Swiss Cheese

Far be it for us to criticize those who create great wealth, but we’re probably not alone in our disgust at the preening and pontificating by billionaires who think they should tell us how to live.

We’re talking, of course, about the annual confab at Davos, Switzerland, 5,120 feet up in the Swiss Alps, presumably high enough to give the 40 heads of state and 2,500 billionaires, businessmen, CEOs, rock stars, assorted royals and politicians at least a metaphorical view of the whole world.

Are you sure we shouldn’t add an “r” in that city name and just call it Davros (as in the creator of the Daleks in “Doctor Who”). 🙂

Davos was once a semi-serious event dedicated to business executives gathering to talk about common problems and how to solve them.

But it’s turned into a preachy, weeklong exercise in excess, during which the same people who flew 1,700 private jets to attend — yes, someone counted them — lecture the rest of us about the importance of cutting back on our carbon footprints and other things.

“Decision makers meeting in Davos must focus on ways to reduce climate risk while building more efficient, cleaner and lower-carbon economies,” Mexico’s former President Felipe Calderon told USA Today.

“The purpose,” said former vice president and climate-change entrepreneur Al Gore, standing with hip-hop star Pharrell Williams, “is to have a billion voices with one message, to demand climate action now.”

You mean billion dollar voices! 🙂 The little guy who’s going to be screwed by you doesn’t matter. AS billion here a billion there… 🙂

OK, so how about you flying commercial, for a start?

Well, they are too important for that. After all, they are not peasants.

This year’s ration of ridiculousness and hypocrisy is so prominent, even the media have noticed.

It’s pretty obvious that people who can pay $40,000 to attend Davos and fork over $43 for a hot dog, $47 for a burger or $55 for a Caesar salad — all actual prices at this year’s World Economic Forum — would seem to be in a poor position to lecture the rest of us.

Only $47 for a burger, gee, I would have thought with all the high end ingredients I’m sure they had that’s a bargain. 🙂

A London restaurant claims to have created the world’s most expensive burger, embellished with gold leaf, lobster and caviar. The wagyu beef and venison dish, priced at £1,100 (Google).

Now that’s a burger for an elitist!

Even so, Bloomberg highlights remarks by subprime mortgage billionaire Jeffrey Greene that “America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence. We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”

Greene, according to Bloomberg, “flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week.” How’s that for “less things”? His remarks are more than a little ironic, given one of the main themes of Davos this year: “Income inequality,” or getting the rich to pay their “fair share.”

So these billionaires will share their wealth right? 🙂

Then there’s that pesky gender gap, another major topic — at a conference where women make up just 17% of all attendees.

Increasingly, it seems, some think their wealth entitles them to run our lives instead of their businesses.

Well, if their Liberals as well as billionaires…god help us all!

Here’s some modest advice for the CEOs at Davos: Have fun and, by all means, learn something. But, please, get off your moral soapboxes. You’ll do far more for the economy and benefit far more people by building strong, innovative businesses with growing profits than by attending a thousand Swiss soirees. (IBD)

But that doesn’t “feel” as good and we know that for Liberals it’s all about “feelings”.


Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Life is Hard…SNAP

Ah, that “roaring back” Obamanomics…Adding more government dependents  to the Democrats’ Voter rolls.

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, reached another high in September, according to new data released by the United Stated Department of Agriculture.

The most recent data on SNAP participation were released Friday, and showed that 47,710,324 people were enrolled in the program in September, an increase of 607,559 from the 47,102,765 enrolled in August.

The number of households enrolled in the program also increased from 22,684,463 in August to 22,973,698 in September, an increase of 289,235. The average benefit, according to the new data, was $134.29 per person and $278.89 per household.

The new numbers mean that an estimated one in 6.5 people in America were on food stamps in September.

In the 1970s, one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Since 2001, spending on the program has quadrupled and doubled in the last four years.

Well, it’s better than depending on oneself. Let someone else pay for it while I kick back and enjoy it.

Government dependency is so much easier than reality and self-reliance. The money will never run out….

And after all, the unemployment rate is “dropping” according to the Ministry of Truth and out Lord and Master, Big Brother Barack. So how can that be? 🙂

99 weeks of Federal unemployment (on top of what the states pay), is not exactly incentive for the freeloader to get off their butts and get a job.

