Friday, July 27, 2012

A Time of Reckoning

The sad tale of Amy and her pie problem:

This is a friend of many years… Her husband has been very sick so she wanted to do something special for him. One of the favorite things he liked was home made apple pie. So she got some Granny Smiths and while he was napping she made an apple pie for him and the two sons for supper.

They sat down to eat  and in comes her oldest daughter with her grandmother.  
Amy said the first thing that crossed her mind was that she could cut the pie into six pieces instead of four. Supper progressed and in comes a sister-in-law with her two children. She said at that point she decided to leave the pie in the refrigerator and have it the next night. There were just to many mouths to feed.

When she came home from work the next day she found that the two boys had found the pie and ate most of it.

When she told us the story a few days later she was still upset about the pie and her husband's little treat.  Besides feeling sad about her pie story what struck me is how simple it was for her to calculate the number of people and the size of the pie and knew that her good intentions towards her husband was not going to work out.  Simple math quickly done equals a simple decision to save the pie for a better time. (Her logic was right even if it didn't work out.) 

As individuals we make these kinds of decisions all the time. We don't buy this or that because this or that bill is coming due. Or we choose to buy one thing that costs a little less than the other. This is just a common sense thing all of us have to do or choose to do because each dollar has a value to us. (Then, of course, some people don't.)

How is it possible that a nation of citizens such as ours who live their daily lives managing money in common sense ways (with little treats every now and then)  allow our elected representatives to run our country's finances as if the money that we earn and turn over to them to run the country is spent so unwisely and without any regard to the source? 

I realize this is a naive question… that boarders on being simply silly. These elected representatives do not connect the dots. Once this money is deemed taxes it is no longer our money but their money. Like an allowance. Like a kid getting his/her allowance never gives a moments thought as to where the money came from and what dad or mom had to do to get it.  

What the political class says is there will be no new taxes. One of the greatest tax hikes in the history of the world will happen if Obama get reelected. Every day he promises there will be no new taxes. The half of our citizens who pay no taxes in the first place don't give his promise a thought because it means nothing to them. They also, like the kids getting the allowance, never connect the dots, therefore never realize the money they receive has been taken from some individual, family, or business that had to do productive work for the money…. Never...

I don't really expect the political class folks or the social program folks will come to the realization that the pie can only be cut so thin and if they want to continue to have a seat at the table they have to bring something to the table.

The ones who can't provide for themselves must and will be taken care of. Period…But the ones who choose not to take care of themselves, who choose not to contribute, their allowances should be cut. If that doesn't motivate responsible behavior then further steps must be taken. With our kids we take away allowances and their Iphone and we keep it up until we get their attention. One in five Americans rely on federal aid in obtaining housing, food, income, healthcare or education….  67 million people if you give or take a few million here or there... Currently the federal government is advertising on radio and in news papers around the country encouraging people to get on the food stamp program. This is especially true in states where Obama is close in the polling.

We must stop rewarding irresponsible behavior by the president, congress, and many in the 67 million group. I'm sure this notion is just one more way I am being politically naive?

Will there be (or is there) a long term consequence lurking in this political cow pile? If so, for whom? I can't think of any national election that couldn't have been won if one of the candidates could have started with a core 'block' vote of 67 million people.

Could it  be we are already there in this election cycle with this voting  block of 67 million dependent voters? How much do they know or understand about pies and math? Do they are care so long as their check-is-in-the-mail?

Why I have been talking about the importance for us in the Tea Party to begin to look outside of our state and support senate candidates is because we need to understand 'this' math. If Obama were to be reelected he would veto any bill that would overturn Obamacare, and any bill that would reduce taxes and regulations.
To override his veto, a supermajority vote of two-thirds of the voting members of each house, the House of Representatives and the Senate, is required. There are 435 voting representatives in the House. If all these representatives voted, it would take 2/3rds of 435 = 290 votes to override a veto. In the Senate, it also takes a 2/3rds of 100 members = 67 votes to override a veto. (But if only 90 members actually voted, then it would take only 2/3 of 90 = 60 votes to override). Assuming all members turn out to vote, and I think all would, 290 (House) + 67 (Senate) = 357 total votes are required to override a presidential veto.

