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Archive for the ‘government spending’ Category

Give Me Liberty TV Interview with Governor Heineman

Posted by Dan Draney on September 4, 2010

Nebraska Governor David Heineman sits down with GML-TV’s W. A. Mitchell. The Governor talks about the state budget, federal spending, illegal immigration, the Cornhusker Kickback, and the states’ lawsuit against the ObamaCare “individual mandate.” Will he challenge Sen. Ben Nelson in 2014? He doesn’t say so, but he sounds like someone who’s thinking a lot about what a Nebraska senator needs to do.

via Give Me Liberty TV.

Posted in GML-TV, government spending, healthcare, Nebraska, Senate, taxes, tea party | Leave a Comment »

York County Tea Party Group Plans Flag Day Rally in Seward

Posted by Dan Draney on June 6, 2010

York, Nebraska, has an active Tea Party group with plans for a rally on Flag Day (6/16). The local paper, The York News-Times reports:

YORK — Just about two months ago, the Tea Party movement in York County was made up of two like-minded women who said they were sick of high government spending and lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution. Today, the local grassroots group consists of dozens of people, a board of directors and a outreach program that’s assisting their neighbors in Seward County.

Watch the Video Report

Jeremy Jensen, chairman of the York County Tea Party, says the group is partnering with Lincoln Tea Party volunteers to host a Flag Day rally in Seward, June 14.

“Our goal is simple,” Jensen says. “We want to deliver resources for people who feel like us, to take a stand, become informed and provide education about our Constitution. We believe in limited government, free market solutions and fiscal responsibility. We support everything that is in the U.S. Constitution. We do not endorse specific candidates, but rather want to educate the people so they can ask the right questions and make the right decisions when it comes time to vote in November.”

Voting is important — the local Tea Party chairman says they encourage voter registration and are distributing material to help residents be registered and prepared.

“We are not looking to be a third political party,” Jensen said. “We want to provide a platform for the citizens to ask questions of the candidates, on the local, state and federal levels. We believe that if individuals have good information they will make good decisions” in the voting booth. “We want people to study the Constitution and base their decisions on whether a candidate backs it.”


Jensen said they will also be having an informal event before Flag Day, on June 10, at the York Community Center. “From 1-7 p.m., we’ll have an open house during which we will be giving people complimentary supplies to make signs for the Seward rally. And, if someone wants to make a sign but cannot attend the Seward rally, we can take the signs over for them.”

My friend, Ed, made this short video promotion for the event:

Posted in Constitution, GML-TV, government spending, Nebraska, tea party | 2 Comments »

What He Said

Posted by Dan Draney on April 28, 2010

I just loved this letter to the editor today in the WSJ from Robert G. Anderson of Sheridan, Wyoming.

Gerald O’Driscoll’s excellent “An Economy of Liars” op-ed, April 20 ends too soon. Crony capitalism is merely the first phase of an imposed interventionist welfare state on a free-market economy. As our country continues its descent down Frederich von Hayek.s “road to serfdom,” our politicians and their apologists are being transformed from liars to demagogues.

The anti-capitalist mentality ingrained in egalitarianism and envy is taking our country closer to the path taken by Argentina as that country steadily declined from being one of the world’s richest countries to one of its poorest in the last century. Recovery still remains an illusion for Argentina, and possibly it will for us as well.

While the most immediate and visible consequences from this shifting change are the unfunded, contingent liabilities and growing deficits in both the public and private sectors, the far more dire result is the massive destruction of accumulated wealth and the disincentives for its replacement which this anticapitalist mentality of expanding wealth transfer by political edicts is generating.

As the indebtedness and regulatory grasp of the political process expand, it’s becoming obvious that the government parasite is killing its market host. The wealth destruction occurring today, coupled with the undermining of market incentives to replace it, inexorably assures a declining material standard of living ahead.

Unless a drastic change in our political climate comes soon, with a restoration of market wealth generating prospects for future entrepreneurs, Americans may find themselves doing the bidding of the Chinese rather than buying their goods.

Posted in government spending, socialism | Leave a Comment »

Legalized Theft

Posted by Dan Draney on April 1, 2010

This should make you angry, whatever your political views are.  [H/T Lynn]

Posted in financial crisis, government spending | Leave a Comment »

Individual Mandate Toothless by Design?

Posted by Dan Draney on March 29, 2010

PLaplace remarks below on the bizarre lack of teeth in the ObamaCare “Individual Mandate.” I find it impossible to believe that no one noticed before the bill became law that the “mandate” is a nullity. This is not like the failure to actually cover children with pre-existing conditions that came out last week, which involves somewhat ambiguous language. This is right at the core of a key provision of the bill in language that appears to rule out enforcing the “mandate” by any means other than “pretty please with sugar on it.”

