM.

Since the mid-1990's almost all lenders have been making subprime and creative mortgages. These loans are called subprime because the homebuyer is at significant risk of not making payments and of defaulting on the mortgage at some time in the near future. In the originating lenders' rush to collect the inflated fees and points that were producing huge profits for themselves, lenders often overlooked or failed to verify creditworthiness, employment status, citizenship, or ability to repay the loan.

Since originating lenders quickly bundle and sell the mortgages they write to Fannie, Freddie, other large financial institutions, and Wall Street firms like Goldman-Sachs, what should they care if the homebuyer should default some time in the future? The originating lender has made its profits by charging low-income homebuyers more to make a subprime loan than it charges for other homebuyers.

While the low-income homebuyer gets hit with a huge bill from the lender for advancing the loan, these loan costs are usually hidden in the loan amount to be advanced and taken off the top by the lender, so the homebuyer doesn't feel it until later on in the loan repayment schedule. After signing loan documents, and before the ink is dry, the originating lender immediately sells the mortgage. The subprime hot potato has been passed to someone else, who will pass it along to again another or multiple other investors (i.e. Fannie, Freddie, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorganChase, and Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs).

Subprime homebuyers take another hit when the loan terms are written. Typically, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is set up providing for an initial low monthly, low interest, interest-only house payment. Then over the subsequent 3-5 years, the homeowner sees his interest rate increase and also begins paying back principle along with the interest payments which often doubles or triples the initial monthly payment to a level that the homeowner had not anticipated, a level of payment that the homeowner cannot sustain for long without exhausting all resources. Many of these subprime loans have a large balloon payment due at 3-5 years. Also, virtually all subprime borrowers are required to purchase mortgage insurance which adds a significant sum to the monthly payment.

The lender predicts while making subprime loans that the homebuyers are likely to default within the first 3-5 years. Even if the originating bank holds the subprime mortgage it makes, the bank makes money from making the loan, collects monthly payments for the duration of home ownership, and forecloses on and takes possession of the home for resale when homeowners default. As long as home values continued to rise, if the bank had to foreclose on the home, the bank stands to make a profit on this too. In addition, since all subprime mortages require mortgage insurance, if the homeowner defaults, the bank can turn to the mortgage insurance company (AIG ring any bells?) to pay off the defaulted mortgage.

Many subprime lenders utilize predatory loan practices that benefit the lender at the expense of the homebuyer. Such as lending to low-income, would-be homebuyers, where the lender knows in advance there is high risk of default, higher loan costs are charged the homebuyer but hidden in the loan amount, ARMs are set up as described above where over several years a reasonable payment becomes two to three times it's original amount, there may be an unrealistic balloon payment required, and the cost of mortgage insurance is added to the monthly payment.

If not too many homeowners default on their mortgages at once, this is not an unmanageable or unprofitable situation for banks. So, while lenders making subprime mortgages clearly reap huge profits from these predatory practices, the low-income homebuyer takes another hit with foreclosure, eviction, and financial and psychosocial-emotional loss. Rather than being a benefit to low-income families, hundreds of thousands of subprime mortgages have defaulted and are in foreclosure; many more such loans are due to default over the next several years. Massive subprime mortgage defaults resulting in collapse of the housing, financial and insurance markets, and the ensuing Great Recession has brought about untold misery for these families and for most Americans.

The fact that most mortgages are federally guaranteed (using taxpayer money), explicitly or implicitly, encourages the financial sector to consider these high-risk, subprime mortgage bundles and the Wall Street securities and derivatives based on them as low-risk investments.

The government mortgage guarantee converted a known high-risk investment into a low-risk one, being secured by mortgage insurance companies and also by the good faith and credit of the United States. These mortgages were securitized and sold by Wall Street as prime investments, not based on the usual anticipated high homeowner debt repayment level, but based solely on the insured value and the government mortgage guarantee.

When millions of these homeowners began to default on their subprime mortgages as predicted, a glut of troubled or foreclosed upon homes on the market produced a fall in home values, making most American homeowners upside-down in their mortgages (the mortgage balance owed is greater than the current appraised home value). Securitized subprime mortgages were leveraged as derivatives at 100:1 and greater, and when the housing market collapsed and mortgages were defaulted, the value of the derivatives evaporated as well leaving the Wall Street investment banks owing 100:1 on their products which now no one was buying.

In 2006, the Bush administration tried to rein in Fannie, Freddie and the other mortgage banks and halt any new subprime mortgages with government guarantees to people who could not afford them. Democrats in Congress resisted all efforts to provide judicious oversight or regulation of this high-risk activity. As late as 2008, Democrat leadership in Congress assured the American public that Fannie, Freddie, and the U.S. housing and financial markets were in good shape and as strong as ever.

When the subprime mortgage housing crisis began to grow and spread, Wall Street firms and other large financial institutions filed insurance claims based on the defaulted subprime mortgages, that led to the failure and federal bailout of large insurance companies like AIG, that were insolvent and unable to satisfy claims. The financial sector next went to the federal government for the guarantee and the government gave the financial and insurance companies taxpayer money to bail them out.

The bubble of subprime mortgages was contrived and executed and Wall Street and other financial company excesses were subsidized by Democrat policies that led directly to the current Recession. While the Bush administration was admittedly far from perfect, Bush is not responsible for the current recession—this blame is more appropriately laid at the feet of the Democrats.

While the Bush administration did little to hold down government spending and deficits, Obama has raised spending and deficits more than twice as high as levels under Bush. Most of the Bush deficit expenditures were for a prescription drug program for seniors, and providing justifiable action for national security defense against Islamic Jihadist terrorists.

On the other hand, most of the Obama expenditures have been political payback to Democrat cronies, like Wall Street, the unions, environmentalists, ACORN and other subversive groups, and increasing the size of government and the number of government employees, along with ensuring that federal employee salaries and benefits were more than twice those of comparable workers in the private sector.

The fact that Bush did a limited amount of damage to America through deficit spending on widely desired and other essential, constitutional government functions, does not justify Obama’s multiplying Bush’s deficit many times over with frivolous and wasteful, pork-barrel, political payback while aggressively acting to destroy American free market capitalism, abridge American freedoms, stifle the voice of opposition and critical analysis, weaken American and allied national security defenses, increase American subservience to international interests and secure long-term power to himself and the Democrat Party.

Big Labor, and high corporate taxes, both strongly supported by Democrats, have forced companies to leave the United States and take their businesses elsewhere to remain competitive. If we could have stopped the unions in the 1980’s, and maintained a more reasonable business and investment tax policy we might still have a private auto industry, other manufacturing, and a stronger business sector with higher employment in our economy. Even now, we have the opportunity to dramatically reduce corporate and investment taxes and see business and industry return and boom in the U.S.

However, in order to hire employees, expand the business and increase production, business needs capital. Despite a massive infusion of taxpayer dollars, money is still tight. The banks still are not lending to the economy what the economy needs to grow. When the banks get back into the business of providing the needed capital to the economy instead of just investing overcautiously in Treasury Bills, the economy will have a chance to start growing again.

In the United States we don’t have a typical parliamentary system, but we do have a fairly strong two party system. Many times in the past, third parties have been formed, and while they may temporarily sway American thought and the direction of the two major parties, none have been successful in being any real, long-term influence on American politics. The plan of the Tea Party from the start was to take over, from the inside, the Republican Party, taking it from the establishment which had lost its way and return the party to its roots in fiscal responsibility, smaller government, lower taxes and free markets within the framework and freedoms of a Constitutional Republic. The Tea Party did not want and refused to go down that pointless, third-party road.

Large numbers of individual, average Americans, most for the first time in their lives, moved beyond their comfort level, took a stand against the fiscally irresponsible policies of both major political parties, and worked long and hard hours to get good people with Tea Party views to win in the Republican primaries. Many progressive incumbent Republicans were replaced in these primaries with a Tea Party-supported Republican candidate. In the general elections, many progressive Democrats and earmark and spend establishment Republicans were roundly defeated and replaced with Tea Party Republicans committed to sound fiscal policies.

Over time, the goal is to replace progressives of all party affiliations with Tea Party Republicans such that the Republican Party will be the party of Tea Party principles and values, and the majority party in federal, state and local government. The “Tea Party” is not an actual political party, but a loose organization of Republicans, Independents, Constitutionalists, Libertarians, Unaffiliated and even some Democrats fed up with politics as usual forming thousands of small patriot groups that together make up a rather disjointed but broad-based and committed, grass-roots political movement.