And besides, “the rich” should pay. The poor are owed their “fair share” after all. So why bother being industrious.

Besides, IF YOU ARE Industrious and successful the government will come looking for you to pay “your fair share” anyhow so best to just lay low and just stay in the shadows and collect other people’s money. So what’s on the “View” today?

Then you have a government  that is borrowing $5 Billion dollars a day is not easy to do, and then want to Spend Even More.

So what is a sloth to do but sit in front of their flat screen TV, tweet on their smart phone  (or make calls on their free Obamaphone) and eat their government food and watch “Judge Judy”.

Life is Hard.

And those “tax cuts” that Obama Claus is promising…Well, since they don’t exist and ObamaCare is TAX (just ask the Supreme Court) you’ll not even get a lump of politically incorrect coal in your Obama approved Stocking.

OBAMACARE UPDATE

As I have said before, look up adverse selection sometime, if you understand that, you know why ObamaCare is going to screw, even the poor into the ground.

As the Times reports, chiropractor lobbyists were “out in force” to have their service “included in every state’s package of essential health benefits.” And acupuncture will be mandated in at least four states.

Other coverage mandates that various states have announced they plan to require under ObamaCare include weight-loss surgery and infertility treatment. These are on top of the federal mandates the Obama administration has already announced, including things like “free” preventive service and contraception coverage.

Since health care dollars don’t fall from trees, each of those mandates will end up adding to the cost of insurance. Worse, these mandates will only grow over time.

State governments know this, since they have a long and sordid history of giving in to lobbyist pressure and imposing increasing coverage mandates on state-regulated insurance plans.

States currently impose 2,262 benefit mandates, up from 2,156 the year before, according to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance. There were just 850 mandates in 1992, when CAHI first started tracking them.

Among the more ridiculous are requirements that insurance cover breast implant removal, circumcision, wigs for chemotherapy patients, smoking-cessation service and varicose vein removal.

CAHI figures state mandates add 10% to 50% to the cost of insurance. A report from the Maryland Health Care Commission figures that around 20% of premiums in that state are the result of its 45 benefit mandates.

In addition to preventive-care rules, ObamaCare bans lifetime limits on coverage and puts caps on out-of-pocket costs, each of which will drive up premiums. Its requirement that insurers cover “children” up to 26 years old has already added as much as 3% to premiums, according to Towers Watson.

Along with mandated benefits, ObamaCare declares war on high-deductible health plans proved to hold costs down.

Individual plans won’t be allowed to have a deductible higher than $2,000. This rule will mean that 1-in-7 workers will be forced to take a lower deductible, then pay higher insurance costs as a result.

When Nebraska tried to make a high-deductible plan its benchmark plan under ObamaCare, the administration turned the state down, saying it didn’t meet the law’s requirements.

Even ObamaCare backers admit its benefit mandates — along with insurance market “reforms” — will add significantly to the cost of coverage. Jonathan Gruber, who helped design ObamaCare, studied the law’s effects on individual insurance policies in several states and concluded it will add 30% to those premiums.

Long ago, Obama promised that his medical overhaul would focus entirely on bringing the cost of insurance down.

But the law he’s busy implementing will have the exact opposite effect.

And we’re all going to pay the price. (IBD)

But the dependent class just has to be kept fat, DUMB, and happy (defined as- envious and willfully dumb) and they then won’t bother to notice the same government they think is so great  is robbing them blind.
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

What’s In Your Wallet?

How do you get the rich to pay their “fair share”? The president and his party have an answer for you, assuming that you regard the question as legitimate:

Just raise their marginal tax rates. Instead of telling them to send 35 of the next 100 dollars they make to Uncle Sam, tell them to send, say, 40 or so. They can afford it, and middle-income voters don’t have to pay a cent.

Barack Obama has the rules of propaganda on his side here: The simple beats the complex, and social-justice symbolism packs an emotional punch that economics can’t match. But the reality is clear: You can jack up rates on the rich all you want, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get more tax revenue out of them.

Logic and reason are harder to sell that simplistic and jingoistic emotion.

History shows this. Top income-tax rates have been very high — up to 94% during World War II — and very low — down to 28% after Ronald Reagan’s tax reform of 1986. It’s striking how little their movements affect personal income tax revenues.

