Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Reign of Error

Free market capitalism has many enemies -- strangely enough mostly among the intellectual elite, academic elite, political elite, as well as the officers in major corporations driven to control consumer's buying habits. These are people who believe that they have wisdom superior to the Tea folk as well as everyone else. They all have a clear notion that some higher power has ordained them and only they have the 'know' of good and right. ( They may be right because, I for one, know that I am not as wise are as smart as I believed I was in my twenties, thirties, and forties.)

Of course, and because of their ordained wisdom, they are obliged to watch over us and direct our behavior, and generally limit our freedom and rights to protect us from the mischief we are prone to. Such as not budgeting, not saving, over spending, and running up debts we can't pay. I know this group doesn't understand why I'm not grateful for all their help and to some extent I do feel a slight twinge of guilt. They work very hard at controlling what I do…. Allocating what resources I have…. So what's not to like?

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims is the most oppressive. C.S. Lewis
Every tyrant (s) who has ever lived has had what they considered good reason for restricting rights and liberty of their citizens. (Nothing new here.) A tyrant's agenda calls for the attenuation or the elimination of the open market and what is implied by it -- voluntary exchange between people. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what they should do. So they, over time, replace the free market with economic planning and regulation. ( Think Russia with their seventy years of one great five year plan after another.)

What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done? It's really a silly question, because the answer is so simple its greed. Simple human greed. When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I'm talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves and their families through working hard and being creative… True throughout history, true today, and will be true tomorrow. The adage, I think it started in the forties was, 'Keeping up with the Jones." Along with 'Jones's' idea, this group though they would take that extra money and provide a better like they grew up in. Also, the idea struck them that they would better educate their children and in turn the children and grandchildren could have a better life than their parents had when they were growing. What a goal…..and that's what a little greed got them..!

(Greed - Noun: An overwhelming desire to have more of something such as money than is actually needed for the moment in time. You have to wonder if saving for a rainy day falls into that definition?)

When you tell anyone that they are entitled to something, such as monthly income from the government, they will believe you if you follow through and send them checks. Government (state & federal) have made promises to generations of working and non working families for as long as I can remember. Now many voters in many different states are waking up to the fact that these promises made and then depended on, can't be kept.

Looking into this 'stuff' is worrisome… I don't like doing it but below are two examples of over promising…..

"Heading into 2011, Illinois faced a budget deficit of over $13 billion and passed a massive tax increase both to personal income and corporate income tax rates.  They’re still broke.  With a pension system in shambles, Illinois also borrowed massive amounts of money to make this year’s pension payment.
In September, Illinois laid off 1900 state-employees and closed seven state facilities. Also, much to the chagrin of Wisconsinites who drive to or through Illinois, toll rates in the state have increased on average 88%.

Illinois’ budgetary moves failed miserably to solve their problems and the state is still projected to end this fiscal year on June 30th with a budget gap upwards of half a billion dollars and unfunded obligations of up to $8 billion.

As a result, this past week, Moody's lowered  Illinois’ credit rating, giving the Prairie State the lowest rating of any state in the nation. Therefore they will pay a higher interest to whoever is willing to loan them money.

Contrast that failure with Wisconsin’s recent successes.  Wisconsin’s budgetary reforms have set the state up for growth and prosperity.  Heading into 2011, Wisconsin faced a budget deficit of  $3.6 billion. Wisconsin boldly passed its now famous Budget Repair Bill that required public employee contributions for healthcare and pensions.  Like it or not, the Budget Repair Bill and other measures eliminated  Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion deficit without one-time budget fixes or accounting gimmicks.

Perhaps more importantly, the Budget Repair Bill also gave local governments more flexibility to deal with their budget challenges.  As a result, property taxes are flat or down across the state of Wisconsin.