There is nothing illegal, immoral or unethical in being a Tea Party Republican. Rather than serve to prop up the corrupt Republican or Democrat establishment in Washington, Tea Party Republicans have been charged with the special mission of restoring the Republican Party and the nation to correct, constitutional principles of government that promote freedom and prosperity.

There is less than zero basis for any type of legal or ethical challenge to these newly elected lawmakers for not being “real” Republicans. The Tea Party movement believes that real Republicans ascribe to Tea Party principles and values, and that establishment Republicans have strayed far too long from their true conservative roots. The Tea Party movement may, in fact, be a part of another “Great Awakening” spreading across America and even well beyond her shores, presenting the possibly of a second chance for other great nations as well.

With an influx of Tea Party Republicans into governments across the land and a Republican majority in the House, slowing down if not actually stopping altogether and reversing the relentless and destructive Obama socialist/anti-colonialist juggernaut is a real possibility. If the average American continues to stand against what is wrong with America, and fights for what is right for America, in the next several election cycles there will be Tea Party Republicans in power across the country, in the House, the Senate and in the Oval Office.

If the millions of Americans who relate to the Tea Party movement continue to stand up for the God-given, inalienable rights guaranteed by the Constitution, corruption and destruction will fail, freedom will prevail, and America will be back on the road to honest industry and real, non-bubble prosperity, building a better life for our children and grandchildren, instead of selling them into future slavery to foreign powers.

Earmarks are a perversion of the normal congressional funding process

Funding of government activities begins with the passage of an appropriations bill specifying the gross sums of money that will be spent during the fiscal year. The executive branch proposes to Congress exactly how the allocated money will be spent. Congress, representing the interests of the people, then holds hearings, writes, debates and votes on bills funding specific projects or programs, or agreeing to the President’s proposed expenditures. Spending bills passed in both chambers of Congress then go to the President’s desk for signature or veto.

Where contracts are to be made with private companies to perform any such funded project, the contract is properly put to competitive bid, and the bid with the highest cost-to-benefit value wins the contract. This process is wholly transparent, is subject to public scrutiny and serves to involve rank-and-file congressional members in the process of deciding how much will be spent on which projects.

Earmarks (Em) are a perversion of the constitutional provisions for funding government. Earmarks are requests by individual congresspersons to congressional leadership that portions of the year’s total appropriated money be directed to specific entities for specific projects, bypassing the open bidding process. While the constitutional appropriations process is based on merit and cost-benefit value, Em are not merit-based, but based on seniority, state or locality, congressional district, committee assignments, party power, political connections, and perceived need for reelection campaign support

These earmark requests are often funding projects, companies, universities, organizations and individuals that are located in the congressperson’s district (bringing home the bacon), or benefit those that provide generous campaign contributions for the congressperson’s reelection and preservation in office, whether or not these entities are located in the particular district.

Proponents of congressional earmarks argue that it is the only way for Congress to specify how the allocated dollars will be spent each year, that earmarks allow Congress to fund local projects and industry, providing jobs in their districts, and that earmarks only provide for congressional dollar allocation while not increasing total spending levels.

Ems are made anonymously without public hearing, transparency or accountability, are granted by congressional leadership on a seniority/majority/party/political connections basis, are placed inside other bills at the discretion of the leadership, are not vetted, debated or voted on for their merits, and the congressperson who submits the earmark request is obligated to vote for whatever bill the leadership attaches the Em to, even if that bill entails bloated budgets or wasteful spending. In this manner, congressional leadership, controlling the very structure of Congress and every step in the process of passing bills, exerts an undue dominant influence on what Congress does each year. This Em interplay between leadership and rank-and-file members, serves to continually raise levels of government spending.

As explained above, the Constitution provides an open process for funding government activities including specific projects or programs desired by Congress; the Em process is not required for Congress to exercise its prerogative of designating how taxpayer funds will be spent. In the self-serving rush to assure each congressperson’s share of the federal pie, and to assure that the executive branch doesn’t get to spend all the money by itself, the option of not spending all the appropriated, hard-earned taxpayer money is rarely considered.

Ems to fund projects in the congressperson’s district (to garner local support for reelection) or to specific entities in exchange for campaign contributions are a corrupt mechanism to promote an individual congressperson’s interests over the interests of the American people. Bypassing the open bid process leads to government paying more than the actual value and getting lesser quality of the service or product provided, and fosters corruption behind closed doors.

The fact that earmarks are granted by congressional leadership at their discretion allows leadership to carry out their top-down agenda and control rank-and-file members, often at odds with fiscal responsibility and the goals of the people and their representatives. Leadership, seeking support for unpopular legislation, will insert many Ems into such a bill, guaranteeing the votes of those who requested the Ems, even where the individual representative may be opposed to the bill in question because of its excessive spending or other significant objections.

Government agencies estimate the direct cost of Ems at less than 2% of federal spending, and many have suggested that due to the relatively small amount of money spent on Ems, the practice should not be condemned. However, indirect and hidden costs are considerably greater and are truly significant. When major appropriations bills go through Congress, lawmakers pad each bill with excess dollars in anticipation of taking Ems further on down the line. Data showing a direct correlation between the annual costs of Ems with total annual federal spending suggests that the practice of earmarking contributes significantly to excessive government spending.

Many Ems are simply add-on expenses to bills that, without question, directly increase total spending. In other instances, involving only redirection of previously appropriated funds, projects unvetted for merit are funded by defunding other programs that had been justified on a merit basis. With the Em redirection of funding away from merit-based programs, a greater portion of taxpayer dollars is spent on non-meritorious and often frivolous and wasteful projects.

Many Ems are not even included in a bill, but in the conference reports on the bill. In this case, the Ems are given the full effect of U.S. law, despite the fact that they are not an actual part of the bill that was given public hearing, debated and voted on by Congress, and signed into law by the President. A convincing argument can be made that such Ems are illegal and unconstitutional and should be publically declared as such.

The entire system of congressional rules and structure greatly favors leadership agendas, which are often contrary to fiscal discipline and the best interests of the American people. Eliminating Ems would greatly diminish leadership power and influence; a bitter battle is likely to ensue with Washington powerbrokers desperately resisting any reduction in their influence and power despite this being a necessary component of government reform to further the interests of the American people.

The Heritage Foundation and others have called for complete elimination of Ems and total reform of the majority/seniority system congressional rules and structure with the goal of real power-sharing with rank-and-file members, full disclosure of interested party/lobbyist/lawmaker relationships, and full reporting of campaign or favored cause support by those making and receiving contributions.

Other sound proposals for government reform include the institution of term limits, moving congressional members and their retirement funds into Social Security, moving congressional members from congressional health plans to those that are available to the public, eliminating members voting on their own salary increases, and assuring that lawmakers are subject to every law they pass. The prime motivating factor for lawmakers must be the best interests of their constituents and the American people, not what’s best for self or party.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kiss Your Social Security Goodbye

Unfortunately, you can kiss your Social Security goodbye from the day it started, and the victims of this scandal are the American people. When FDR hatched the scheme of having workers contribute a portion of their income to the Social Security Trust, it was with the promise that those who contributed to the “insurance” program would receive benefits from that Trust upon retirement.

In reality, the money taken from your paycheck is not insurance and does not go to the Trust Fund, it goes to the general fund and Congress spends your contributions each year.

Your hard-earned money that you contributed to the Trust Fund has been spent from day one of the program and there is NO money in the Fund today. Currently, more money is paid out to Social Security beneficiaries than comes in in contributions, and this will only worsen as the baby-boomers retire en mass and leave only a relatively few workers left contributing.

What this means is that we have to borrow more and more money each year to continue paying benefits at the current level for more and more people; this is UNSUSTAINABLE, we can’t continue on this path for long.

If the Social Security contributions, from the beginning, had been placed in a true retirement account in low-risk investments in the market, there would be billions of dollars in the Fund, even after the 2008 market decline. Instead, Congress has consistently robbed the Fund and there is ZERO dollars in the account.

If we continue on the current path, there will be no Fund in a few years, and no further benefits will be paid out to anyone. So, with your choice being NO Social Security versus reforming Social Security, which would you prefer? How can we preserve something from Social Security?

We have to make choices that are neither fair nor easy, and this involves the consideration of private accounts, increasing the retirement age, increasing payroll contributions, decreasing benefits, and limiting benefits to wealthy retirees who don't need them.