That revenue has varied, mostly in a range between 6% and 10% of GDP, but its postwar ups and downs show no relation to changes in the top rate.

Revenue sank to a low of 5.7% in 1949 with the top rate at 91%; it reached as high as 10.2% in 2000 with the top rate at 39.6%. Seven years before that, in 1993, it only reached 7.7% with the same top rate. Going back a few more years to 1989, it was 8.3% of GDP at a top rate of only 28%.

The lesson is that income-tax revenues are driven by swings in the economy and stock market. Rates are a political sideshow.

Americans of a certain age can remember when rates were much higher than they are now — the 1950s. Some of them, like Warren Buffett, remember it to be a good time to get rich, despite a 91% top rate.

And since Warren Buffet only has an Investment income (tax rate 15% on capital gains only) he’s immune to all this shit and he knows it!

One fact conveniently ignored about this era, however, was that few Americans paid the top rate or anything close to it. The Tax Code was quite different from the one we’ve lived with since the 1986 reform. It was full of perfectly legal dodges for those who could hire a decent tax adviser. (IBD)

Factoid: According to the Pew Hispanic Center, every one of the top five unequal states also is among the top 10 states with high illegal immigrant populations. 🙂

And if that doesn’t work, there is always just play old Bureaucratic stupidity.

“Give…me…your…wallet”

When zombies attack, the Department of Homeland Security will be prepared. That was one of the few pieces of good news in Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn’s new report “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities.”

The report found there has been lax oversight of the $35 billion in grants that the DHS has given to state and local governments since 2003. Coburn alleges that much of the money went to “low-priority and low-risk areas” and has done little to help Americans prepare for a terrorist attack.

For example, money from the DHS’s Urban Areas Security Initiative went to buy snow cone machines in Michigan. Places like Fargo, N.D., and Keene, N.H., now have armored vehicles at their disposal, as do many other small towns. Keene said the vehicle was needed to protect its annual Pumpkin Festival.

Arizona used $90,000 in DHS funding to install a video monitoring system at the Peoria Sports Complex, because apparently it is in the taxpayers’ interest to monitor the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres during spring training.

More legitimate (but still questionable) expenses were handled badly, as well. Illinois lawmakers burned through $45.6 million in DHS grants to install security cameras in Chicago and Cook County before they abandoned the project without the cameras ever working.

But if you think that’s waste, you need to know about the extraordinary training that the DHS was able to provide to first responders this year. They made attendance at the HALO Corp.’s 2012 Counter-Terrorism Summit an allowable expense for federal grant money. Yes, the California-based security company’s five-day event was held at a posh island resort and spa just outside of San Diego and cost $1,000 per person to attend, but that’s not even the best part. The showpiece event of the summit made was a live war game of a zombie apocalypse, complete with 40 actors in full zombie makeup as well as “state-of-the-art structure, pyrotechnic battlefield effects, medical special effects, vehicles and blank-firing weapons” according to a promotional video by HALO President Brad Barker.

This enabled first responders to participate in a real-life “Dawn of the Dead” scenario and to know precisely what to do when their neighbors start trying to eat their human flesh. A video of the event, posted above, shows first responders skillfully gunning down the faux zombies with their blank-filled guns. In fact, they held two zombie war games on Halloween.

“This is a very real exercise,” Barker insisted. “This is not some type of big costume party.”

To those readers who think that federal homeland security tax dollars could have been better spent, check back with us when zombies are gnawing on your ankles. (WE)

Or was that just a Liberal slobbering all over your wallet as they helped themselves…Hard to tell. 🙂

 

A.F. Branco political cartoon Obama Bunny

 

Going Global

“We’ve got a choice. We can settle for a country where a few people do really, really well and everybody else struggles to get by”, Obama said.

“Or we can restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules, from Washington to Wall Street to Main Street.” (but the 38,500 a person campaign donations from these people doesn’t hurt!)
“We need to get the deficit under control (we need to overspend less!)in a way that builds the economy. We do it in a way that’s consistent with American values so that everyone pays a fair share.”

The Obama budget is being seen on all sides as a partisan document that has little chance of being voted into law.