Now watch this peculiar performance by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), wherein he bobs and weaves in an apparently pointless, incomprehensible dance around the question of who enforces the mandate.

On the other hand, what if Weiner already knew a week ago about the “joke” enforcement provisions of this non-mandate.  Then he is laughing at O’Reilly and the Fox News audience, baiting them, and his behavior makes perfect sense (at least in his world).

So what did the Democrats know, and when did they know it? I assume this provision is right out of the Senate bill, so the text has been known since Christmas Eve. It’s possible that in the crazy rush to ram that through within hours of finalizing it, that this language was an error that slipped through. However, it’s unlikely to have been undetected in the intervening three months.

So, if they knew the effect of this language before passage, why wouldn’t they have “fixed” it? First of all, the House had to pass the Senate bill exactly, or it would go back to the Senate subject to filibuster, never to re-emerge. Of course, just getting the Senate bill through the House was already touch and go. As Nancy Pelosi was heard to say, “These things must be done delllllicately, or else you harm the spell.”

Of course, the individual mandate was never popular with the redistributionist crowd. It was one of those “conservative” ideas, they were forced to include, like making it look like they actually intend to pay for this. The foreseeable effects are as described by PLaplace: healthy people won’t buy insurance until they get sick. Rates will skyrocket, providing more evidence of the evil nature of insurance providers and another excuse for more federal intervention. It might have been inconvenient explaining that before the bill passed, but, afterwards, what’s not to like?

Posted in government spending, healthcare | 3 Comments »

It’s the Debt, Stupid

Posted by Dan Draney on March 28, 2010

It’s been said before, but rarely this well. There’s more where this came from: In the End, There Is Only the Debt – Victor Davis Hanson – The Corner on National Review Online.

In short, the United States is floating far more loans than ever before in peacetime, and for longer scheduled durations, because interest rates are only a quarter of what they have been in the past. But this theory that we can endlessly multiply the size of our debt because the service costs remain low and static is a prescription for disaster — like the credit-card introductory offer of 2 to 3 percent for 6 months that hooks the naive into charging thousands of dollars, only to end up without the means to service the debt when the rate climbs over 20 percent. For a technocracy that is Ivy League certified and brags about its competency, we have fallen into the age-old trap that snares the naive ARM house buyer, the teenaged MasterCard mega-borrower, and the “free” coupon holder who heads headlong to Vegas.

That we are borrowing now at cheap interest hundreds of billions for things that are unnecessary or counterproductive will only make it worse, psychologically, when we have to pay it all back with high interest. It reminds me of the boom-to-bust neighbor who bought his superfluous super-duper, hydra-headed, metallic red-painted hydraulic vine-cutter with easy farm loans in the late 1970s and, when headed for bankruptcy in the 1980s, looked at the now rusted, useless contraption in his barnyard and sighed to me, “And I’m still paying 17 percent on that sucker!”

Posted in debt, Economics, government spending, Porkulus, socialism | Leave a Comment »

Hey, Dems: You Broke It. You Own It.

Posted by Dan Draney on March 21, 2010

Liberals are basking in the glow of their “victory” tonight in destroying the most innovative, most responsive healthcare system in the world. Time will tell, but we may have just witnessed the end of the Democrat Party. It’s now Pottery Barn Time, and the Dems have definitely broken another 1/6th of the economy to add to their previous work destroying the federal budget. With the possible exception of between now and November, I can’t imagine seeing this kind of display of political arrogance again in my lifetime.

At the corners of a square are: a fiscally conservative Democrat; a pro-life Democrat; the Easter Bunny; and a paralyzed veteran. In the middle of the square is a $1 bill. Which of the four will get to the $1 bill first. Answer: the paralyzed veteran, because the other three are figments of the imagination.

Large majorities of Americans strongly oppose runaway government spending, ever more government interference into our livers and government funding of abortion. This bill is hugely unpopular now, and, like the Stimulus, it will get less popular as people learn they have been lied to at every turn. Every Democrat Congressional seat is now in play.

Here’s the closing of an excellent article from Mark Steyn on the Democrats’ Brave New World: Welcome to Deemocracy – Mark Steyn – National Review Online. You should read the whole thing.

Look around you, and take it all in. From now on, it gets worse. If you have kids, they’ll live in smaller homes, drive smaller cars, live smaller lives. If you don’t have kids, you better hope your neighbors do, because someone needs to spawn a working population large enough to pay for the unsustainable entitlements the Obama party has suckered you into thinking you’re entitled to. The unfunded liabilities of current entitlements are $100 trillion. Try typing that onto your pocket calculator. You can’t. There isn’t enough room for all the zeroes, and, even if they made a pocket calculator large enough, and a pocket large enough, you’d be walking with a limp. To these existing entitlements, Obama and his enforcers in Congress propose to add the grandest of all: health care, on a scale no advanced democracy has ever attempted.

