Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

GET ELECTED TO CONGRESS AND VOTE FOR YOURSELF

November 27, 2018

Compared to men and women in uniform who willingly risk their lives to retain our way of life and give citizens around the globe humanitarian opportunities, our government elite are excessively compensated. For instance, a U.S. military member with a pay grade of E-6 (five earned pay grades above entry level) having given more than two years service to our country receives a base pay of only $2,802/mo.($33,264/yr.) This is scheduled to be raised for 2019 by 2.4% to a whopping $2,869/mo. A serviceman’s work schedule includes readiness twenty-four hours a day and often includes weeks on end without a stand down.

Compare that to the average Amazon carton handler who now earns $15.00/hr. That’s 2,580/mo. or nearly $31,000/yr. for placing boxes on a conveyor belt 8 hours a day.  When the bell rings ending the shift, they’re outta there!  An over-the-road trucker earns an average of $23.00/hr or almost $78,000 annually if they really go at it.  Consider what the average retail store manager is paid.  Good ones make approximately $46,000 a year.

Military accommodations often consist of living in tents, bathing in streams or ponds when available with clothing changes welcomed whenever possible. Granted, they do receive an extra stipend when deployed to areas or subjected to situations where death is imminent.

Why should congressional members protected by the secret service and capitol police make so much more?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wears designer ensembles costing more than the average soldier makes in a month to her campaign venues. While campaigning, she has been seen wearing outfits of estimated cost exceeding $3,500 including shoes with a price tag of $625. Though she dresses for success, she’s whining that she cannot afford to live in the city or suburbs surrounding her new job.

Not even seated yet, the socialist darling of the left is suggesting legislation that would give congressional members a housing allowance in excess of the freshman base pay of $174,000. And, the members vote themselves raises at will. *Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay.

Some current members, known to sleep in their offices and bathe in the gym locker room (not the Potomac River), have suggested a housing allowance while in session amounting to $2,500 per month.

Returning to reason perhaps we, the American voters, should consider something along the lines of a government housing facility for our downtrodden elected leaders like the projects offered by H.U.D. There are numerous vacant government owned buildings in and about Washington D.C. that could easily be converted into dorms or apartments.

For those choosing this option, the accommodations might be paid for by deducting $1,500 – $2,500 per month ($18,000 – 30,000/yr) from the base we now pay them. Nancy would consider it just “crumbs”. Most of them can probably scrape by on the remaining measly $144,000 per year. A transportation allowance of $5.00 per round trip to and from the dorm and capitol could be an additional benefit for consideration.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s next proposal is probably for a congressional clothing allowance and meal per diem to go along with the housing allowance. After all, we must redistribute the wealth from those who worked hard to earn their bounty. Soon thereafter, I’m sure, she’ll and the others will consider working for the people who elected them instead of what they can do to benefit themselves.  Yeah, right!

Congressional staffers and interns live and commute under the same circumstances and seem to get by on their pay of $30,000 – $85,000 per year without such perks. And they do much, if not most, of the work for which the elected elite receive their salaries.

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THE MOBIUS LOOP OF GOVERNMENT

December 8, 2012

The Mobius Loop of the government is never ending.  (Yes, the inane redundancy meaningfully accentuates “government”.)  Let me explain using the simplest and most relevant example available.

Any person with a fifth grade education (high school diploma, if achieved via public education system) knows that you cannot trust what a politician says.  Most will say anything, and then do what they choose.  Some go a bit beyond that and some say exactly the opposite of what they intend.

President Obama claimed that the cost of health care in America is too high for many to pay and therefore some 43 million Americans were uninsured.  His plan, as expressed, was to bring down the cost of health care so that everyone will have access to an affordable medical plan.

Central to the claim was that too many people use hospital emergency rooms for their basic health care needs.  Since no one can be turned away from emergency care, the waiting rooms became triage centers.  In some cases, people with non-life threatening bleeding wounds or crushed or broken bones would be put on temporary hold while all the doctors completed treating others for flu, migraines, and other non-life threatening ailments.  This was unacceptable.  Billing many of the patients became an extra financial burden for hospitals because most of the patients using the services gave fictitious names and false addresses.

Since PPACA (Obamacare) passed in March 2010, health insurance premiums have risen over 50% for many plans with some now approaching double their former cost.  Additionally, due to the increased cost, some employers can no longer afford to cover all their workers and still attain a reasonable profit.  Thus, many have downsized leaving some workers without a job or health insurance.  The load for emergency rooms now grows more rapidly.

On top of that, the government reimbursement to doctors and hospitals for Medicare and Medicaid (for the perpetually indigent and recently unemployed workers) is so little that many doctors in private practice now decline to see new patients covered by these plans.

According to Reuters, the IRS recently released the final rules associated with the cost cutting law regarding taxing medical devices.  As of Dec. 31, a 2.3% tax will be assessed on medical devices ranging from tongue depressors to replacement hip joints to pacemakers.  The new tax is imposed to offset the cost of Obamacare.  Not only will the new tax drive up the cost of human health care products and devices, it will also affect veterinary visits for Snowball, Rover, and Trigger.  It seems that many of the utensils and devices recently tagged extra-taxable are also used for animal care.

Personally, I’m having trouble understanding how the new tax is supposed to lower the cost of health care for the patient.  Additional costs to doctors or hospitals are ultimately born by the patient.  Either increased premiums and co-pay or diminished care are the only foreseeable results of this new tax.