All out Campaign Mode…

Democrats in the Senate say that they will not bring it up for a vote.

So it’s all for show. And for Liberal Media Consumption and Talking Points.

And the Republicans are rolling over and kissing Liberal ass on the payroll tax because they don’t want “unfavorable” media coverage. 😦

Now, here’s the latest:

 

On Monday, White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling called for a “global minimum tax” to ensure that “nobody is escaping doing their fair share.”
Mr. Sperling added: “we will say more, perhaps not in gory detail, but in more detail, before the end of the month. And in terms of the revenues, the president is looking for shared sacrifice.”

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”  –Ronald Reagan

Americans make up half of the world’s richest 1%

It only takes $34,000 per person to be amid the richest 1% of people in the world.It only takes $34,000 per person to be amid the richest 1% of people in the world.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The United States holds a disproportionate amount of the world’s rich people.

It only takes $34,000 a year, after taxes, to be among the richest 1% in the world. That’s for each person living under the same roof, including children. (So a family of four, for example, needs to make $136,000.)

So where do these lucky rich people live? As of 2005 — the most recent data available — about half of them, or 29 million lived in the United States, according to calculations by World Bank economist Branko Milanovic in his book The Haves and the Have-Nots.

Another four million live in Germany. The rest are mainly scattered throughout Europe, Latin America and a few Asian countries. Statistically speaking, none live in Africa, China or India despite those being some of the most populous areas of the world.

The numbers put into perspective the idea of a rapidly growing global middle class.

Sure, China and India are seeing their economies grow quickly, and along with that growth, large portions of their populations are also becoming richer. But remember, the emerging world is starting from a very low base to begin with, so its middle class is just that — still emerging, says Milanovic.

“It doesn’t seem right to define as middle class, people who would be on food stamps in the United States,” Milanovic said.

The true global middle class, falls far short of owning a home, having a car in a driveway, saving for retirement and sending their kids to college. In fact, people at the world’s true middle — as defined by median income — live on just $1,225 a year. (And, yes, Milanovic’s numbers are adjusted to account for different costs of living across the globe.)

In the grand scheme of things, even the poorest 5% of Americans are better off financially than two thirds of the entire world.(CNN)

So with this news our Taxes must crush us to death for the benefit of the rest of the world. We are EVIL INCARNATE! 🙂

The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject  poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of  government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary:  maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The  share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom  fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007,  according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.

The problem by now is familiar to most. Politicians have expanded the  safety net without a commensurate increase in revenues, a primary  reason for the governments annual deficits and mushrooming debt. In  2000, federal and state governments spent about 37 cents on the safety  net from every dollar they collected in revenue, according to a New York  Times analysis. A decade later, after one Medicare expansion, two  recessions and three rounds of tax cuts, spending on the safety net  consumed nearly 66 cents of every dollar of revenue.

The recent recession increased  dependence on government, and stronger economic growth would reduce  demand for programs like unemployment benefits. But the long-term trend  is clear. Over the next 25 years, as the population ages and medical  costs climb, the budget office projects that benefits programs will grow  faster than any other part of government, driving the federal debt to  dangerous heights.

Americans are divided about the way forward. Seventy percent of  respondents to a recent New York Times poll said the government should  raise taxes. Fifty-six percent supported cuts in Medicare and Social  Security. Forty-four percent favored both.

The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up  23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying  on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the  Heritage Foundation.

Now that’s why you want to vote for Obama, right? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino
 Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

 Political Cartoons by Chip Bok


 

Centennial

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARIZONA!

FEBRUARY 14, 2012

I wrote this two days ago but WordPress said that it was published, then didn’t do it, so sue me. Oh wait, the State already has been…

On February 14, 1912, after nearly 49 years as a U.S. territory and thousands of years as a sacred home to indigenous peoples, Arizona became the 48th and last of the contiguous states to enter the Union of the United States of America.

At the time of its statehood, Arizona epitomized the economic promise of the American West. Rich in natural resources, the state was earning its reputation as the home of the Five C’s – copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and climate. Its people reflected the rich history and heritage of the Southwest, from the influences of its Native American and Hispanic cultures to the adventurous spirit of its early prospectors, ranchers, and farmers. All embraced Arizona’s rugged and rich environment to create a unique and prosperous lifestyle.