We are a long way from the 47 senators now to the 67 votes needed and the 241 congressmen in the house is a long way from the 290 votes needed to overturn an Obama veto

Romney is going to continue to be Romney and do what he is doing….. With things as bad as they are across the country you might think he should be running higher in the polls then he is…. BUT where we can make a big difference is in states where the incumbent Dem senator and/or congressmen are having trouble. Many of the races, so far, are close and money is often the deciding factor.

We, along with and including these 67 million federal dependents, are starved for truth, leadership, and solutions….

What is our current leader or the potential leader running against him offering in the way of solutions to the national woes? We know our president is a non-truther and we know the other candidate did not get a second term in the governors office in his state. (Unclear why.)

With all of this said I am optimistic.  Mainly because I think many of the Dem politicians in congress will cross over and vote on a presidential veto vote. By then they will have seen more of their fellow Dems replaced in this election cycle and the next election for them will be within twenty four months. When the public spotlight get focused any in the political class their fear of not being reelected overrides any sense or right or wrong, good or bad, party loyalty and their survival mode kicks in. Being reelected is the prime directive.

Example: THINK  the insurance commissioner in Mississippi: Just last week, the commissioner backed off setting up an insurance exchange in support of Obamacare. I know he really wanted to get his hands on all that federal money but he wanted out of the spot light more. He thought he might wait till after the election…. (Hummmmm)

Concerning the senate: Cruz VS Dewhurst, Texas…Cruz has pulled ahead in the polls 49 to 44. Two week ago Cruz was well behind in polling. (A little bit of good news is needed.) Dewhurst has lots of bucks in his campaign bag - Cruz does not. So this race is far from over. 

The rain has finally stopped and we are back to our sweltering summer Mississippi heat. However, air conditioners are working well so all is well… The corn burned, good tomato crop, beans are filling out, watermelons are coming on what more could this poor conservative redneck want? ….I'll make a list….

I have added a link to a youtube video from the Catholic church. It speaks clearly as to government imposing itself on the people of this nation. Please, take a couple of minutes and watch it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

RINOS/Brain Dead & Loving IT

At one of our 'talk-about' (known as Tea Time at the Oxford Tea Party) we often spend a good deal of our time trying to define what the problems and issues are in our government. It is easy to say government is too big, trying to do too many things, taxes are ill spent, government intruding in our personal lives, etc.  These are always sticking points because of the way the president, congress, and the media frame things. You can never be sure if what they say are the real problems or if what they are telling us is simply to focus our attention away from the real problems. This ploy seems to work most of the time with most of the people.

One example: Obama says we have high unemployment because business won't hire…That is a frame in which business is seen as the cause of the unemployment problem. If he had said businesses have all the employees they need right now given the slower sales of their goods and services… That is a totally different frame to think in. From this frame of reference you could begin to ask questions such as, "Why are sales slower and is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

These kinds of political tricks deceive and keep the voter looking in the wrong direction for answers.

So in our discussions we try to figure out what the problem is that is being talked about in today's tsunami of media chatter. We do a lot of laughing, head scratching, drink lots of tea, and eat many desserts. However, the binding underlying threads that run through all  the chatter is the garnering and protecting the individual and group power of this political class.

So when we can start looking at issues while keeping in mind that each elected person in Washington is voting in ways that they imagine will protect their future then what is being done begins to make some sense. Not good sense or common sense but political sense… There is nothing altruistic about the voting they do because it is about individual political safety. (Note: Wednesday on the House vote to overturn Obamacare a number of Dems crossed over and voted with Republicans. Each of them believes this vote against Obamacare will help them get reelected.) Harry Reid will not let this bill to abolish Obamacare come to the floor of the senate for a vote because he fears enough Democratic senators would vote to overturn the bill. I think he is right. I think many would jump ship. A good number of these Dem senators are facing problems in this coming election.

As we muddle around with our third piece of pie staring up at us we begin to wonder outloud the following questions.

Question 1: Are Rinos as dangerous to the country as liberal Dems?

Question 2: If the Tea Parties start working to replace some of our tried and true RINOS would the national GOP begin to  see the Tea Party as a serious group of dedicated people they need to listen to?

