http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/12/morning-bell-unions-out-to-divide-and-conquer-workplaces/?roi=echo3-12267267630-8875947-f13017fce0ca63a61236b4102a2d9f56&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBellUnions suffered a resounding defeat in Wisconsin last week. They’re far from down and out, however. Unable to reverse their decline in membership under existing law, they are circumventing Congress and using the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to create an entirely new type of union. A new rule hatched by the Obama-appointed board, authorizes the creation of union cells — organizing a few employees within a company to gain a foothold — which will severely impact businesses.* FOLKS... BEAR WITH ME! THIS STUFF - THIS "MINUTIA" IS IMPORTANT! KEEP READING!Until recently, employees organized based on shared job characteristics — for example, all the hourly employees at a firm.The new practice allows micro-unions representing only a small minority of workers in a company. Instead of a grocery store’s employees having a union, the store could face separate unions for cashiers, shelf-stockers, and janitors.* FOLKS... THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS WOULD MEAN IN TERMS OF EFFICIENCY? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A LONG LINE AT A GROCERY STORE OR OTHER LARGE RETAIL STORE WHERE THE CALL WENT OUT TO "MAN THE REGISTERS" - GRABBING PEOPLE FROM "RE-STOCKING" TO TEMPORARILY TAKE OVER REGISTER STATIONS WHEN NECESSARY? THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS NEW POLICY WILL MEAN! WORKERS WILL BE LOCKED INTO ON "THEIR" PARTICULAR ROLES! IT'LL BE A DISASTER FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED!The NLRB permitted this in its "Specialty Healthcare" decision last year, allowing organized labor to form unions by job title. (*HEADACHE*)A decision last month by one of the NLRB’s regional directors demonstrated just how harmful — and absurd — a policy this is. The regional director green-lit a union election at the Bergdorf Goodman department store. But most employees will not get to vote; only shoe salesmen will cast ballots. Not all shoe salesmen, however. Only those selling women’s shoes.* YEP! YOU'RE READING THIS RIGHT, FOLKS!* FOLKS... READ THE FULLY STORY. I'M TELLING YOU... THIS STUFF MATTERS! THIS STUFF WILL ULTIMATELY EFFECT YOUR LIFE - AND NOT IN A POSITIVE WAY! (FOLKS... THINK ABOUT MY RECENT EXPERIENCE WITH CLOSED SWIMMING POOLS AT HOTELS OVER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AND BEYOND - ALL "THANKS" TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!)
http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1981&Itemid=69Last week the CBO issued its annual long-term budget outlook report, and the 2012 numbers are not promising. CBO estimates that federal debt will rise to 70% of GDP by the end of the year - the highest percentage since World War II. The report also paints a stark picture of entitlement spending, as retiring Baby Boomers will cause government spending on health care, Social Security, and Medicare to explode as a percentage of GDP in coming years.* ...TO EXPLODE...While the mainstream media correctly characterized the CBO report as highly pessimistic, they also ignored longstanding errors of methodology in CBO estimates. And those errors tend to support arguments for higher taxes and government spending, when in fact America needs exactly the opposite.* RE-READ THE ABOVE IF NECESSARY. (*WINK*)As Paul Roderick Gregory explained in a recent Forbes column (http://tinyurl.com/cf746dl), CBO has always applied wrongheaded assumptions inherent in Keynesian economics when forecasting future deficits - no matter how many times both history and economic theory have proven such assumptions incorrect. (*NOD*)In particular, CBO seems wedded to two enduring Keynesian myths: First, that higher taxes necessarily increase federal revenue and have no negative effect on the economy; and second, that lower government spending hurts the economy. (*SIGH*)Neither is true, of course.CBO also fails to factor in unexpected wars and expensive foreign entanglements, and we should not assign too much validity to predictive models based on peace. (*SNORT*)Judging from the actions and rhetoric coming from both parties in Washington, new military entanglements in Syria and Iran may well spike military spending in coming years.Despite these sobering budget realities, the CBO report suggests that a solution is possible with merely a few minor adjustments in the way Congress handles economic issues. But what we need are not minor adjustments, but rather a fundamental shift in our philosophy of government. If we could come to our senses about the proper role of government in America, and what level of government interference is appropriate in a free economy, we would quickly find that there is no reason for government to spend so much, borrow so much, and tax so much.(*NOD*)If we simply allowed markets to work free of governmental or Federal Reserve interference, bad debt would be liquidated relatively quickly and malinvestment would be curtailed. Scaled-back regulations would encourage businesses to expand. Lower taxes would jump start investment and spur job creation.(*NOD*)This is not rocket science, it is Economics 101. All it would take is for government to get out of the way. There would be some short term pain, of course, but only by allowing the bubble to burst and bad debt to liquidate can we ever hope to begin building a real economy again.(*NOD*)The CBO report was alarming to most simply because they know neither party will take the steps necessary to avoid eventual fiscal calamity. * AND THAT'S THE GOD'S HONEST TRUTH, FOLKS. THUS... MY GENERAL PESSIMISM. THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM - RUNNING IT OFF THE RAILS! AND "WE THE PEOPLE" - WE'RE JUST STANDING BY AS THE POLITICIANS DESTROY OUR COUNTRY.[D]espite their rhetoric, both parties want to maintain the fantasy that “deficits don’t matter.” (*SIGH*)But the CBO report, combined with what is happening in Greece and the European Union, should finally make the undeniable case that economic realities apply even to industrialized first world economies.