Academic elites resist true reform and criticize current proposals as “pretty drastic” and “horse manure”; they’re right about drastic, and drastic reform is all that will save any vestige of this program. We can’t afford to continue to “kick this issue down the road” anymore as Congress has for the last 20 years.

As far as whether or not Social Security is constitutional, this is a moot point. The fact that a Supreme Court packed with FDR yes-men said that Social Security was constitutional is more a reflection of political corruption than jurisprudence. The fact is, it’s a crime perpetrated on the American people by the federal government over the last some eighty years, and this has to stop.

Given the history of the U.S. Congress’ abuse of the Social Security Trust Fund, if there were a choice, would you choose to trust Washington, your state government, or a private, personal investment account that you hold and will grow your retirement money and actually have something for retirement?

My preference would be to have a private account in my name that I possess and have inheritance rights to that the government cannot confiscate and spend that will BE THERE when I retire. One way or the other, we’re going to have to do something dramatically different from what we’ve done in the past, if we want Social Security to exist in the future.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Connor Boyack Questions Utah Candidates for U.S. Senate

In August of this year, Connor Boyack, previously with the Mike Lee for Senate campaign and currently a Scott Bradley supporter, submitted eight questions to the Constitution Party, Democrat Party, and Republican Party candidates for U.S. Senate from Utah, asking their positions on a number of issues. Only the Constitution Party candidate, Scott Bradley, elected to respond to this questionnaire, and his rather lengthy response was published on Boyack’s blog site. I have chosen to respond to Boyack’s questions, listed below, from Mike Lee’s perspective.

1. What should be done in regards to our current military engagements in the Middle East, and why?

2. What should be done with the Federal Reserve, and why?

3. What is your position on the war on drugs, and the legalization of marijuana?

4. What is the constitutional authority for our current immigration law? What reforms, if any, do you support?

5. Do non-citizen terrorists have any constitutional rights?

6. Are you for or against term limits, and if for them, in what form?

7. Is a balanced budget inherently problematic, or only because it may possible trigger a constitutional convention?

8. How should tariffs be used? How do you define economic protectionism, and do you support it?

Several of Connor’s questions are already addressed on Mike Lee’s website, although perhaps not in the detail that political aficionados would like. Mike addresses the issue of the current war on terror as manifested by the actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his views do not differ greatly from those of Mr. Bradley.

Mike has also clearly expressed his position on illegal immigration: secure the borders, no amnesty, no more anchor babies (via original intent of 14th Amendment clarified by legislation as Mr. Bradley explains), no healthcare/welfare benefits for illegals, and enforce current law including preventing employers from hiring illegal workers so they will pack up and go home.

Mike Lee is also in favor of a balanced budget amendment, and has expressed his view on his website that members of both chambers of congress should not become career politicians, but serve no more than 12 years.

Mike has also outlined his views on fiscal responsibility, smaller government, strengthening national security, preservation of freedoms and tax reform. Mike Lee is a constitutional scholar undeniably committed to returning to constitutionally limited federal government.

As for the other questions, they concern controversial issues where simple answers are insufficient with a public that is unschooled and uninformed regarding current libertarian issues and thought such as the role of the Federal Reserve.

Without such a foundation for discussion, a candidate’s well-reasoned position in these areas will be easily misunderstood and motives misconstrued. However, there is no doubt that Mike Lee will adhere to the Constitution on all issues.

The comments here predominantly commend Mr. Bradley for his straightforward response to each of the questions. His responses are detailed and lengthy and are evidence that Mr. Bradley dedicated significant energy and effort to this work. I was personally disappointed, however, that he deftly side-stepped some of the major concerns regarding these issues.

Mr. Bradley’s proscription against war is well taken, however, when we are attacked by an enemy we have the right and the obligation to defend ourselves. It is undeniable that Congress has the power to declare war and the executive branch has the power to wage war. Abuses of executive power must certainly be stopped. And the United States should not have a mission of nation building.

The difficulty is that the Taliban government of Afghanistan was willingly hijacked by al-Qaeda and served as a base of operations for attacks on the West. Even now, if we were to abruptly pull out, the Taliban/al-Qaeda insurgency will return to dominate and abuse Afghanistan as a base for terrorist attacks. Without some “nation building” assistance, how will the Afghan government ever become strong enough to resist on their own a Taliban/al-Qaeda takeover?

After further terrorist attacks we would have to return to Afghanistan again to finish the job we justifiably started after 9/11. In the interests of our very real national security needs and a mission to eliminate the root of terrorism that threatens our land, we cannot afford to go down this road. I would like to know how Mr. Bradley would address this part of the issue.

As far as illegal immigration, as others here have pointed out, Mr. Bradley deals with the constitutionally designated federal control of naturalization, but fails to mention that the Constitution does not give the federal government jurisdiction over immigration, which is a separate issue.

In such cases, the power to control immigration is constitutionally relegated to the states or to the people. While state control of immigration may be difficult and impractical, if we are to adhere to the founder’s intent of the Constitution, that’s the way it is.

Also, Mr. Bradley says that we should enforce immigration laws and then penalize any illegal caught after a grace period who has not submitted to forced self-deportation. In the past, enforcing immigration laws has meant in practice primarily detecting and deporting illegal workers.

Mike Lee believes that by enforcing laws that prevent employers from hiring illegal workers, jobs for illegals will dry up and they will pack up and go home without any coercion. Where does Mr. Bradley stand on employer enforcement?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nixon's Blood Cries From the Grave for Obama's Resignation

Nixon resigned the Presidency largely because of Administration "enemies lists", slush funds to finance "dirty tricks" to influence voters, and the cover-up after the fact of these activities authorized by the President. Illegal Nixon Administration activities, like the Watergate break-in, are now known to have occurred without the President’s knowledge or approval.

President Clinton was impeached by the House essentially for lying to the American people, and remains indebted to the Senate for having the mercy not to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors. What Obama is doing is little different from what Clinton and the Nixon Administration did that led to Clinton’s impeachment and Nixon’s forced resignation. Except that Obama is better organized, better funded, better connected, has the full support of the lapdog, lame-stream media, and is much more dangerous.

President Obama, as a candidate for the presidency, flagrantly violated campaign financing laws in raising the record number of millions of dollars to finance his campaign. As president, Obama encouraged and sanctioned the thuggish activities of ACORN and SEIU, and his stimulus bill sent millions of dollars to these groups for their illegal activities. President Obama has blatantly lied to the American public on many occasions such as when trying to sell Obamacare, the new financial law and the DISCLOSE Act to the people.

Obama’s Justice Department has failed to prosecute criminals intimidating voters or assaulting Tea Party members, investigate serious voting irregularities across the nation, or defend in the courts the Defense of Marriage Act. Supreme Court Justices have been appointed that lack a healthy respect for the Constitution and refuse to abide by the oath of office that requires Justices to render equal judgment without regard to race, status or condition of wealth.

Virtually daily Obama initiatives are slotted to repress personal freedoms from silencing the free speech of those who oppose his agenda, to registration, limitation and confiscation of personal firearms, and even to outlawing sweetened drinks at schools or the addition of salt to our food.

Where Arizona passed a law to permit state law-enforcement to help do the job of enforcing laws governing illegal immigrants that the federal government refused to do, the DOJ sued the State of Arizona to stop the state from upholding the law.

The Obama Administration actively promotes illegal immigration, wants to secure health and welfare benefits for illegals, encourages illegals to vote in U.S. elections thereby violating voting-rights laws, and wants to grant amnesty to more than 12 million illegal immigrants currently working in the country that would lead to assuring the Democrats’ grip on power for many years to come.

Many scabs are being hired by the Left to infiltrate Tea Party and 9/12 Project groups and stir things up, creating controversy and behaving badly to attract negative attention, to divide, discredit and incapacitate our grassroots efforts. In a number of locations around the country, the Left has also fielded and funded candidates to run with the Tea Party name on the ballot, to confuse voters, split the conservative vote, and give the elections to Democrats.

In the early 1970’s, there was such a public outcry against President Nixon for being involved in half the offensive activities that President Obama is today involved in, that Nixon was forced to resign the presidency. When George W. Bush was running for president, the public had to see his school transcripts and check his attendance records with the National Guard.

However, Obama has a team of high-powered lawyers criss-crossing the nation daily at taxpayer expense to fight in court the legitimate demand that official records of his stateside hospital birth and school records be released, records that would reflect on Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be the U.S. President.

Are there no longer any waves of shock and shame that our President would stoop or bow to these depths? Does it even matter today that our President is a liar and "...a crook"?