Question 3: If we worked to replace liberal Republicans, how would  the average voter and the media interpret this? Would they begin to view the Tea Party differently? Rasmussen current polls show 35% of the folks now think well of the Tea Party and what we are trying to do. That is about as good as Obama's polling. Frankly, I had no idea it was that high.

Question 4: What is the Tea Party? Are we simply a noisy sub-group of Republicans? Is there any connection between us and the national GOP?

Question5: At what point are we going to organize and begin to look at the  country as a whole by supporting conservative candidates no matter what state they are in? That’s what the Dems and GOP does……Why not us? With a little organizing we could quickly get behind a candidate anywhere in the country.

Question 6: Josh Mandel is running against Brown (Ohio - Senate) who has been in congress half of my life time. No one can stay in any job that long and still be creative and forward looking. The broader issue is not in the Mandel - Brown race but everyone in congress needs to be looked at and re - vetted after so many terms regardless of the state they are from. Burnout and arrogance come with time in many professions.  

Question 7: Should we respond to our state politicians each time they vote to expand government? Should we not go into each of their districts and let the voters  know what their representative is doing? If we were to do such a thing it is likely the representative would begin to consider every vote and the consequences of their votes differently. (It takes organizing  and money to be active.)

Going back to the idea of supporting candidates no matter where they are running for office: Here is a short list on Redstate's site that Eric Erickson has put together.

Congresswoman Diane Black of Tennessee. Her opponent is Lou Ann Zelenik.
Congressman Charles Bostany of Louisiana. His opponent is Congressman Jeff Landry. They are pitted together due to redistricting.
Congressman Chuck Fleischman of Tennessee. His opponent is Scottie Mayfield.
Congressman John Mica of Florida. His opponent is Congresswoman Sandy Adams. They are pitted together due to redistricting.
Congressman Ben Quayle. His opponent is Congressman Dave Schweikert. They are pitted together due to redistricting.
Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan. His opponent is Jack Hoogendyk.

Here is Eric's reasoning:

Every federal election across the country impacts you. Whether it’s Utah’s Orrin Hatch, and his bid for a ridiculous seventh term in the Senate…or Indiana’s Dick Lugar, attempting to match Hatch’s insanity…we all suffer from the re-election of entrenched, big government politicians.

We can no longer ignore the elections outside of our home states. We must think ‘nationally’ because those elected in other states will certainly contribute to the laws that affect you. (see Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, etc.)

It is certainly more difficult to get involved in elections in other states…but there are ways. The best and easiest way is to contribute to the campaigns of candidates you support. Most of the time, incumbents have a huge advantage in campaign money. They often have lobbyists and special interest groups keeping  their re-election efforts well-funded. This means the challenger is almost always climbing an uphill battle…and can only be successful as grassroots Americans donate to their efforts.

Washington is broken. And the only way we’re going to get it fixed is to overwhelm Congress with good, strong, principled people who believe in accountability and limited government. We must all do our part to send them there…no matter where we live.

Absolutely and  Thanks, Eric

 I don't know how many of our readers know are read Ben Stein. I like to read his articles so I am passing this  one along.

Ben Stein’s New Article
By Ben Stein
Why was President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed? Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:

The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008. (Pig in a poke means: an offering or deal that is foolishly accepted without being examined first. A poke means sack.)

They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.
They ignored his anti-white writings in his books.

They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.

They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student.
They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.

The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, and not a fan of this country.
The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill -- a great idea in theory -- was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way helped all Americans.

The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never can be --
"a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society." Either the costs go up or the free society goes away... an historical truth.

These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to "protect us" from global warming, itself largely a fraud, if believed to be caused by man. She has also signed on to a Small Firearms Treaty at the U.N. 

This is a back door gun control move. If this is approved by the Senate and a 2nd Amendment majority doesn't exist in the Senate now. It will supersede all U.S. Law and the 2nd Amendment. All citizen possession will be eliminated through confiscation. Just Like Great Britain and Australia .
Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms. There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America .

Ben Stein is a writer, economist, and lawyer. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary," for every issue of The American Spectator.

Thanks, Ben

Did you know that ObamaCare is dependent on the states to create these health insurance exchanges?  In fact a majority of states are not moving forward with implementing exchanges and several have openly announced they will not implement an exchange. 

