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Friday, March 27, 2015

Cut It Out...NOW.


Enough is enough.

The federal government is expected to take in a record $3 trillion in taxes (approx.) this year from hardworking Americans – but many say it’s just not enough, and we need to raise taxes even higher. But revenue is not the problem…spending is. Done right, a lean, constitutionally-bound federal government could easily perform its intended limited functions on far, far less than the amount that it currently takes from citizens. Spending cuts are what’s in order, not higher taxes.

But how can we cut federal spending, you ask? Well, let me count the ways… here are a few common-sense, constitutionally-based ways to hack away at the behemoth federal budget.

Entitlements

Let’s start with the big elephant in the room: entitlement spending.

There are at least six ways to help reduce entitlement spending:

      1)      Via eligibility codes, require greater effort on the part of the welfare recipients to do their part to improve their circumstances (oh, I know, that’s so MEAN, huh? – actually, it is far more humane than endlessly enslaving them to welfare). Include drug testing as part of those requirements – we should not be subsidizing illegal drug use, a habit that keeps people difficult to employ.
      2)      Reduce welfare fraud and waste (which benefits the legitimate recipients).
      3)      Improve the economy by reducing taxes and regulations on businesses. Remember, most businesses are small businesses, not evil corporations that use regulations they’ve lobbied for to squeeze out smaller competition. This will allow the small businesses to afford to hire more people, helping the poor escape the welfare cycle.
      4)      Eliminate the federal minimum wage, which disproportionately hurts entry-level workers by forcibly pricing them out of the market. Minimum wage laws are the most anti-poor, anti-teenager, and anti-minority laws on the books today, and do nothing but damage the economy for everybody.
      5)      Provide tax incentives (tax breaks for employers) for approved on-the-job training/mentoring programs that lead to full-time employment.
      6)      Eliminate federal welfare programs and move it all to the state level, which will reduce a ton of bureaucratic costs and allow for greater diversity in programs, ideas, and innovation. The closer to “home” you can bring the social safety net, the better it is for everybody (the principle of subsidiarity).

Another big piece of the entitlement puzzle is Social Security. We need to look at privatizing SS. I still haven’t heard any good arguments against that approach, other than “But…but…big government should run everything!”

Military

The military is another large component of the budget, and it could stand to be trimmed and made more efficient.

We could start by reducing our permanent footprint in a number of foreign countries (allies) that are currently “cold spots” militarily. We don’t need to be everywhere all the time; let those countries pay for their own defense. We could also try getting a handle on contract spending that doesn’t make sense. We’ve all heard stories about $400 toilet seats and $800 hammers…I don’t know the validity of those tales, but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone somewhere was getting rich off the taxpayer dime – heck, that kind of corruption is the one thing the government is actually GOOD at. The more we can reduce the budget while not materially affecting our actual defense capabilities, the better.

Foreign Aid

Another area to cut is the billions of dollars we give out in “aid” to foreign nations each year – in particular, nations that hate us. Such action is deplorable, and not in our national interest. It sickens me to think that money I personally earned at my job is literally being sent to people who want to kill me and my family and want to destroy my beloved nation – and enabling them to do so. It is indefensible and treasonous (inasmuch as that word may apply in a not-necessarily-legal sense).

Bureaucracy

Then there are a handful of offices, agencies and departments that have no business existing. I don’t know how many people these units employ, how much they pay in salaries, benefits, office space, utilities, capital expenses, office supplies, travel, auto fleets, and other bureaucratic overheads, but I can bet it’s more than just a little.

Here’s a quick starter list of federal cuts we can make, starting today:

      ·         Eliminate the Office of National AIDS Policy
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Science and Technology Policy
      ·         Drastically cut the Office of the First Lady
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
      ·         Eliminate the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
      ·         Eliminate the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
      ·         Eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency
      ·         Eliminate the National Center for Education Statistics
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools
      ·         Eliminate the Energy Information Administration
      ·         Eliminate the Administration on Aging
      ·         Eliminate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
      ·         Eliminate the National Center for Health Statistics
      ·         Eliminate the Homeland Security's World Trade Center Captive Insurance Company
      ·         Eliminate the Homeland Security's Long Range Broad Agency Announcement Office
      ·         Eliminate the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT)
      ·         Eliminate the Science and Technology Directorate
      ·         Eliminate the Environmental Measurements Laboratory
      ·         Eliminate the Federal Housing Finance Agency
      ·         Eliminate the HUD's Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities
      ·         Eliminate the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)
      ·         Eliminate the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Insular Affairs
      ·         Eliminate the DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services
      ·         Eliminate the DOJ's Environment and Natural Resources Division
      ·         Eliminate the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management
      ·         Eliminate the Bureau of Justice Statistics
      ·         Eliminate the Community Capacity Development Office
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (they may be O SO SMART! – but they are not Constitutionally mandated)
      ·         Eliminate the Office on Violence Against Women
      ·         Eliminate the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office
      ·         Eliminate the United States Trustee Program
      ·         Eliminate the Bureau of International Labor Affairs
      ·         Eliminate the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division
      ·         Eliminate the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board
      ·         Eliminate the Department of Labor's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
      ·         Eliminate the Office of Labor-Management Standards
      ·         Eliminate the Ombudsman for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program
      ·         Eliminate the Office of the United States Global AIDS Coordinator
      ·         Eliminate the Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
      ·         Eliminate the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
      ·         Drastically reduce the size of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
      ·         Eliminate the Research and Innovative Technology Administration
      ·         Eliminate the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
      ·         Eliminate the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
      ·         Eliminate the Bureau of the Public Debt (since they’re doing such a bang up job)
      ·         Eliminate the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
      ·         Eliminate the Federal Consulting Group
      ·         Roll the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network into the FBI and reduce its size
      ·         Eliminate the Financial Management Service
      ·         Roll the National Cemetery Administration into the Pentagon and reduce its size
      ·         Eliminate the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
      ·         Eliminate the African Development Foundation
      ·         Eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service
      ·         Eliminate the Export-Import Bank of the United States
      ·         Eliminate the Farm Credit Administration
      ·         Eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services
      ·         Eliminate the Inter-American Foundation
      ·         Eliminate the International Broadcasting Bureau
      ·         Eliminate the National Council on Disability
      ·         Eliminate the Merit Systems Protection Board
      ·         Eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
      ·         Eliminate the Panama Canal Commission