Is former President Clinton secretly frustrated that he was impeached for lying about mere sexual indiscretion while Obama’s many flagrant lies about serious issues that affect the lives of every American go with little public criticism and remain unpunished? While Obama strives for social justice and income redistribution, does the blood of Nixon cry out from the grave demanding of Obama “equal justice”?

And what about all the taxpayer money Obama gives to cronies to promote Obamacare, the financial law, the proposed cap and tax scheme, the Obama Presidency and agenda? And all the taxpayer money spent on criticizing and denigrating the Tea Party movement? Is there no longer any respect for the voice of the people?

Why is my hard-earned money being spent by the government to try and convince me that what I'm diametrically opposed to, is something I really should support? Save my money, it’s not working. And why is my money being spent to neutralize a grass-roots movement of which I’m a part and that is the only hope for preserving our free country?

Is there no longer any respect for property, a right constitutionally guaranteed? Is there no longer any respect for the rule of law where citizens and leaders and black and white alike are held to the same standard of compliance? If we are not a free nation of laws, based on inalienable rights granted man by his Creator and secured by the founding law of the Constitution, then we are no longer a free nation.

If we are no longer a free nation, then we must all join the fight to restore our freedom and a respect for our Constitution and all the other laws that proceed from a constitutional basis. Along with this secular renewal, we must also recommit ourselves to a respect for the laws of our Creator and seek to develop a spiritually-centered individual life and public culture.

When asked by a spectator of the Constitutional Convention what they had made, Benjamin Franklin answered “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Mr. Franklin predicted correctly that without continual vigilance, it would be difficult to preserve our free society in the face of constant and unrelenting assault on our Constitutional Republic from sources both foreign and domestic.

The American people have turned their eyes to heaven to repent from having elected President Obama and given him a Democrat majority in Congress, which, combined have worked to destroy all that makes us a great country, including our spiritually-centered culture of doing that which is right and morally responsible. The full measure of our penitence will be required at the ballot box.

Once we have secured honorable people with strong moral and conservative ideals to high office, we must continue to be vigilant to help our leaders continue to walk the straight and narrow path to which they are committed.

If we persist in this struggle with the far-Left radical extremists that currently are running this great country into the ground, and we continue to win new support on a constant basis, eventually we will succeed in restoring liberty and the rule of law, limited by the Constitution according to the founding fathers’ design which was guided and led by the Creator in the sacred work of founding this great free nation.

Today we would answer Benjamin Franklin’s statement as he left the Constitutional Convention that day, in saying “By the Grace of God we will fight to keep our Constitutional Republic and our freedoms.”

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Controversy Over Ground Zero Mosque Gives America "Black Eye"

News outlets in the Muslim world have reported on the controversy surrounding the plan to build a mosque and Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York, expressing Muslim sentiment that this would give America a “black eye” for its intolerance.

In these recent reports, a Cairo housewife questioned the purported reasons for this American resistance and was quoted as saying “It's not that important for Islam to have a mosque at Ground Zero”. If Islam is truly disinterested in the precise location, why not build this center elsewhere?

If it was just about freedom of religion and building a place of worship, why have the developers refused to even discuss any other location, even one provided at public expense? If it was really about building understanding, cooperation and good will between different faiths, the Ground Zero location would never have been seriously considered.

The Ground Zero site selection was no coincidence. It was chosen precisely because of its symbolism of Muslim conquest over the U.S. Cordoba, Spain, was the historic center of Muslim conquest of Southern Europe where a Christian cathedral was torn down and a grand mosque built in its place to commemorate the victory over Christians.

The Ground Zero site was chosen in order that the U.S. might be symbolically denigrated by the traditional Muslim insult of victorious Muslim feet treading on "the bones and ashes" of the murdered 9/11 victims. This is the site where the landing gear of the plane piloted by Mohammed Atta, which slammed into the World Trade Center, fell through the roof of the Burlington Coat Factory Building. This is the site of the Islamic Center “Cordoba House”.

Muslims are encouraged to lie to infidels (all non-Muslims) if it furthers Islam. What better cause to lie about to the West, then building a celebratory mosque at Ground Zero which would serve as a center for indoctrination, training, command and control for jihad and the forcible imposition of Shariah Law on America.

Islam understands that the freedom we enjoy in America also makes us vulnerable to this kind of manipulation by those who have as their ultimate goal the overthrow of the U.S. Constitution and the forced, total subjugation of the American people. The very word Islam means “submission”.

America and the West have been viciously attacked by Islamic Extremists over at least three decades. At the same time, we supported the Afghan mujahedin in their fight with the Soviets, we fought to remove Saddam Hussein's armies from Kuwait after his ruthless invasion of a sister Muslim country, we fought for Muslims in Bosnia, we freed Afghanistan and Iraq of brutal totalitarianism and are still fighting in Afghanistan to defend the Afghan people and give them a chance at freedom.

Because of all America has done for them, we should apologize to Muslim nations and do whatever we can to return to their good graces?

In a country where religious freedom abounds, Muslims, notorious for their intolerance of other faiths, may take advantage of this freedom in claiming the right to build a mosque wherever they please, despite the sentiments of those who perished and those who survived the horror of 9/11.

If it gives America a black eye because we refuse to be rolled over by these Islamic Extremists, then I say, let us have two black eyes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Open letter to Pastor John Reed of Sonrise Church, Reno, NV, Sharron Angle's former pastor

Reverend John Reed of Sonrise Church, Reno, Nevada, and former pastor to Sharron Angle, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Nevada, has come forward with a tirade of bigoted anti-Mormon propaganda apparently aimed at Angle's opponent in the 2010 Senate race, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). The following is an open letter to Pastor John Reed:

You claim that Mormons are a “kooky” faith that does illegal and secret things, including hiring people to kill those not in favor with the Church. I’m sure the same kind of false and misleading comments were made by many of the Jewish faith when Jesus Christ introduced his Gospel to the world in the Meridian of time. Is it your wish to be judged on that final day, even as the leaders of the Jews in the time of Christ who rejected Him for teaching new, different and competing ideas?

For someone who claims to follow the Lord’s teachings, your bigoted and false criticisms of the LDS faith are distinctly un-Christian. What about the biblical charge to love one another (even your enemies, which Mormons are not), not to bear false witness, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you? The Bible says that you will know the true Christians by their fruits: the fruit that you are yielding in this regard is bitter, and the tree of the bitter fruit will eventually be hewn down and cast into the fire by the Gardener.

Harry Reid claims to be LDS, but based on his observable actions and beliefs, this is in name only. He would do well if he could be persuaded to follow the guidance of LDS Church leaders and fight against abortion, fight for traditional marriage and family, and fight for individual responsibilities and rights as opposed to “collective salvation” at the hand of the tyrannical nanny state.

Unfortunately, Harry Reid’s creed has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with progressivism/socialism and the domination and coercion of man, according to the plans of the Evil One, stripping man of his God-given freedom and free agency.

Far from hurting Harry Reid’s campaign, your words of ignorance and hatred towards Mormons have unfortunately hurt Sharron Angle’s campaign, which has had much support from the LDS community in Nevada and elsewhere. Was this your intent from the beginning, to hurt Angle and help Reid? Are you a plant from the Left and a subscriber to social justice, an Obama pawn and sleeper cell?

And about things you call secrets: these things are sacred to the LDS people and are between the individual and God and no others. LDS garments are also sacred and symbolic of our faith in Jesus Christ; perhaps you have an article of clothing that you similarly hold as a sacred symbol of your commitment to the Lord, such as a collar or other token.

I call on Sharron Angle and leaders of faith everywhere to denounce this bigotry and un-Christian behavior towards Mormons. How is such wickedness any different from that which marched 6 million Jews to the gas chambers, led to unmeasurable suffering during the Spanish Inquisition, or that which motivated Islamic Jihadist Extremists to bring down the twin towers? How can decent people anywhere sanction such behavior silently?

Far-Right Extremists with a Radical Agenda Are Set to Descend on Washington

The devastating recession was caused by Democrats insistence on banks, Fannie & Freddie providing government guaranteed mortgages to people who could not afford them. These "subprime" loans were turned into stock assets whose value was determined not by the belief that the loans would be repaid by the borrowers, but by the value of the federal government guarantee of these mortgages. Predictably, when borrowers began to default on these mortgages in large numbers, the house of cards created by the Democrats collapsed creating the current recession.