Governor Bryant has stated that he will not accept ObamaCare funds to expand Medicaid.  Let’s tell Insurance Commissioner Mike Cheney and his advisory board that we should not accept any funds to create a health insurance exchange, or at least that Mississippi should slow the process down so that we can see what other red States are doing and coordinate with our conservative Governor.   

Why then is the Insurance Commissioner of Mississippi voluntarily implementing an Exchange here?  Even worse, his implementation is way ahead of ObamaCare’s 2014 targeted completion date.

The Mississippi Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Board will meet this Wednesday, July 11, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 145 of the Woolfolk Office Building at 501 North West Street in Jackson.  We hope you will join us.  Attorney and Tea Party member Richard Wilbourn has asked for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the MSTP. 

Well, Cheney backed down. It seems the attention the Tea Party and other focused on his rush to install the first steps in the national health plan encouraged him to postpone until after the November elections. (Just one more good example of a political class member protecting himself.)

Thanks, Richard

There are so many new taxes scheduled to kick in next year. This political class group including our current president were clever in that they postponed the consequence (i.e. impact) of their tax schemes until they all got reelected.

Who remembers this tax hidden in another unrelated bill:

Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% sales tax. If you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it? That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home or if you sell a home worth $400,000 , there will be a $15,200 tax. Think of the retiring people who may want to downsize.. This political class group of elected officials thought this was the best way to create a new tax by hiding it in the health care bill, -- and it goes into effect in 2013. Why 2013? Could it be so that it doesn't come to light until after the 2012 elections? This tax will crush the already crushed housing market and impacts everyone who owns or buys a house. Think of how many times in the life of a house government can tax each property. (If this is done will each state not also jump on board?) So, this is 'change you can believe in'? Does this make your November, 2012 vote more important?

Dear God, this liberal political group and our current president have wounded this nation so deeply the question that is being asked by so many is can this wound be healed? Can the direction be changed and will we ever come back together as one people?

There is a story of a blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!" Obama's vision of America is not our vision of America.

The November election is about values, beliefs and vision.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Two Worlds

Since no one has asked I just decided to ask myself, "How are things?" My answer to myself was, "Not as good as they might  be…."

Just check the  current political polling. Obama is ahead of Romney a few percentage points. OK, that’s not such a surprise….. When the polls came to approving or disapproving on how President Obama in managing the economy, as many people thought Obama was handling the economy well as thought he was not. (hmmmm)

 It has occurred to me for sometime that we are living in two worlds… Two realities… Two cultures… With one group not having a clue what the other group is thinking…. BUT if you drive around the country ever city looks a lot like the last city.  The people more or less talk, dress, and act the same or similar. However, there is something very different just out of reach of the eye's view.

Values, beliefs, and ideals are not visible things. They aren't tangible things but they are drivers in societies. These drivers direct our thinking and behavior which create our culture… That culture defines and binds us as a group, so we say Oh we are Americans, Oh they are French, etc. Americans can show up in most countries in the world and no one there has any problem knowing we are Americans. For a whole bunch of reasons many countries and people simply don't like us and many absolutely hate us… This as been so for a very long time. What has not been so is  for citizens of this country to dislike or really hate other citizens. How in the world did this come about?

Not that everyone was close friends. I know lots of Dems and I don't dislike them. I just think they are naïve and very poor at math. However, what is becoming clearer is that many Dems and the political class are completely un - accepting of conservative people and conservative ideas. If you smoke they are outright hostile. The American house is divided. Divided houses fall.

 Changes in societies never happen overnight. Back in the sixties we came to a fork in the road and we chose one turn over the other. At this point it doesn't matter what the rationale was  but there were good intentions behind the choice. Of course there were many elderly statesman who warned against the choice and where the choice would take us. Few listened…. Because we were going to build the Great Society…. Really sounded good and an idea that we could rally around and we did.

I don't want to labor the various social programs that rolled out of that congress and the following congresses along with the new federal departments implementing these programs.