What, you didn't even realize those federal government agencies existed? Funny, neither did the Founders/Framers. 

Look, this list is just for starters. Almost all of the above can and should be handled at the state level or below; the rest are completely unnecessary. NONE of them are constitutionally required; most violate the 10th Amendment by being administered at the federal level. They are not legitimate functions of the federal government.

If your family was in as much debt as the feds (proportionally speaking), would you be spending frivolously on non-essentials, or would you take a serious look at your budget and man up?

While we’re speaking of feckless and unconstitutional agencies to eliminate, we also need to dissolve the Department of Education, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These have no business existing, and the Department of Education in particular has been a total failure.

Elitism

Eliminate pensions for elected officials (senators, representatives, the president, vice president, etc.). Nothing gives these overpaid “public servants” the right to keep collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for the rest of their lives after they leave office. Put a reasonable cap on presidential vacation expenses – stop feeding the elitist leadership.

Where should revenues be?

We do not need as much taxation as we have now. We need to repeal the 16th Amendment (and 17th, while we’re at it!). Eliminate federal income tax, and switch to a flat 10% consumption tax. Disband the IRS (huge cost savings). Also, as long as we’re cleaning house, let’s audit the Federal Reserve (who could possibly be against that, and why?).

Rationale

This list is all just for starters. With these suggestions, we can drastically cut the federal budget. I make these suggestions not because I’m some crazy anarchist who wants the world to fall apart – but because I care about holding it together. My suggestions come because I love my country, honor the Constitution, and respect myself and my fellow-citizen.

If we don’t take drastic action to rein in this over-bloated and out-of-control federal nightmare ASAP, it will be too late for us and our children. There will NEVER be enough tax money to sustain this current system. Making these cuts is the only way to survive, is the morally right thing to do, and aligns with the intent of those who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to bring this country into existence.

I welcome civil and well-reasoned debate regarding why we should or should not implement any or all of these measures immediately.


It will just keep getting worse...only drastic cuts can save us. 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Benevolent Sexism -- Wait, What?



Just ran across this article in the U.K.'s Daily Mail... apparently, Boston researchers have discovered that all men -- even the really nice ones -- are sexist pigs.

According to these eggheads:
"...acts of chivalry may actually be 'benevolent sexism' in disguise ... this type of sexism ... masquerades as gallantry...typified by paternal and protective behaviour, from encouraging smiles to holding doors open." 
Yes, you read that right: an encouraging smile is now inappropriate behavior. Letting the door smack that woman in the face? That's how it's done, if you want to be a non-sexist. Got it?

Professor Judith Hall:
"Benevolent sexism is like a wolf in sheep's clothing that perpetuates support for gender inequality among women. These supposed gestures of good faith may entice women to accept the status quo in society because sexism literally looks welcoming, appealing and harmless."
Uh, maybe that's because being nice to other people literally is harmless, you nitwit.

In the study, an example of "benevolent sexism" included believing "women should be rescued before men from a sinking ship." Tell you what -- next time I'm on a sinking ship, I'll be sure to make the radical feminists go to the back of the life-boat line. (I'm sure there's some kind of metaphor in there.)

The study also found that "benevolent sexists" smiled more, were "more patient," and were "warmer, friendlier and chattier."

Oh, the horrors! If only those awful men had frowned more, been less patient, and been cold, unfriendly and taciturn. What a better world it would be!

Study co-author Jin Goh:
"Benevolent sexist men hold women in high regard and are willing to sacrifice themselves to save and protect women."
And that is a huge problem. Because...radical feminists are insane. That's why.

These idiotic, agenda-driven researchers are railing against "gender inequality." As I have said before, equal DOES NOT MEAN identical, nor should it (unless you like to live in a world that is separate from reality). Moreover, if I have a tendency to smile at men and refrain from letting doors smack men in the face, is that okay with these nutjobs, or does that make me some kind of sexist, too?

Okay, it's obvious to anyone with a brain that these people are off their collective rockers. But...why? What is it that drives them to such ludicrous conclusions? Why can't they accept that men and women are different, and that different people/things/concepts are logically and rightfully to be treated in different ways? And our complementary differences are what makes the world beautiful! What do they hope to achieve by getting men to stop being nice to women? It's gotta be some kind of psychosis that makes them think there's something wrong with holding women in high regard. Are men supposed to hold women in LOW regard, then? No, because that would be...wait for it...sexist! Therefore, if you are a man, no matter how you think of women and no matter how you treat women, you are a sexist pig.

Women. Can't live with 'em...can't not be a sexist no matter what you do or don't do. And since I can't win no matter what I do, I am going to continue being courteous. Deal with it.