The radical Obama/Democrat agenda led to bailing-out Wall Street and the insurance industry, taking over auto manufacturing, spending billions of dollars in “stimulus” money on pork-barrel and political payback projects which have failed to prevent the ongoing loss of millions of jobs. Instead of helping small businesses create jobs and get the economy going again, Obamacrats have created large, expensive bureaucracies in a takeover of healthcare and financial regulations and taxes that hamstring businesses and prevent job creation and growth.

Obamacare, the new financial law, higher taxes and Washington’s anti-business positions have paralyzed American business and prevented any real economic recovery. Those who want to reduce taxes for all and facilitate the business expansion and job creation that are necessary for real economic recovery are condemned and ignored.

The new Democrat financial law not only raises serious obstacles to economic prosperity, but fails to cure the conditions that produced the mortgage banking and Wall Street collapse. Rather than preventing any further collapses, this puts Obama’s policies of bailouts into law. Now Wall Street is assured that if it takes excessive risk in its ventures and is successful, it will pocket the profits. At the same time, if taking excessive risk results in failure, Wall Street can rely on a federal government bailout.

Given this situation, there is little incentive for Wall Street to limit risk-taking that can lead to financial collapse and recession. The new financial law also does nothing to halt Fannie and Freddie from continuing to back up new subprime mortgages with taxpayer money, the original root of the problem that led to the current recession.

Passage of Obamacare was paid for with more than $500 billion dollars stolen from and weakening Medicare. While Medicare is facing insolvency in the near future, the Obamacrats have done nothing to help sustain this program.

Everyone in today’s workforce knows that they cannot depend on Social Security being there for them when they need support in retirement. The main reason for Social Security going bankrupt is that Congress steals all the Social Security funds collected each year and spends them on general projects, leaving the Social Security Trust Fund empty.

Obamacrats fight desperately against any change that would prevent them from robbing this trust fund each year, and anyone that offers a plan that would restrict Congress’ ability to gut this fund is accused of wanting to eliminate Social Security. All attempts to fix Social Security and Medicare so that they will be there for retirees in the future are condemned by the Obamacrats.

Billions of dollars are collected from the states by the federal government and a small portion of this money is returned to the states by the Department of Education in funding that is given, provided that the states adopt federal government criteria, methods, curricula and teacher and student indoctrination.

Programs to deal with the unproven theory of a “Climate Crisis” (or global warming, global cooling, or just plain climate change), many through the Department of Energy, are designed to make insider politicians and favored corporations rich from taxing the American public for energy usage.

Obamacrat initiatives have shut down American fossil fuel industry precipitating the loss of thousands of jobs, while financially supporting foreign oil production (even that of Mexico in the Gulf), and denying Americans energy independence.

Obamacrats claim that they support a woman’s right to the privacy of reproductive choice, or the “Right to Choose”. For those who understand that abortion is the killing of a human being growing inside the mother, this is no less than the “Right to Choose Death”. There never was such a “right” to kill one human being just because it inconveniences another. However, there is the well-established, God-given and Constitution-assured right to life.

Problems in this country due to illegal immigration are largely due to the imbalance between U.S. demand for illegal workers and foreigner’s lack of viable employment in their home countries. The U.S. government should use policy and diplomacy to strengthen neighboring economies so that home countries can provide the needed employment for these displaced workers. In addition, immigration law should be enforced such that businesses no longer hire illegal immigrants as workers. If U.S. business ceases to employ illegal immigrants, especially if there are good jobs in their home countries, they will pack up and go home.

The Obamacrats claim to be the defenders of American rights; however, there are consistent actions by these people to restrict inalienable and constitutional rights. Free speech that opposes the Obamacrat agenda is to be suppressed. Obamacrats want to register and limit the right to keep and bear arms in preparation for eventual arms confiscation planned by the federal government. The freedom to practice one’s religion is to be suppressed if religion in any way differs from the political thought of those currently in power.

The Obamacrat socialist agenda also calls for government controlling what kind of insurance you’ll buy, what kind of car you’ll drive, what kind of food you’ll eat, whether you can add salt to your food, whether you can drink sweet drinks, and how much you are permitted to weigh.

The Obamacrats have moved the Democrat Party so far to the Left, that regular Americans are now labeled “far-right extremists” and dismissed as favoring a “radical” agenda harmful to America.

Regular Americans who care deeply about individual rights and responsibilities, who want to restrain big government and put America back to work, and who care about the Constitution and the survival of our country and our culture of freedom are cast by the Obamacrats as deluded, manipulated and ignorant “Astroturf”. But these Tea Party, regular American patriots have no intention of being so summarily dismissed; they will be heard.

Candidates for office who have a similar vision of America are supported by regular Americans and condemned by the ruling class who see this wave of American will as disrupting their carefully crafted world of privilege and power. The truly radical agenda is that of the Obamacrats and the ruling class, and with any luck, the American people will replace the Washington elite with these new American candidates and the radical Obamacrat agenda will be discarded onto the trash heap of history.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes

TARP was supposed to rescue our financial system from total collapse by providing capital to failing financial firms; when the firms had stabilized and then paid back the money borrowed plus interest that returned money would be used to pay down the deficit. Contrary to express language in the bill, the Obama Administration bailed-out a number of imprudent financial and insurance firms, not only by the provision of capital, but also by the purchase of stock in these institutions.

TARP funds were also used for the hostile takeover of most of the nation’s automobile industry by stealing the value of the companies from investors and transferring it to the favored unions as part of a grand wealth redistribution scheme. Money returned by the financial firms has not been used to pay down the deficit, instead, it’s become a massive slush fund for Obama to distribute to his favorite special interests, like SEIU and ACORN.

The DISCLOSE Act was forged in dark, smoke-filled back rooms, behind closed doors, with Obamacrats and a gaggle of Most-Favored Lobbyists nose to nose as the special interests wrote in carve-outs for themselves, and the Obamacrats added language that hamstrings the opposition. They claim their legislation increases transparency and provides a more level playing field for more fair campaign financing. In reality, the Act does nothing to increase transparency and skews the playing field in favor of the Democrats by giving them an unfair advantage.

The Act goes on to provide for warrantless, compulsory submission of sensitive, private donor and member lists to the government, exposing vulnerable opposition supporters to government intimidation and persecution. While 2010 pre-election efforts to pass this legislation have been unsuccessful, the ideas behind the proposal have not been abandoned, and similar legislation is planned for the future.

Attempts by the Obamacrats to limit constitutionally guaranteed rights are not restricted to campaign free speech. Laws and executive orders have been promoted to restrict the free practice of religion, to limit other forms of free speech, and to abridge the right to keep and bear arms. In addition, the government takeover of student loans for higher education is being used to promote student indoctrination by providing financial aid only to students attending schools “approved” by the government. Other Obamacrat measures seek to control what kinds and how much energy Americans use, which energy industries will be permitted to survive, what body-mass index (BMI) is acceptable for Americans, and which foods and condiments Americans will consume.

President Obama touts the new financial reform law as ending any further taxpayer bailouts and as a boon to the consumer. In reality, the financial takeover legislation creates more layers of bureaucracy and red tape that dramatically increases cost to any business offering credit or financial services; this increased cost is passed along to the consumer. Millions of small businesses, including doctors, dentists, and local retailers, are no longer able to offer payment plans to their customers. Credit card companies have already raised interest rates and banks are no longer offering free checking in light of the new rules.

Written into the financial reform bill, the President and Secretary of the Treasury, are obligated to bailout, with taxpayer money, any company that they deem, at their sole discretion, to have serious financial difficulties. Favored companies will be propped up and preserved with taxpayer money. Politically unfavored companies, especially those that actively oppose the government’s agenda, will be placed in receivership, assets will be liquidated and sold at bargain-basement prices to favored companies, and favored companies will benefit from the reduced competition.

Two companies that played a big role in the housing and financial collapse that precipitated the Obama Depression, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, received a blank check from Obama as a perpetual, unlimited and continuous bailout using taxpayer funds, permitting these companies to continue to make the same high-risk, sub-prime loans that triggered this financial collapse. Likewise, the highly-leveraged mortgage-backed derivative market continues unchecked, where high-risk vehicles can produce eye-popping gains that are pocketed, or staggering losses that are bailed-out by Uncle Sam.

These companies were not included in the new financial law, and the business plan and practices that led to the failure of Fannie, Freddie, and Wall Street firms have not been corrected. The continuous drain on the treasury to pump life into the failed Fannie, Freddie, and others, along with the promise of bail-out for Wall Street and other large companies as needed, does nothing to restrict excessive risk-taking and adds daily to skyrocketing government spending and deficits.