Because of real, systemic fiscal reform, Wisconsin did not raise taxes, has its pensions fully funded , and has a solid credit rating. Thanks to the contributions for healthcare and pensions, Wisconsin did not have to lay off public employees.
It is clear that Wisconsin is on the right track, while Illinois is giving Greece  a run for their money when it comes to economic calamity.  The fiscal roadmap ahead for Illinois actually leads north.  Taxpayers in Illinois would do well to push for similar reforms to help grow their economy and pull it back from the brink of disaster.

Matt Batzel is the Executive Director for Wisconsin of American Majority

States must balance their budgets at least on paper…. However, I think if you do a little digging you will find many states consistently use accounting tricks to come to a balance, and voters be damned.

In the mist of presidential campaigns why is this 'budget thing' this being brought up and what's the point? Unless I simply slept through the campaign speeches and missed some candidates showing great interest and detailing how they will go about balancing the national budgets, or reducing debt, or doing any of the mundane things they are responsible for. I assume there is little interest or they have no real plans concerning budgets. Lack of financial responsibility brought us to this brink. I don't see any passion in our candidates to right this ship of state. New jobs will not be created without the president and congress committing themselves to conservative financial goals and balanced budgets… Of course without that action things will get worse. (We are watching the 'mother' countries in Europe sink under the weight of poor financial planning.) This is way past the point of liberal verses conservatives, this candidate verses that candidate…. We and Europe are at the financial tipping edge.

How long has it been since Congress passed a budget? In our house we have a budget and even then we have to adjust it month to month. We do this because its our money on the line. Government doesn't do it because it is our money on the line.

My two cents worth: The Tea Party members in Mississippi would do well to get together and discuss what needs doing. This worked well in Move the House group……Look at the results.

Like it or not the Tea Party is on stage. It is talked about and reviewed by the media and liberal Dems daily….With the elections Saturday in South Carolina we will know better how the election winds are blowing. Everyone will be looking closely at the conservative vote trying to figure out the impact the Tea Party had. (Now conservative voters and Tea Party members are referred to as one and labeled as radical.) Not long ago I took offense to the radical label but you know I'm beginning to realize how radical our group really is. It seems the GOP sees us as dangerous as the Dems do…. Maybe rightly so. (I hope so.) Placating RINO's have played their part along with the liberal Dems in getting us to where we are. My prayer is to replace all of them. We got rid of about seventy In the last go round.

We have a shared destiny. The more cohesive our Tea groups are the more ideas can be shared. There is the power. Whatever we want our destiny to be, it will only be achieved together.

Jefferson said, (I have to paraphrase because I can't remember the full quote)
"When a man lights his candle from my candle he gains and I don't lose anything." What Jefferson did not note was that now there are two lighted candles and twice as much light and neither lost anything.

(I got a number of comments about something I said in the last article. Let me address it here: In our representative form of democracy congress passes all laws and defines the tax burdens… They are the ones whose votes decide what is or isn't done and hopefully their votes will reflect the will of the people who elected them. In our form of government the people will never run the government. We can suggest, nudge, plead with them to do one thing or another and also can hire and fire them every so often but nothing more. Even the president has only limited powers over congress but not complete power.)

Huntsman dropped out of the race and has thrown his support, what little there is, to Romney…. I think it is fair to say that if Romney should win the presidential elections we will see Huntsman in a major position in the new government. That's a good thing….I like him. Also, after next Saturday's voting I suspect Perry will be gone and this will leave three viable candidates for Florida to jockey with.

I thought the debate last night was one of the best ones. We are beginning to get a better sense of who these men are behind the campaign slogans, ploys, and the drums of the liberal press. We can see from the response of the audience last night what issues and which candidate they are emotionally responding to. All dedicated men and good Americans. I wish they, as a group, would move to Mississippi and run for office. Short of that, whoever becomes 'the' candidate and should he route the current Prez, wouldn't it be really cool if, like Lincoln, puts all of these other candidates in his cabinet?

294 days, 9 hours, and 31 minutes till the polls open in November.

Tea Party folks never have to ask, "For whom the bell tolls."


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