http://heritageaction.com/2012/06/the-k-street-food-fight/?utm_source=heritageaction&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=wwf-farm-billPopcorn! Popcorn is getting its own subsidy! The delicious, salty, kernel-in-your-teeth movie theater snack will be getting its own special subsidy in the farm bill!Indeed, it all began as an almost advisory opinion: the secretary of Agriculture ‘may’ do such and such on popcorn’s behalf. But with little public notice, a ‘technical correction’ to the bill in May changed ‘may’ to ‘shall’ in what’s become a full-fledged campaign to qualify popcorn growers for what could be millions in revenue insurance subsidies.Enter Sen. John McCain, who knows a headline — and comedy — when he sees it.The Arizona Republican wasted no time last week before filing an amendment to strike the popcorn language. And this sets up one of those classic farmyard brawls: an obscure provision (made more obscure by its sponsors) that invites ridicule but is also serious stuff for real producers caught up in the shifting maze of subsidies that passes as policy in Washington.”This is what happens when 1,009-page, trillion dollar bills get no scrutiny.* READ THE REST OF THE PIECE TO GET AN IDEA OF WHY IT'S IMPERATIVE THAT RETURNING SPECIAL FORCES SNIPERS...(*BITING MY TONGUE*)(*REFUSING TO WRITE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT GET ME ARRESTED*)
http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/11/morning-bell-the-private-sector-is-not-doing-fine/?roi=echo3-12260618294-8867657-89020c5b2605d184722a7202629e2209&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBellIn now-infamous comments on Friday, President Barack Obama informed America that “the private sector is doing fine.” (*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*) FOLKS... YA CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!This, of course, was news to the 12.7 million people who are out of work and the millions more who are struggling with the part-time jobs they can find, or have simply given up looking.While the President’s comment is astoundingly out of touch with the public — and economic reality — perhaps even more distressing is that this wasn’t a passing verbal gaffe. This is actually a consistent talking point of the President and Democratic leadership that goes largely unchallenged by the media. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) made the same case last fall when he was pushing a $35 billion bailout for state and local governments. “It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine,” Reid argued. “It’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.”(*BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL*)This is the President’s and the Majority Leader’s solution to the jobs crisis: more so-called "stimulus"...* MEANING MORE DEBT PILED UPON DEBT......and more government employees.* EVEN THOUGH GOVERNMENT CAN'T AFFORD THE EMPLOYEES THEY HAVE! (THUS DEFICITS!)As Heritage’s James Sherk has explained, this thinking is completely backwards. “If the recession has barely touched one sector of the economy, it is government.”If anyone is “doing fine,” it’s government employees. (*NOD*) AND FURTHERMORE...This goes beyond the far more generous pension and health benefits they enjoy. * READ ON!While the private sector lost 4.6 million jobs (a 3.9% drop) since the recession began, government payrolls have only fallen by 240,000 jobs (a 1.1% drop). * INDEED... READ ON!Federal employment has actually grown nearly 12% since the end of 2007...[A]nd while the country suffers from 8.2% unemployment, the unemployment rate for government employees is just 4.2 %.