Businesses and individual taxpayers shoulder the burden of higher taxes needed to help people who can’t afford a home buy one anyway, and to enable Wall Street’s gambling addiction by allowing them to enjoy their winnings without suffering the negative consequences of their actions in terms of losses that are bailed-out by taxpayers.

The financial legislation also gives the Administration unrestrained power to determine at its arbitrary and sole discretion, if a business should be declared insolvent or about to be insolvent, to take over that business, and distribute assets to cronies. This has sent a chill over the business community, as it is forced to think twice before donating to the opposition, when doing so could lead to very real dissolution of the business, in retaliation, by Obama’s lethal financial weapon. All of this contributes to iron-fisted control by the government of the American economy on an apparently unstoppable march to socialism and totalitarianism.

Obama’s Stimulus Bill is credited by the Administration with “saving or creating” millions of jobs, and breathing new life into a severely injured economy. The Stimulus Bill was advertised as principally funding “shovel ready” infrastructure projects. The truth is less than a third of the Stimulus money spent went towards anything that even slightly resembled infrastructure projects. Instead of saving or creating jobs, since the Stimulus Bill was signed into law, there has been a net extinction of millions of jobs, most of which were losses suffered by the private sector, and unemployment lines have never been longer, outside the Great Depression.

Most of the Stimulus money, which was primarily supposed to help the private sector, hardest hit by the Obama Depression, has been squandered. At a time when the average government worker makes over twice the income of non-government workers, the majority of this taxpayer-funded windfall went to government and union jobs and benefits, cementing organized labor support for the Obamacrats. The remainder was wasted on pork-barrel payback to other cronies to further strengthen the political base.

Obama and his minions have stumped the country proclaiming the “Bush Recession” over and prosperity in view, believing, against hope, that if they ritualistically repeat the words often enough, they will magically come true and naïve Americans will accept them at face value. On their way to imaginary prosperity, Obama and the Democrats swallowed whole, Keynesian economic theory: if the government could just spend enough billions, the consumer-driven economy would turn around. In reality, despite over a trillion dollars of stimulus, growth remains at a dismal 1.6% and true jobless figures remain at a devastating 15% plus.

The Obama-led race to spend money we didn’t have led to an astronomical deficit; these huge deficits imperil the financial and national security of the nation. As deficits rise, interest on the debt rises exponentially. The excesses of today will be paid for by the sweat of our grandchildren in the future. This is not the legacy that Main Street Americans want to leave for their posterity. Part of the American dream is that our children should have a better life than we did. How can this American dream come true when our children and grandchildren will be saddled with the monstrous debt that this generation has accumulated over our lives? The Obamacrats continue to insist that our country is still much better off, even despite the massive deficits.

But the Family on Main Street is still out of work, and is trapped, upside-down in a high-interest mortgage, unable to refinance despite record low mortgage rates because appraisal value is significantly less than the balance owed. The Family is behind on payments or fighting foreclosure, owes $10-15 thousand dollars in credit card debt at recently raised exorbitant interest rates (another benefit of the financial bill), has exhausted savings and tapped into retirement accounts for living expenses, and has put off necessary expenditures for major items like a new roof, furnace replacement, auto repair or an expensive, indicated healthcare procedure. Despite active searching, no prospect of employment is apparent, and discouragement sets in.

The Small Business (SB) on Main Street is not doing much better: SB has been through downsizing and belt-tightening, trying to remain profitable in a marketplace where demand has dropped precipitously. The SB has too much debt, at unfavorable rates, production is down and receipts are too little. Money is tight, and the SB no longer has a standing line-of-credit with its bank, which it had used on occasion to cover cash-flow shortfalls. On some paydays, the SB owners do not draw a paycheck in order to make payroll for others in the company. What assets remain available are horded by the SB and spending on supplies or maintaining large inventories is curtailed.

A tidal wave of new regulations coming from Washington (Obamacare, the Financial Bill, the DISCLOSE Act and other legislation, executive orders and regulatory agency rulings), many yet to be written by their respective agencies, are casting a pall of uncertainty on the Main Street SB. Heavy regulation, such as that seen over the last 18 months and including the financial reform bill and Obamacare, dramatically increases the cost of doing business.

Without knowing exactly how these regulations will affect it, the Main Street SB knows it’s going to take a major hit. However, it has no way of determining the magnitude of the damage to be done, or to plan for the anticipated increase in costs, restrictions, reporting requirements and red tape. In this overburdened, uncertain and anti-business climate, the SB is paralyzed. Hunkering down, the SB is cutting personnel and other expenses to the bone, is struggling to get out of debt, is conserving capital and deferring any plans for hiring or expansion. Waiting on the sidelines for months and years for the business climate to improve, hope for the promised economic recovery has begun to fade and the SB contemplates permanently closing its doors.

Obama has promised on multiple occasions, that those with an income of $250,000 or less would not be subject to any tax increases. New Obama initiatives, astronomical government spending and deficits, and refusal to renew the Bush tax cuts have crushed that promise by imposing higher taxes on all Americans at a time when Americans can least afford it.

With Obamacare, the President promised “If you like your health insurance and your doctor, you can keep your health insurance and your doctor”. Obama promised that government would not get between the doctor and patient, and that there would not be rationing of healthcare or any “death panels” deciding who will live and who will die on a cost-benefit basis. Obama promised that public funds would not pay for abortion, that government healthcare spending would be contained, that healthcare and insurance expenses for the consumer would be reduced, and that actual savings from Obamacare would help pay down the deficit.

Estimates of the true cost of Obamacare have recently been dramatically revised upward, and this is now shown to be adding significantly to the deficit instead of reducing it. The cost of healthcare and insurance to the consumer has also increased because of Obamacare. Avoiding congressional and public scrutiny, Obama recess appointed “Dr. Rationing and Death Panel” as the director of CMS, the agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid, and this Director, with Obama’s approval, is planning on limiting the healthcare anyone can receive, making healthcare decisions previously made between the physician and patient, and withholding care when the government determines that the value of the individual to society is not worth the cost.

Public funds provided through Obamacare may be used to pay for abortions depending on the individual states. Also, most people will not be able to keep their same doctor or health insurance. During the Obamacare debate, a majority of the people recognized Obama’s dishonesty and fought passage of the bill. A smaller but not insignificant percentage of the people, took Obama at his word, and passively accepted passage of the bill, patiently awaiting Obama’s promises to be fulfilled. It is rapidly becoming apparent, even to this smaller, more passive group of Americans, that Obama was not being truthful and is not to be trusted.

President Obama and his Administration have been braying loud and proud about all of the good things Obama has done for the country, the economy, small business and the little people across the nation. However, this self-congratulatory trumpeting rings hollow on Main Street where the lack of any positive Obama accomplishment is glaringly apparent.

The Emperor’s procession moved slowly down the central road of town, lined with peasants cheering the Emperor. The Emperor’s advisors motioned for the peasants to come close to admire the Emperor’s new suit of clothes, handmade of the finest silk by the most skilled tailors in the land. “Only the most intelligent among us can truly appreciate the excellence of the Emperor’s new clothes”, they said, and the peasants clucked approvingly. As the procession neared the center of town, a small boy on the side of the road tugged at his father’s sleeve, “The Emperor has no clothes” he said. On hearing this, all the peasants looked again at the Emperor, and realized the boy was right, The Emperor Has No Clothes!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Amnesty (Is) For Dummies

Amnesty is defined as the action of governments by which persons or groups who have committed a criminal offense of a political nature that threatens the sovereignty of a country, are granted total or partial, conditional or unconditional, immunity from prosecution for that crime. Amnesty law, the core of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, is not the solution to our illegal alien crisis, despite misguided claims from the Left. Indeed, past amnesty law dramatically increased illegal immigration, and any suggestion of new amnesty law only encourages more of the same, with illegals crowding into the country to get in under the wire at the prospect.

Even the potential for amnesty rewards lawlessness, penalizes legal immigrants & lawful citizens, leads to a dramatic increase in illegal alien immigration, contributes to the deterioration of American sovereignty, culture & language, undermines our socio-economic stability & growth, and promotes unchecked, single-party dominance, destabilizing our two-party political system. No Amnesty should be offered and no illegal aliens should ever be allowed to vote.