As social programs were added and the older social programs expanded, we still couldn't see where this was leading. Early in the seventies we had the first housing collapse that most could remember. The debt that had been expanding associated with the great leap forward showed its ugly head and most savings and loan banks along with other banks failed. House prices fell and many lost their homes and jobs. Unemployment was very high. We were years working these financial problems out but before it was over thirty year US Treasury bonds were being sold with a nineteen percent interest rate. No one really wanted to invest in America because it was too far in debt….I still have some of them. 

When these kinds of horrific events happen everyone who had a hand in creating the problem starts pointing their fingers. Always for politicians bank and businesses are the bad guys.

This seventies mess stretched into the eighties. Did we learn anything from this bit of financial catastrophic history? You bet we didn't… The economy recovered and we set about doing the same thing over again and  here we are.

Of course the brunt of these kinds of governmental mistakes always hit the poorer people and the middle class the worse. They begin to feel victimized. They were the ones who were suppose to be helped by these government programs/fixes but they got hurt. This time this hurt will last longer the last one.

President Obama is the story of America and the American dream. Growing up in less that average family conditions, having to figure out what ethnic group would best accept him, figuring out how the various systems that confronted him worked, making the most of his talents, going to any lengths to educate himself, working hard to achieve each goal he set for himself, and becoming president in spite of his color. WOW!!!

Bill Clinton was the new professional class of politician.  His life in politics will be written about and studied by young politician for years to come.  Obama is also part of this new generation of politician but there is a huge difference between Clinton and himself. Obama is a revolutionary who believes American government should be a used as a tool to make social changes. His believes in government governing the people not a government of the people and by the people.

 This president is the first president since Reagan with strong personal beliefs. The ways he expresses his goals is in the frame of 'fair, equal playing field, spreading the wealth around' with government doing the directing and the political class calling all the shots.  He believes government knows better how to manage our economy and people's lives then the people whose government it is and their lives as people. This basic idea has been around a long time and tried in many different countries and cultures. Europe is reeling because they embraced this idea of a government managed economy. Russia completely collapsed. China is trying to move toward a less centralized directive government and towards a freer market economy. 

Clearly there is a huge growing group of citizens who can't, for a multitude of reasons, manage their lives and can't take care of themselves. Just why is not fully understood but many believe it is the government's social programs over the last three generations that has caused these massive problems. (We will leave history to sort this issue out.)

The other candidate for president doesn't seem to have a mission at the moment other than doing a clock count down till voting day. I suppose hoping he will not seem as bad as the other candidate to the voters. There maybe some fire in the belly of this man but it is well hidden from me. (I suspect others also.) Everyone who feels he has a program for fixing America's ills raise your hand. The history is that candidates who are middle or the roaders, who are not passionate about America, that can't identify core problems and articulate simple goals for our future don't get elected. This simple fact keep alluding the national GOP. 

So back to the question, "How are things?" Damn if I know but I have a bad feeling about it all. It reminds me of the time the peanut farmer was our leader. His song was the same as Obama's but he lacked political slickness so he got ejected after one term in office. The other big problem Carter faced was a man by the name of Ronald Reagan…. He is not with us and Romney is not a substitute.  Another big difference between that election and this election is the growth of the group dependent on government programs and the minority voting block. These group can easily account for fifty million votes.

These groups, over time, began to develop beliefs, values, and ideas that have created a separate culture for thems in America. The chasm is now so great even Chinese companies couldn't build a bridge across it.  At the core of this separate culture lies a belief that each working American owes them a livelihood. We are now in our third generation of this growing and evolving group. Most politicians understand this voting block and pander to them. When you hear that Obama was a 'community organizer' this was the group he was organizing. The purpose of organizing this group was to create a larger and ever larger voting block to better make demands on the political class. This is Obama's home turf and he is really good at it. All the while this group was growing in numbers and demands no alarm bells went off. No sirens sounded and the culture schism was as devastating as a tornado and rolled across the country tearing apart the belief in One Nation - One people - Under God…..

This coming election is being talked about as the most important election in our lifetime maybe, in the country's lifetime. This election will be a tipping point election…. Our focus is 1) Elect a different president, 2) If this is not possible then we must make sure we have enough newly elected senators to offset the abuse of power by this current president.