(*PURSED LIPS*)In any case, the federal government borrowing more money to transfer to state and local governments is not a job-creation policy, and it is outside the scope of the federal government. It’s merely a ploy to please union bosses, who are always eager to draw more federal dollars.This government-boosting strategy also ignores the fact that it has been tried before and found wanting. President Obama’s first trillion-dollar stimulus plan was a failure (and a waste). And Europe is in the shape it is because of years of government largesse. (Ironically President Obama sought to focus the media’s attention on Europe on Friday in an attempt to divert it from his own economic mismanagement.)We cannot avoid a European-style fiscal crisis by emulating Europe’s philosophy of government-centered economies and over-spending.The biggest drag on the economy isn’t the private sector, but Washington.Job creators in the private sector are paralyzed, suffering from over-regulation and waiting for Taxmageddon to hit in January. The longer Congress waits to prevent Taxmageddon, the more uncertainty there will be for businesses.Of course, if the President’s goal is to add more government employees, then he wouldn’t be as worried about the impact of these taxes and regulations on the private sector, which is “doing fine.”(*SNORT*)
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2012/06/03/the-ugly-truth-about-social-security-is-revealed/?utm_source=The+Ugly+Truth+About+Social+Security+Is+Revealed&utm_campaign=Social+Security&utm_medium=emailA recent front page USA Today story inadvertently exposed the lie that is Social Security. Though the article was ostensibly about budget deficits, and how unfunded liabilities of the Social Security variety were not properly being accounted for in deficit calculations (they quadruple taxpayer liability), a staff expert at a liberal think tank shed light on why.Sure enough, and despite the protests for years from big government apologists that our Social Security funds are secure, it turns out they’re not. We know this now not because we’re logical, or because some libertarian said so, but because Jim Horney at the liberal Center on Budget Priorities told us exactly that.Speaking to USA Today about deficits, Horney explained why Social Security should not be counted as part of the U.S. budget deficit. It shouldn’t because Congress can alter its liabilities by reducing benefits or raising taxes. Or, as Horney more bluntly put it, “Retirement programs are not legal obligations.”* FOLKS... YOU GUYS - MY REGULAR READERS - KNOW THIS. (BUT PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK, THINK BACK, FOLKS... DIDN'T MOST OF YOU LEARN THIS FROM ME IN THE FIRST PLACE? CERTAINLY NONE OF YOU WERE TAUGHT THIS IN HIGH SCHOOL OR UNDERGRAD COLLEGE! INDEED, ASK YOUR AVERAGE PEER - OR A COLLEGE STUDENT ATTENDING A COMPETITIVE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY - WHETHER SOCIAL SECURITY IS A LEGAL COMMITMENT - A CONTRACT - BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE AND I'M GUESSING 99% WILL ANSWER "YES" - ANSWER "YES" WRONGLY! (AND THAT'S NO ACCIDENT, FOLKS! AMERICANS ARE PURPOSEFULLY MISEDUCATED...!!!)The seemingly obvious response might be “Now they tell us”, but that would be a bit overdone. Indeed, though American-style liberals and other water carriers for the welfare state would rather we not know this, we have no legal right to the dollars we hand over to the federal government in the form of Social Security payments. We never have had any legal right, and Horney should be credited for telling the truth.Forget about “lockboxes” and other rhetorical devices used by politicians to perpetuate the unconstitutional falsehood that is Social Security, the unhappier reality is that the minute your employer withholds your Social Security taxes, the money is no longer yours. Deal with it.And since Horney has stated on the front page of a major newspaper what’s long been screamingly obvious, it’s time for Americans to seek real relief from the redistributionist program that is Social Security.Defenders of the status quo will try to smear any reform efforts as attempts to “privatize” Social Security on the way to making it “insecure”, and since we know that’s what they’ll do, the sentient among us should be prepared to respond. First up, when they claim that Social Security promises us all a secure retirement, we should carpet bomb the airwaves with Horney’s comment revealing how very insecure our Social Security benefits are.* TO BE CONTINUED...