Arizona continues to be recognized for its natural beauty, a high quality of life, and its ongoing innovation in all fields, from agriculture to technology.

Arizona was founded on rugged individualism matched with hard work and vision. It was this indomitable spirit that shaped and molded our state into the place we now call home. From our school children to centenarians, from urban centers to rural communities—we all have the opportunity to come together and commemorate this indomitable spirit and the 100 years of growth, challenge and success it engendered. (az100years.org)

Now the state, which is the home to the 5th Largest Metropolitan City in the US, Phoenix, has many new challenges.

One of the hardest hit areas for the housing crash.

Illegal Aliens.

The US Government:  Under Obama (can you say being sued by them for wanting to enforce Federal Laws on Immigration; The gunwalking of Fast & Furious; The undermanned and under-armed Border)

Drug Cartels that freely operate across the border.

The Ministry of Truth Media always wanting to call us Racists at the drop of any hat.

La Raza (“The Race”) the anti-white Racists who are endemic in schools, especially in Southern Arizona.

Medical Marijuana Liberals from California. California Liberals in general are a pain in our backside.

But I love it here. July 30th will be 25 years since I left Michigan.

The “Five C’s” of Arizona’s economy are: Cattle, Copper, Citrus, Cotton, and Climate.

But, of course, mining is politically incorrect for Liberals, even though we produce more copper than anyone.

When England’s famous London Bridge was replaced in the 1960s, the original was purchased, dismantled, shipped stone by stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it still stands today.

And I was on a Tour bus in Central London when we went across the current London Bridge there they mentioned it and I had stifle myself from cheering.

We have one of the 7 Great Wonders of the World– The Grand Canyon.

And yes, every man, woman, and child should see the grandeur that is Mother Nature.

In 25 years I have only been once because at 245 miles it’s not that easy to get to.

Which is also a fair point that many people don’t quite understand out here. It takes a while, some times a long while to get anywhere because of the vast distances.

Tucson is 140 miles from Phoenix and Flagstaff is about the same. The grand Canyon is over 90 miles North of Flagstaff.

Because of the lack of roads to go from the South Rim to the North Rim is around 200 miles driving distance even though if you stand at the South rim you can see the North Rim 13 miles away.

Many tourists don’t get that.

The Legendary Lost Dutchman Mine is purported to be in The Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. But no one has ever found it, but not for lack of trying.

Tucson is the oldest city. Having been founded by the Spanish in 1775. But the Navajos are the indigenous people and have been here since the time before Christ.

I am proud to live here, even if the US Government currently is trying to destroy us.

Sign Posted by The US Government INSIDE (facing south) the US in Southern Arizona: 80 miles North of the border on the South side of I-8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend urging U.S. citizens not to camp or hike in the “Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area” because “Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staffers report that the 3,500 acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in this area is closed to U.S. citizens as well and is “adversely affected” by cartel operations.

But if you want the US Government to do anything about it: YOU’RE A RACIST!!

In an effort to quell accusations by the open borders lobby that the Administration has not gone far enough with its administrative amnesty program, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week the creation of a new “public advocate” position for illegal aliens. Senior ICE Advisor Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who was appointed as the new advocate, will serve as a point of contact for aliens in removal proceedings, community and advocacy groups, and others who have concerns, questions, recommendations or other issues they would like to raise about the Administration’s executive amnesty efforts.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), called the Administration’s creation of the new position outrageous. “It’s outrageous that the Obama administration has appointed a taxpayer-funded activist for illegal and criminal immigrants who are detained or ordered deported.  The administration all too often acts more like a lobbying firm for illegal immigrants than as an advocate for the American people.”

“This is just further proof that the Obama administration puts illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of Americans,” he further added in a press release. “The Obama administration’s lack of immigration enforcement allows illegal immigrants to steal jobs away from American workers and now their in-house lobbyist for illegal immigrants costs U.S. taxpayers more money.”

But don’t worry, the Border is more secure now than it has ever been, according to Big Sis Janet Napalitano, former Governor of Arizona, who did her very best when she was here to ignore the problem and bailed on the state just before the crash to take ignoring the problem National. You go Girl!

https://indyfromaz.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/arizonaobamademocrats.jpg