Most of the senate races are close and it will be money that will make the difference. Twenty five dollars a month for the next four months is a small investment but the impact will be huge. Just voting will not get this job done in this election.

 "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done." (Who said this?)


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Endangered Species

 Our President, our liberal congressional leaders, the people in the liberal press corp have never lived in Europe. They have no idea under what conditions the people in Europe live, how they are taxed, how they get health services, nor how effective their educational system is….. Neither the liberal nor conservative electorate has any experiential knowledge… So as our government moves this country slowly but surely towards Europe’s socialist forms of democracies we need to have a better idea of what awaits us at the end of the Obama version of “Changing America.”

Below is an article from Jan Gindrup.  This is must read article because of the richness of the details and the depth of Jan’s experience working for the Danish government.  Mr. Gindrup received his bachelor's degree and served his country well spending the next 21 years as a police officer in Denmark. After retiring from the police force, Jan served as a security consultant to a large Danish energy company…

It’s a long article full of things we need to know about socialist democracies. Jan is reporting on Denmark but could be reporting the same on all of the countries in the European Union.  (In some ways he is reporting about us.)

The Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side

By Jan Gindrup

Have you ever thought of life being better somewhere else?

It is often said that the grass is greener on the other side. Could it be that sometimes one's own grass just has grown so high that one can't judge the conditions over there?
On the other hand, most people, especially Americans, know that Denmark is home to the happiest people in the world and that it is a wonderful fairytale country with peace and the best social welfare system ever. The movie Hans Christian Andersen with Danny Kaye probably reinforced that impression. Never mind that no one knows where Denmark is.

Well, here's a chance to hear from the happiest people on earth and their wonderful little country.
How Do You Keep People Happy?

How do you keep a population happy? You do it the same way that you keep a dog happy. You provide basic necessities, education, a justice system and entertainment to keep people from spending too much time thinking, in order to keep them from looking outside the fence for new masters. In time, people will start telling each other that they are happy.

What we can readily do without shame is happily brag about being the most taxed and perhaps also most regulated country in the world.

It has jokingly been said that North Korea and Cuba envy Denmark for being the only place where socialism has been successfully implanted without anybody noticing.

We became accustomed to a plethora of state benefits ranging from Medicare to art. Social welfare has been a boon for a large segment of the population. In fact, a few years ago it was normal that after ten years on welfare, people were automatically transferred to a permanent disabled pension at a young age. We have experienced massive immigration by people from the Middle East during the last thirty years, something that has dramatically changed the fabric of our society.

There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Yes, it true: all Danes enjoy six weeks of paid vacation and, for the time being, paid retirement pension. But these benefits are slowly vanishing.

To finance this overwhelming and still growing public sector, the Danish government keeps inventing new taxes with more and more creative names, like "amenity value tax." The creative Danish tax system - or "how to tax the same service more than once without people noticing" - is big business. It all started with Medicare.

We have roughly 5.5 million inhabitants, including citizens and noncitizen residents. The Danish workforce consists of 3 million people, of which 1 million are public employees. That means that 2 million people in the private sector support 3.5 million other people with their taxes, plus their own use of the public sector.

One example of how the state gets money is by raising taxes on real estate lots. I own an empty half-acre lot in the middle of nowhere, for which I used to pay $180 a year in "dirt tax" (tax for owning the land). I then had the lot subdivided into three lots, each about one-sixth of an acre - still empty land, no rights, utilities nor other improvements. For this, I am now paying $1,250 per lot, or $3,750 per year. This amounts to a tax hike of approximately 2,100 %! When I complained, I received a letter informing me that I could expect an answer in eighteen months. I am still waiting.

The state decides every year what your house and lot is worth. It's usually not far from the market value. First we pay "lot-due tax." In our case, it runs around $7,000 a year. On top of that, we pay something called "rental-value tax of your own property." The state thinks that as a homeowner, you are better off than a person who rents his home. Therefore, it decided that homeowners should pay rent to the state for living in their own home. This also goes if you own a home outside of Denmark.

Contrary to common belief worldwide, our hospitals are not impressive. A few years ago, I cut an artery in one arm and, knowing that the ambulance doesn't always come when called, I rushed in myself. It's not unusual to get an answering machine, to be asked to call another number or to wait for a very long time for the ambulance.