* CONCLUDING... (Part 2 of 2)At risk of being repetitive, the money we pay into Social Security is not ours, meaning politicians can reduce or confiscate the dollars withheld from our paychecks as they see fit. They can also reduce our retirement by simply raising the retirement age. And then as evidenced by the collapse of the dollar since 2001 (a dollar in ’01 bought 1/250th of an ounce of gold, today it buys 1/1600th), another way they can eviscerate their obligations is to debase the dollars they are presumed to owe.The above in mind, Americans shouldn’t seek privatization as much as they should secure their rights to plan for their own retirement as they see fit. Social Security is not a retirement plan, rather it’s a hopeful Ponzi scheme from which we can hope to receive regular payments for having paid into the system during our working years. That’s fine, but a true retirement plan would show dollars saved and dollars invested, up years and down years, all in individual accounts with our names on them. Social Security offers no such thing.Because it doesn’t, those of us who want a real retirement account should be able to opt out of the non-retirement account option that is Social Security. We should be allowed to on liberty grounds alone, but after that, it should be noted that if we’re not paying into Social Security, we’re also not even a statistical liability for a federal government funded by overburdened taxpayers. As it is we’re already not a legal liability (“Retirement programs are not legal obligations.” – Jim Horney, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities), and then an opt-out provision would ensure that our federal minders could erase us statistically too.Defenders of the retirement fiction will, after admitting that the government has no legal obligation to us, argue that absent Social Security’s steady hand Americans might fritter away their retirement dollars. That’s certainly possible given what should be our natural right to live as we want, but if it worries those who tend toward nosiness, maybe those who choose to exit the Social Security lie should sign an airtight legal waiver. The latter would state clearly that the feds will not be held liable for any kind of transfer payments should Americans freed of the Social Security hoax do to their own retirement accounts what our federal minders have the legal right to do. If they’re not obligated to provide us with a retirement stipend, why should we be?The happy news is that many of us, free of FICA payments, would diligently save monies formerly confiscated by the feds.In short, an opt-out provision would be economically stimulating too for dollars saved in our own retirement accounts being transferred to entrepreneurs and businesses over immediate consumption by the federal government.But most important of all is what such a provision would mean for all of us as individuals. We shouldn’t seek privatization as much as we should demand the right to choose how we provide for our individual financial futures. If so, it’s a fair bet that most Americans will choose retirement accounts in their names that they’ll own over a non-legally binding governmental promise.
http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1978:capital-controls-have-no-place-in-a-free-society&catid=62:texas-straight-talk&Itemid=69* BY THE HON. RON PAUL (R-TX)The characteristic mark of a tyrannical regime is that it eventually finds it necessary to erect walls to keep people from leaving. This is why we should be troubled by the “Ex-PATRIOT Act,” an egregiously offensive bill recently introduced in the Senate. Following a long line of recent legislation and regulations attempting to expropriate more and more wealth from hard-working Americans, this new bill spits in the face of overburdened taxpayers and tramples on the Constitution. Current law already dictates that Americans with a net worth of over $2 million who expatriate must be assumed to have sold all their assets and must pay a corresponding punitive exit tax on those assumed sales. The Ex-PATRIOT Act goes even further than current law by assessing a 30% capital gains tax on all future earnings of expatriates. * WHAT...?!?!Not content just with this additional tax, the bill also grants the IRS the sole authority to determine whether individuals have expatriated for tax purposes and allows the IRS to bar those individuals from ever re-entering the United States. * FOLKS... THIS IS INSANE!Finally, the bill blatantly violates the ex post facto provisions of the U.S. Constitution by extending all of these provisions to anyone who has given up their U.S. citizenship within the past decade.This bill, and other similar legislation, casts a chilling effect on saving, investment, and entrepreneurial activity. The bill was introduced in response to news reports about one of the founders of Facebook who might save millions of dollars of taxes by renouncing his U.S. citizenship. But in their blind envy towards successful entrepreneurs, the bill's sponsors ignore the fact that they will ensnare many ordinary middle-class Americans who work hard, save and invest wisely, and benefit from rising home values. These Americans may easily find themselves pushing past the $2 million mark by the time they retire, especially as inflation continues to seriously accelerate. If they wish to escape the Federal Reserve's inflation by emigrating to lower-cost countries so their dollars will go farther, as many Baby Boomers are starting to do, the federal government will penalize them, and continue to penalize them for the rest of their lives as long as they hold any money in the United States. We live under a federal government that has eviscerated our Fourth Amendment rights, that can detain U.S. citizens indefinitely based solely on the President's word, that assaults toddlers and grandmothers at airports in the name of "security" and regulates virtually every aspect of our economic lives. Every day the noose grows tighter, yet anyone who sees the writing on the wall and seeks to leave must pay exorbitant taxes just for the privilege of leaving, and increasingly the possibility looms of never fully breaking away from the government's tentacles no matter where they go. Ultimately, the Ex-PATRIOT Act proposes to control people by controlling their capital, and it has no place in a free society.