Posted in Ben Nelson, Constitution, crazy leftists, government spending, healthcare, Obama | 1 Comment »

Open Letter to Rep. Stupak

Posted by Dan Draney on March 14, 2010

Dear Rep. Stupak,

First I want to thank you and those who have stood with you for your opposition to the federalization of healthcare and subsidization of abortion. Please pass this message on to the others as, well.

I’m writing now to urge you to hold fast against this bill. Since I live in Nebraska, I’ll let you know a little more about what his vote in favor of the exact bill you are considering has done for Sen. Ben Nelson. He was one of the most popular political figures in this state over the past 25 yrs, but he will never be elected to anything in Nebraska again. He can barely go out in public without being booed and heckled by our fellow Nebraskans.

Everyone is aware of the so-called Cornhusker Kickback, and certainly Nebraskans are mad about that. We don’t like to be seen as cutting a special, dishonest deal at the expense of the rest of the country. However, the distaste for Sen. Nelson is much broader than that.

  1. The bill allows federal funding of abortion. After claiming he would not vote for subsidized abortions, he broke his word. Pro-life groups and leaders in the state who have long supported him rightly viewed this as a betrayal of fundamental principles. These former supporters will never be back, regardless of the ultimate fate of this bill.
  2. The bill itself is deeply unpopular. The more people know about this bill the less they like it. Just as the massive, wasteful, ineffective “stimulus” bill has become even less popular as people see what is in it, so it will be with this healthcare bill if it ever becomes law. It will be a millstone around the neck of every politician who supports it for the rest of his/her career.
  3. He failed to notice that the political ground has shifted under his feet. Sen. Nelson thrived as a senator by bringing home pork from the federal trough. Today Americans can see that Congress and the President have dropped all pretense of fiscal discipline. We know that this path leads to disaster, and people are paying attention. No one believes the healthcare “reform” bills will save money. We are not stupid. We know the existing entitlements are already bankrupting the country.

Senator Nelson thought the subterfuge embodied in the abortion clauses of the Senate bill would protect him from pro-life backlash. It did not. He thought it was business as usual, and he could sell us a bill that we don’t want and can’t afford by sweetening the deal with the “Cornhusker Kickback.” He was stunned to discover that the juicy pork he brought home just made things worse for him politically instead of better.

Do not vote for this bill or for any phony “self-executing rule” and/or reconciliation shenanigans. It is political poison. It is bad policy. It is fiscal insanity.

Addendum: I attempted to post this with Rep. Stupak’s web form. However, it states that he is “unable to reply to any email from constituents outside of the 1st District of Michigan.” I was not expecting a reply, but it appears that also means he is not accepting any emails from outside his district. If anyone reading this is in Rep. Stupak’s district, please pass this along to him.

Posted in government spending, healthcare, Nebraska, socialism | 2 Comments »

It’s the Spending, Stupid

Posted by Dan Draney on March 12, 2010

Via U.S. Monthly Budget Deficit Balloons to a Record –

WASHINGTON—Even as government receipts posted a rare increase in February, soaring outlays pushed the country’s year-to-date deficit up to a record $651.60 billion.

The government’s fiscal 2010 year-to-date deficit is up 10.5% from fiscal year 2009.

The government in February alone ran its largest ever monthly deficit—$221 billion, the U.S. Treasury said in releasing its monthly budget statement Wednesday. The government in February 2009 ran a budget deficit of nearly $194 billion.

“The budget balance has deteriorated sharply over the past 2 years with outlays rising rapidly—mainly due to the government’s various stimulus programs–and revenues shrinking—both because of the weak economy and the various tax cuts meant to stimulate the economy,” Steven A. Wood, an economist with Insight Economics, wrote in a client note.

There are relatively few years prior to Obama when the feds borrowed that many dollars. Dividing by the US populations to put the numbers in perspective we see that in one 28-day month, the feds borrowed another $715 per person or $2861 per family of four. It’s even worse, because although receipts were up, spending was up even more:

Total Per Person Family of 4
Deficit Feb 2010 alone $220,910,000,000 $715 $2,861
Outlays Feb 2010 alone $328,430,000,000 $1,063 $4,252
Receipts Feb 2010 alone $107,520,000,000 $348 $1,392

Note that borrowing was more than twice the receipts. How long could your family keep spending three times your income and borrowing the rest? Even the feds can’t keep it up, although they are determined to try. The interest costs alone were $52 per person for February, despite the easy money, pro-inflation policy of the Federal Reserve which is (so far) keeping interest rates artificially low. Look for interest costs to go up sharply in the not too distant future.

Posted in government spending, Obama, taxes | 1 Comment »

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