At the hospital, I was met by Dr. Muhammad, the doctor in charge of the emergency room. His Danish was so bad that no one understood him, nor did he understand us. After pulling my artery for 20 minutes with forceps (yes, it hurts, in case you are wondering) and not listening to me or the nurses' requests for anesthesia, he decided to call a Danish doctor. The Danish doctor's first question upon arrival was why I wasn't sedated. He was also curious as why Dr. Muhammad hadn't seen fit to wear gloves. After "treating" me, Dr. Muhammad spent 20 minutes trying to reset a young carpenter's dislocated shoulder. While he was unable to reset the shoulder, he was successful in getting the poor man to cry like a baby. After that fiasco, he left the room burping loudly.

As we left, an old, senile man was walking around confused in the hallway, wearing nothing more than underwear and wetting himself. My wife told this to seven nurses in the intake office, only to be asked if she couldn't take care of the old man!

Next day, I called the hospital to report my experience with its emergency room. I was informed the hospital had already placed Dr. Muhammad on probation. Nevertheless, he was left in charge of a large emergency room.

(Well, we have all been wondering where our new health care system will find all the new doctors it will need…. We will get them from the same places Denmark got theirs –India – Mideast -------?)

Couples in old-age homes risk separation to different retirement homes after 50 years of marriage. It is considered normal to offer old people a bath every seven to ten days, and it is right now being discussed to take away their daily lemonade from them.
We never see our paycheck, as it goes through a public account called "Easy-ID." This means that anything you owe the public is automatically withheld from your account before you get it.

If you pull out more than $1,780 from your own bank account, the teller may ask you why, and if not satisfied, the bank clerk will report you to the Danish IRS; the same goes for any "suspicious" activities in your account. Should you get the stupid notion of opening a bank account outside Denmark, don't use a credit card. If a person residing in Denmark takes out money from a foreign account, it is reported to the IRS.
So while we may not have obvious corruption in the traditional sense in Denmark, job perks and benefits from "good old boy" network access are the standard.

Steaks cost up to US$70 per kilo, a bottle of liquor runs over $26, plus there's a 25% VAT on everything. There is a 180% tax on cars, which of course also is reflected in equally expensive insurance rates. We have a graduated registration tax scheme on cars. Normal vehicles have white plates and are subject to a 180% sales tax; yellow plates are two-seated, company-cargo cars, where the backseats are permanently removed and which are in turn subject to less tax; and yellow/white for cargo cars with VAT paid and thus allowed to be used privately. If you drive a white-plated company car, you are heavily taxed if using it privately. This does not apply for cars driven by chauffeurs, as they are tax-free. All ministers have chauffeurs.

Almost all transactions in Denmark have numerous hidden taxes. To give an example, let me try to analyze an electricity bill for you. We pay around $0.35 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is about $1,400 a year for a normal home. The basic price is roughly $0.078 per kWh, but after adding energy tax, appendix tax, distribution tax, energy saving (CO2) tax, public duties, transport of electricity, actual consumption and subscription, and 25% VAT, we end up with $0.35!
Gasoline is now at US$9.60 per gallon and still rising. By far the largest part of that price is tax.

And it's like that with almost everything in Denmark.

A Toyota Hilux pickup, which is similar to a Tacoma but has only four cylinders, is a two-seated car on yellow plates. You have the option not to pay VAT, but then you can't drive it privately. If you do and get caught, you have to pay full (white-plate) registration and a fine of the same amount. This Hilux, incidentally, costs $1,600 a year in road taxes.

A guy just got caught in a Ferrari on temporary plates. He was charged for private driving and got a combined ticket and registration tax for $1,070,000 PLUS six months in jail. It's considered tax evasion, and tax evasion is punished more severely here than violence. In normal law, the police have to prove you guilty. With the IRS, you have to prove your innocence. The IRS can conduct a search on your private property without a warrant.

A recent legislative proposal is that the buyer of a service from a craftsman can be held responsible if the craftsman fails to pay tax. That means that the buyer has to make sure that the service provider pays the tax!