http://blog.heritage.org/2012/05/31/morning-bell-how-radical-were-wisconsins-reforms/?roi=echo3-12163359766-8785039-61c8c5050d2bf7598969349dd4ce4111&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBellOne year ago, the state of Wisconsin adopted sweeping reforms that curbed collective bargaining rights among government workers, brought the state’s pension system into line, and empowered those workers to choose whether or not to pay union dues. In a new paper, The Heritage Foundation’s Jason Richwine and the American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Biggs analyzed Wisconsin’s reforms and their impacts on the state’s government workers. They found that even after requiring them to make larger contributions to their pensions and health benefits, Wisconsin government workers are still over-paid when compared to private-sector workers with similar levels of education and experience. Before the reforms, Wisconsin state workers received health benefits about 2.3 times as valuable and pension benefits about 5.7 times as valuable as what workers in large private firms receive. After the reforms, Wisconsin state workers still receive health benefits nearly twice as valuable and pension benefits more than 4.5 times as valuable.Before the reforms, Wisconsin state employees received total compensation (salary and benefits) about 29% higher than comparable private-sector workers. After the reforms, the compensation premium is about 22%.In dollar terms, the average Wisconsin state worker after the reforms receives total compensation including benefits equal to $81,637, versus $67,068 for a similarly skilled private worker.* REPEAT: AFTER THE REFORM!In short, even after being asked to contribute a modest 5.8% of their salaries to their pensions and at least 12.6% of their health-care premiums, things are still really good for government workers in Wisconsin.Wisconsin faced serious problems before these reforms were enacted. The state was saddled with a $3 billion structural deficit, massive overspending, and the fourth highest tax burden in the country. Like so many other states in the union, Wisconsin’s government workers were enjoying excellent pay and benefits, funded by taxpayers, and disconnected from the realities of the state’s economic woes.Those workers paid only 6% of their health care premiums and next to nothing for generous pensions. (Meanwhile, union-negotiated contracts require layoffs to occur on the basis of seniority, meaning that long-time government employees have iron-clad job security.)None of those benefits are free, and they come at a high price to a state’s taxpayers.* BOTTOM LINE: [W]ith the [Walker] reforms [Wisconsin state] workers still enjoy excellent pay when compared to their private sector counterparts.
http://thehill.com/video/in-the-news/232099-florida-governor-to-sue-dhs-in-voter-registration-battleFlorida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he will sue the Department of Homeland Security to move forward with his...attempt to purge the voter rolls in his state of ineligible voters.“I have a job to do to defend the right of legitimate voters,” Scott told Fox News on Monday. “We’ve been asking for the Department of Homeland Security’s database, SAVE, for months, and they haven’t given it to us. So this afternoon, we will be filing a lawsuit, the secretary of State of Florida, against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database. We want to have fair, honest elections in our state and we have been put in a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.”(*CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*)Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner produced the lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C. district court on Monday, shortly after, along with a statement.“For nearly a year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has failed to meet its legal obligation to provide us the information necessary to identify and remove ineligible voters from Florida’s voter rolls,” Detzner said. “We can’t let the federal government delay our efforts to uphold the integrity of Florida elections any longer. We’ve filed a lawsuit to ensure the law is carried out and we are able to meet our obligation to keep the voter rolls accurate and current.”* FOLKS... UNDERSTAND... OBAMA AND THE DEMS WANT VOTE FRAUD BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF IT BENEFITS OBAMA AND THE DEMS.Last week, the Department of Justice demanded Florida stop the voter-roll purge, saying it violated the federal Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act...* NONSENSE - AS WAS DEMONSTRATED IN PAST NEWSBITES....and was reliant on faulty Department of Motor Vehicle records to determine who is eligible to vote.* YET THE FEDS WON'T MAKE RELIANCE ON THIS SUPPOSED "FAULTY" DMV LIST A MOOT POINT BY PROVIDING THEIR SUPPOSEDLY "AUTHORITATIVE" LISTS! (*SMIRK*)The Scott administration responded with a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying it would continue the voter-roll purge, and is now seeking the DHS federal database as a part of that push.Shortly after Scott's announcement, the DOJ responded with a letter to Detzner saying it was launching a suit of its own against the state.* THIS IS OBAMA... THIS IS HOLDER... THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LEFT IS PUT IN A POSITION OF POWER.Republicans argue that state voter registration rolls are filled with non-citizens and others that are ineligible to vote.* THAT'S BECAUSE STATE VOTER REGISTRATION ROLLS ARE FILLED WITH NON-CITIZENS AND OTHERS INELIGIBLE TO VOTE! IT'S BEEN DOCUMENTED...!!! THAT'S WHAT MAKES THE FEDERAL ACTIONS SO VILE, SO DISGUSTING, SO FRANKLY TRAITOROUS! FOR PARTISAN GAIN, THEY SEEK TO KEEP ILLEGALS ON THE ROLES!Any Florida resident that is eligible to vote that is purged from the voter rolls would have to verify their citizenship in order to be allowed to vote.* WOW... HOW FRIGGIN' TERRIBLE, HUH?! (THAT WAS SARCASM BTW!)
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