One of the key components of the current illegal immigration crisis is “birthright citizenship”, based on misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Section 1, where it says:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”

Based on this “Citizenship Clause”, even children born in the U.S. to illegal alien parents are currently considered citizens. This definition of birthright citizenship has led to the practice of foreign women crossing the border into the country illegally, for the sole purpose of giving birth to a child in an American hospital, so that baby would be a citizen of the U.S. and serve as an “anchor baby”, facilitating the legal immigration of the entire extended family, and, in turn, the extended families of each individual of the original extended family, and so on. Recent reports have found that, while illegal aliens comprise only 4% of the U.S. population, they account for more than 8% of babies born in the United States.1

Considering this rate of birth of anchor babies, the subsequent family members that will immigrate based on these births, and the current and projected rates of illegal immigration, the sheer numbers of illegal aliens constantly breeching our borders are overwhelming. There is a huge toll to be paid for this; the cost to American taxpayers and culture vastly outweighs any benefit from work done and taxes paid by illegals.2,3,4 Illegal aliens must not receive welfare, medical coverage, Social Security, or any other services at the expense of taxpayers, as this costs the public millions of local and federal dollars, and voraciously consumes local and national resources.

This clause of the 14th Amendment was intended to assure citizenship to the children of African-American, former slaves, in anticipation of Southern challenges to black citizenship rights. Many have the erroneous belief that birthright citizenship applies to all children born on U.S. soil. In fact, children of foreign diplomats born in this country are not U.S. citizens.5 Furthermore, the 14th Amendment was never intended to extend birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. U.S. Senator Jacob M. Howard was the author of the 14th Amendment “Citizenship Clause”. During debate over this clause, Senator Howard confirmed that children born in the U.S. to foreign or alien parents were not birthright citizens. This was recorded in the Congressional Record of the time:

“This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the family of ambassadors, or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.”6

Congressional debate at the time also established that “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. meant that children born in the U.S. to parents who owed any allegiance to a country other than the U.S. (i.e. a foreign citizen), would not automatically be citizens. Congress was referring, in the 14th Amendment, to those who were completely subject to U.S. jurisdiction, those who would enjoy the full rights and shoulder the full responsibilities of a U.S. citizen, including being subject to military draft, voting and holding office, and being capable of being charged with treason. Illegal aliens simply do not meet this qualification.7

To fix the anchor baby portion of the illegal immigration crisis, it is not necessary to repeal the 14th Amendment, as some have proposed. Rather, congressional legislation could reaffirm the original intent of the “Citizenship Clause” and all children subsequently born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant mothers would retain their foreign citizenship, would no longer be birthright U.S. citizens and would no longer be able to serve as anchor babies.8

Immigration law mirroring federal statute was passed in Arizona in 2010, in response to a virtual invasion of illegals, with thousands of people crossing the border from Mexico each day. Other States have also noted an influx of illegals and are planning similar legislation. State immigration laws like Arizona’s are necessary when the government fails to uphold, and continues to delay, fulfilling federal obligations to provide border security and protection from violent illegals and foreign drug cartels.9,10 While Arizona went to great lengths to assure there would be no racial profiling and the law would meet constitutional muster, many, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, criticized the Arizona law as racist and unconstitutional, before admitting they had not yet read the law.

In fact, President Obama indicated to U.S. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona that he is holding border security hostage until he gets the necessary political cooperation to pass Amnesty law.11 In addition, rather than provide assistance to this embattled State, the Obama Administration, acting through the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, filed against the State of Arizona in federal court and was granted a stay of several key portions of the law. The injunction was reported to have been issued based on the Constitution’s “Supremacy Clause”, where, if there is overlap, federal statutes supersede those of the States. This temporarily halted meaningful implementation of the Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070, pending appeal.12

Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution grants power to the Congress to uniformly regulate “naturalization”, which is the process involved in a foreigner obtaining citizenship. However, since the power to regulate “immigration”, the relocation of foreigners into the U.S., is not granted to the federal government, this power, by default, belongs to the States. As such, Arizona and all other States in the Union, have the right and obligation to establish and enforce their own immigration laws.

Article 1, Section 10, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution clearly gives Arizona the right to wage a defensive “war” based on the imminent danger of the illegal immigrant invasion of Arizona and President Obama’s persistent delay in providing assistance:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress…engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

Article 3, Section 2, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution organizes the judicial system, and determines that where a legal action involves a State, the Supreme Court is the only court where such actions can be tried:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Having filed an invalid action in federal court and obtained an invalid ruling from a federal judge in regard to the State of Arizona, Mr. Holder finds himself in another awkward situation. Any action the federal government wants to take against Arizona, must be correctly tried only by the Supreme Court. Whether the federal or State government, in the end, takes responsibility for the border, it is essential that it be secured without delay. The imperative of border security is a key part of National Security and is heightened by the ease with which known terrorists can illegally traverse the border without detection, to infiltrate American society with murderous intent.

Some have proposed, as a solution to our illegal immigration crisis, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, which is Washington-speak for Amnesty. However, we have seen that Amnesty is no solution and would only worsen the problem. The key to a real solution is strengthening and enforcing current immigration law. If proper enforcement prevents U.S. employers from hiring illegal aliens, these jobs will “dry up” and illegal aliens, most of who came here to work, will pack up and go home without further incentive.

Those choosing to commit the crime of illegal immigration understand that family separation is an integral part of this choice. However, families should not be torn apart, if at all avoidable. Rather, as unemployed illegal aliens repatriate themselves, they are encouraged to keep their families intact by taking them along with. Serious consideration should also be given to advancing the legal immigration and naturalization of more highly-educated and skilled workers, if demand exists.


1.  Jordan M. Illegal Immigrants Estimated to Account for 1 in 12 U.S. Births. The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, August 12, 2010.

3.  McNeill JB. Amnesty as an Economic Stimulus: Not the Answer to the Illegal Immigration Problem. May 18, 2009, The Heritage Foundation.

4.  Smith L. Immigration: Many Questions, A Few Answers. October 3, 2007, The Heritage Foundation.

5.  Gordon R. The Diane Rehm Show: The Debate Over Immigration and Birthright Citizenship. Case Western Reserve University School of Law News.

6.  Howard JM. The Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, Senate, 1st Session, May 30, 1866, p. 2890.

7.  Feere J. Backgrounder: Birthright Citizenship in the United States, A Global Comparison. Center for Immigration Studies, August 2010.

8.  Lee M. More Key Issues: Illegal Immigration. Mike Lee for U.S. Senate 2010.

9.  Archibald RC, Cooper H, Hulse C. Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration. April 23, 2010, New York Times.

10. Brewer J. Arizona Border Security Information: Brewer Letter to President Barack Obama on Immigration. April 6, 2010, Governor Jan Brewer’s website.

11. Kyl: Obama Won’t Secure Border Until Lawmakers Move on Immigration Package. June 21, 2010.

12. Markon J, McCrummen S, Shear MD. Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070 – Judge Blocks Some Sections. July 29, 2010, The Washington Post.
2.  Wagner PF, Amato D. The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Facts, Figures and Statistics on Illegal Immigration.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Prosecutorial Abuses in Columbia/HCA Case Not Hurting Rick Scott's Run for Governor of Florida

I'm not a big fan of Columbia/HCA, I don’t know Rick Scott personally, and I don't even have any connections to Florida. But to be fair, a great deal of the purported facts and summary conclusions derived from reported details of the Scott and Columbia/HCA affair need to be corrected. Scott started Columbia, but he did not start HCA; years later Columbia bought HCA to become Columbia/HCA. Most of the alleged fraud at issue was regarding coding and billing for hospital services by HCA long before Scott and Columbia came on the scene. Many of the whistleblower claims of fraud against HCA at the time, were later discredited and followed by court findings favorable to HCA and certain of its lower-level executives.1,2,3.