For the sake of illustration, the latest survey of estimated prices for craftsmen in Denmark shows that companies charge the following hourly rates:
Carpenters and bricklayers
Floor Sander
To compare, a policeman or nurse makes roughly $33 an hour - before taxes.
It will be illegal to pay a craftsman in cash on transactions exceeding US$1,780. Transactions exceeding that have to be done through bank transfer, so the Revenue Ministry can track in detail what you do with your money.
You are not allowed to carry more than $13,600 on you (included valuables) anywhere in Europe, unless you have declared them to the authorities.
By now you get the picture of what it takes to run a "paradise."

But don't worry if you feel like your country is heading the same way, your personal freedom slipping away, your rights disappearing and your money being taken. You hardly notice it, and slowly, day by day, you will become accustomed to it.

Jan Gindrup

My response in reading this article in Casey new letter was to say this craziness could never happen here. After a few cups of coffee while staring out the window I realized everything the government needs to make this next leap into the European way of government and life is already in place. Just look at all the add-ons on your phone bill, the social programs that are up and running, and Obamacare just around the corner. (Note: There is a link at the end of the article to an interesting tidbit on Medicare Advantage for ones who are on it or whose parents are on it.)

Government controls the money supply, they have control over businesses through regulations, and they take the money we earn. And they now have control over health services, and multimillions of people on social programs dependent on them for their day to day living.

What else do the liberals need to finally bring America to the European level of government control? 1) They need to reelect Obama for another four years; 2) they need to keep control of the Senate for another four years. Given the current poll numbers they maybe well on their way.

It is my belief that it is only the Tea Party that stands between the American way of life and the European way of life. A government for and by the people or a people for and by the government is our choice. No matter how we read our last fifty year history we have been moving in this socialist direction towards the latter.

Maybe soon someone will jokingly say, “America is another country where socialism has been successfully implanted without anybody noticing.”

How did we get here? Is there some innate need in humans to be taken care of? Does our present population want to govern themselves through elected representatives?  Tea party folks seem to want to but do we reflect the population as a whole?

We are at a crossroad. A wrong turn here/now will take us to Europe and like Europe once there we cannot get back. For sure, after one generation our grandchildren will have forgotten the American way of life and what that life uniquely offered.

We need a new president and eight more conservative senators. How can we get them? The conservative candidates will need lots of money and lots of our time. I just sent Josh Mandel (in Ohio) some money and he needs lots more because he is well behind in the polls.  Crews need money and our support. That is just two and there are more candidates that will need our help.

Mississippi Tea Party just sent out a list of six candidates running for the senate and most on the list is doing well in the polls.

Florida US Senate Election 2012 – Must Win
 Bill Nelson – Democrat
Challenger: Connie Mack IV, U.S. Representative – Republican

North Dakota US Senate Election 2012 – Must Win
Democratic candidate:
 Heidi Heitkamp
Republican candidate: Rick Berg, U.S. Representative

Virginia US Senate Election 2012 – Must Win
Democratic candidate:
 Tim Kaine
Republican candidate: George Allen – Former Senator

Massachusetts US Senate Election 2012 – Must Hold
 Scott Brown – Republican
Challenger: Elizabeth Warren – Democrat

Montana US Senate Election 2012 – Must Win
 Jon Tester Democrat
Challenger: Denny Rehberg, U.S. representative – Republican, former lieutenant governor, and former state representative

Nevada US Senate Election 2012 – Must Hold
 Dean Heller – Republican
Challenger: Shelley Berkley, U.S. Representative – Democrat

Wisconsin US Senate Election 2012 – Must Win
Democratic candidate:
 Tammy Baldwin
Republican candidate: Tommy Thompson – former governor, and former Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Missouri US Senate Election 2012 – Must Win
 Claire McCaskill – Democrat
The GOP primary will take place on August 7th. There are three Republicans vying to challenge McCaskill. Running are former state treasurer and state senator, Sarah Steelman, U.S. Representative Todd Akin, and businessman John Brunner. 

Gindrup's article is a warning hopefully to our citizens…

My mind wants to believe that socialism could never happen in America… Growing up when I did has left me with a naïve belief about government and the elite political class that has been running the country.

We are in danger and the conservative American is an endangered species.  

126 days, 0 hours, and 11 minutes till the November voting begins.