With Medicare, Medicaid and other hospital insurers, it doesn't matter what the hospital might charge for its services, all insurers have a fixed amount that they pay. For example, if hospital A charges $500 a day and hospital B charges $1500 a day, Medicare will still pay $200 a day, and no more, to either hospital. Thus, any claims by the government that a healthcare provider is guilty of charging too much, are meaningless. Predictably, the goal of all payors, especially Medicare and Medicaid, is to pay out as little as possible. Government is continually searching for ways to avoid paying for healthcare services, and is not above trumping-up imaginary crimes if it might help accomplish this objective.3

Regulations and considerations regarding the proper coding and billing for healthcare services, the methods for determination and reporting of actual hospital costs in providing care, and guidelines regarding physicians’ renting office space from and directing units within hospitals lacked clarity and were highly subjective during the 1990's. It was during this period that, capitalizing on the government’s failure to provide clear direction in this regard, and in response to pressure from the Clinton Administration, there was frantic activity among investigators and prosecutors across the nation to pin fraud on America’s healthcare providers. Based on differing interpretations of nebulous rules, the government pursued this form of healthcare fraud, especially where no real fraud existed, in an attempt to "claw-back" money from the “wealthy” healthcare sector in a wealth redistribution scheme.4

Ironically, during debate over HR 3523 in the U.S. House in 1998, it was then Rep. Bill McCollum who noted that with the federal healthcare payment system, comprised of more than 1,700 pages of law, 1,200 pages of interpretation of the law, and thousands of additional pages of often conflicting instructions, governing over 70 million healthcare claims filed each year, unintended errors and differing interpretations were inevitable. Rep. McCollum explained that a claim was not necessarily fraudulent, just because the government found it inconsistent with their idea of what the law meant, that there had to be an element of intent to defraud.5

By vigorously pursuing all potential “fraud”, even where there was no intent, few healthcare providers escaped reproach. The government also sought to intimidate healthcare providers to bill for a lower level of care than they delivered, as less intensive care is billed with a lower level code and receives a lower payment. In contrast to the “make-believe” fraud that government has aggressively pursued, real fraud (such as the Mafia forming a dummy home healthcare company and billing Medicare for services and equipment never actually provided using the stolen Medicare ID numbers of deceased patients6) is virtually ignored and goes on today unchecked and unpunished, to the tune of billions of lost healthcare dollars.

It is apparent that Rick Scott and Columbia/HCA were unfortunate enough to be caught up in this witch hunt. Clearly, the majority of alleged fraud that actually involved Scott and Columbia/HCA was not really fraud. Hospital records and other evidence supporting the allegations of fraud were lacking. Still, the government clung to an arbitrary, self-serving belief that hospitals were coding and billing for a higher intensity of care than they had actually provided (upcoding), that hospitals were providing free rent of physician office space in return for patient referrals (kickbacks), and that hospitals were paying physicians for bogus positions in the hospital (bribes), again, to encourage patient referrals to the hospital.3,4

When the government cries “upcoding!”, it means, in the real world, that a bureaucrat decides, years after the fact, and solely on the basis of the submitted claim, that he knows better how sick a particular patient had been, better than those that contemporaneously were in the room with the patient and following his chart carefully. When the government cries “kickback!”, it means that where a physician rents office space from the hospital at $3000 per month, the government believes the hospital might have charged as much as $3200 per month for the space. When the government cries “bribes!”, it means that a physician received a fee from the hospital for providing valuable medical direction services over specific units in the hospital that could not otherwise function.

With the government threatening to prosecute Columbia/HCA, Scott, who was the company CEO, wanted to fight the government, believing the company was innocent. But the Board of Directors did not have any real grasp of the business of providing healthcare services in the minefield of confusing regulations, was thoroughly intimidated by prosecutors, and insisted on settling out of court. Because of the Board's determination to capitulate over his objections, Scott resigned in protest and left the company. Four years after Scott left Columbia/HCA, the company entered into its first settlement agreement with the government.1,5

A great deal has been made, for political attack purposes, of Scott exercising his 5th Amendment right in declining to answer questions regarding the Columbia/HCA investigation. Most have falsely presumed from this that Scott and Columbia/HCA were guilty. However, this is an era of prosecutorial excesses, where prosecutors, when unable to establish guilt of an actual crime, will attempt conviction for “lying”, based on twisting the often innocent testimony of the accused.7 Because of this, the best legal advice is often given, especially for the innocent, to remain silent and refrain from giving prosecutors anything to twist and use against them.

Refusing to provide fodder for prosecutorial excess, without the presumption of guilt for doing so, is a constitutionally guaranteed defense against out-of-control government abuses. In America, we take great pride in our system of justice where the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Yet when an accused individual uses this constitutional defense, and with the government leaking selected and partial “facts” of the case, we are too quick to jump to unwarranted conclusions and premature judgments.

When the awesome power and resources of the government are waged against the individual, the government has a grossly unfair advantage from the start. Complicity by the Lame Stream Media, more interested in sensational claims of wrongdoing and convicting the accused in the press, than in any real evidence, presumption of innocence, or desire for justice, contributes dramatically to the damages done to the individual accused victim. It is a naïve, gullible and culpable populace that willingly accepts, joins and promotes this conspiracy of deception that is so damaging to individual rights and human dignity. When the public falls for this deception, it becomes complicit in the “Statist’s” anti-capitalist scheme to criminalize American business and redistribute American wealth.

Indirect costs to business are incalculable; what little is publicized about direct costs to business is staggering.8 Most of these investigations are dropped after a period of time due to lack of evidence to support the government’s case and do not result in prosecution. Most cases that are prosecuted result in settlement and do not go to trial. Most cases that go to trial end in acquittal, while only a tiny few end in conviction. For the most part, these activities fly under the radar and only a small fraction of the whole scheme, that portion involving significant settlement amounts and high-profile convictions, is publicized.

The cost to the government of investigating and prosecuting pseudo-fraud is carefully hidden, but estimates have been up to twice the amount collected by government in fines and penalties, and possibly in the tens of billions of dollars. All of these costs, including the costs to business that are passed along to the consumer, including the cost of lost productivity and persistent damage to the economy, and including the government costs of pursuing these cases that are paid by the American taxpayer to support the full employment of government attorneys, are paid for out of the pockets of John Q. Public.

In the case of Columbia/HCA, Rick Scott believed he and the company were innocent and he wanted to fight the government. The Columbia/HCA Board, however, was intent upon negotiating a settlement that would minimize company losses in money and reputation, over fighting a lengthy court battle. The Board wanted to put the whole thing behind them and was willing to take its lumps in order to get on with the business of providing healthcare. Contrary to widespread reports that he was forced out of his job for complicity in the alleged fraud, Scott had resigned in disgust at what most corporate types consider to be the Board’s fiscally responsible surrender.2,9

In fact, Columbia/HCA gave Scott a generous $5.1 million severance, a 10 year consulting contract with the company, and stock and options valued at over $300 million.2 While Columbia/HCA did eventually settle with the government for a significant sum, no bonafide evidence of real crime ever surfaced, and the company was never found guilty of any wrongdoing by any court of law.3,9,10 In addition, if there had been the slightest shred of evidence against Scott, the relentless government jackals would have mercilessly torn him to pieces. Instead, no charges were ever justified or brought against Scott in the Columbia/HCA debacle.10 It is absolutely shocking that no report of Scott’s innocence has popped up in any media headlines, and political opponents continue to take advantage of government and media disinformation to condemn Scott unjustly.


1. The Observer Staff. Scott Explains What Happened. The Observer Group, Longboat Key, July 14, 2010.

2. PoliticalCorrection. Richard L. Scott: Trials and Tribulations at Columbia/HCA. May 12, 2009, PoliticalCorrection-A Project of Media Matters Action Network, FactCheck.

3. Hiaasen S, Dorschner J, Clark L. Rick Scott and His Role in Columbia/HCA Scandal. The Miami Herald, Florida Politics, June 26, 2010.

4. Kleinke JD. Deconstructing the Columbia/HCA Investigation. Health Affairs, Vol. 17, No. 2, March/April 1998.

5. McCollum B. Healthcare Claims Guidance Act HR 3523: Introductory Remarks. Congressional Record, March 19, 1998, p. E434.

6. Kennedy K. Mafia, Violent Criminals Turn to Medicare Fraud. Breitbart, Associated Press, October 6, 2009.

7. Ogden B. Judith Miller Hates Scooter Libby. Freedom Yet Rings, Blogspot, August 29, 2010.

8. Department of Justice. Justice Dept. Civil Fraud Recoveries Total $2.1 Billion For FY 2003: False Claims Act Recoveries Exceed $12 Billion Since 1986. November 10, 2003, U.S. Department of Justice, #03-613.

9. Department of Justice. Largest Health Care Fraud Case in U.S. History Settled: HCA Investigation Nets Record Total of $1.7 Billion. June 26, 2003, U.S. Department of Justice, #03-386.

10. PolitiFactCheckFlorida. Rick Scott, Former Healthcare CEO, Faces Questions About Past. May 18, 2010, St. Petersburg Times – The Miami Herald.