Here’s the Mobius.

  1. Medicare, and Medicaid reimbursements, became too costly.
  2. Too few people received adequate affordable health care.
  3. The government imposed Obamacare on the states and people to lower the cost of health care so that more people receive competent care.
  4. The new law (PPACA) imposes fines, taxes, and compliance regulations on medical professionals and the medical service industry.
  5. The government created a regulatory bureaucracy network of 36,000+ lawyers, administrators, and clerks to implement the new law.
  6. The new bureaucratic network creates laws, rules, and regulations costing doctors and hospitals to spend billions of dollars in compliance.
  7. The government hires an additional 16,000 IRS agents just to audit businesses, doctors, hospitals, and managed care facilities.  They will impose fines for noncompliance or incomplete compliance and be responsible for the collection of fines, fees, and taxes.
  8. Doctors cut staff to reduce increased costs associated with Obamacare.
  9. Doctors leave patient practice for other medical related vocations.
  10. Remaining doctors give each patient abbreviated time for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment because WalMart-like volume is required to maintain a practice and earn a living commensurate with their abilities and required ongoing education.
  11. Doctors refuse to see patients because they cannot afford to wait for months before receiving government reimbursement for their services and supplies consumed in treatment.
  12. Hospitals backlog more diseased, germ-spreading patients in emergency rooms for longer periods.
  13. The government raises taxes on personal income, corporate income, farm products, machinery, manufacturing, and general industry to offset the new costs incurred to reduce medical care expenditures.
  14. Employers downsize to avoid requisite compliance for larger companies.
  15. Great numbers of formerly employed join the ranks of unemployed and become Welfare and Medicaid recipients.
  16. More people have less money to spend on health care co-pays due to inflated costs caused by increased taxation.
  17. Government raises taxes to pay for expanded staff required to oversee new regulations collection of increased taxes that go to the diminished care we all receive.

Take a situation, make it less productive and more expensive, exacerbate the problem, encumber the previously unburdened to pay for it, grow government to oversee the non problem then claim you’ve improved the situation and claim victory.  That’s the government Mobius.

WELCOME TO 1984

February 9, 2012

One of my all time favorite novels is George Orwell’s book “1984”.  It had been over forty years since my first encounter with Big Brother and the madness presented, so I recently decided to refresh my memory with a revisit to the story.  For anyone who hasn’t read the book, I implore you to do so soon.  There are too many parallels between the fiction written in 1948 and the events of today to allow continued ignorance.  There are too many advances in technology and far more freedoms lost that could not have been foreseen over sixty years ago which serve only to enhance what was then written as fiction.  Even Orwell couldn’t have imagined the Big Brother of today.

Drones in the sky hovering over the citizens; reporting unnatural activities to the institution.  The Department of Homeland Security urges individual citizens to report any “suspicious” activity or conduct by family members, friends and strangers.  Once the report is filed, it is indelibly and unalterably recorded for any future reference.  Citizens are added to no-fly lists and some are surveilled for weeks due to a single, unfounded, anonymous entry by a disgruntled individual.

Bodies must be displayed in virtual nakedness for federal agents before boarding commercial transportation.  Refusal is succeeded by personal touching, grasping and groping by low level but loyal government employees.  Refusal of this physical assault can lead to lengthy detentions and offensive questioning.

Devices integrated into automobiles and personal communication devices allow access to an individual’s global positioning at any time.  Radio frequency emitting tags installed in product packaging help marketers and authorities identify where an item was taken after leaving a merchant’s realm.

Falsification of history, altering of evidence and destruction of factual matter as presented in the novel over six decades ago is taking place in our public school system today.  2+2 is 5 if the teacher says it is and there is no disputing the fact.  Socialism is the only way for people to have an equal opportunity and free enterprise only benefits the rich.  Children are socially engineered to chant complimentary messages about some politicians and disregard the works and advances of others.

Repeated presentation of altered images until they become real and phrases iterated and embellished until fiction becomes truth is the way of our news media.  Broadcasting lies and distortive propaganda into every home TV and computer as news has become accepted and is treated as honest journalism.

Cameras now exist in virtually every store and on street corners with images sent to regional or central processing centers.  Facial recognition software analyzes, compares and files nuances of a person’s physical characteristics in a central data storage unit for current or future purposes.  Matches are made with information garnered from other sources and entries are logged to compile extended profiles.

Fusion centers gather and classify information about ordinary citizens under the name and direction of Homeland Security.  Originally authorized and funded under the Patriot Act to coordinate information about potential terrorists between various law enforcement agencies, they have become stations of fear and harassment.

Laws, such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, are written so ambiguously that any application is indisputable.  NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens who are “suspected” of committing or planning a terrorist or subversive act.  This can easily be stretched to mean that speaking out against a government official or government entity is hostile and warrants such detention.

FEMA camps, a product of the Patriot Act and funded under DHS, have been set up in various locations throughout the country.  Some of the camps are converted military bases and others are built anew.  Rep. Alcee Hastings,  (D-FL)  authored House Bill (HR 645) — National Emergency Centers Establishment Act.  With what is rumored to be more than 800 locations, some housing up to 20,000 people, there is little concrete language for the specific or limited use of the government-run facilities.  Areas of many of the “camps” are set up to accommodate families, others appear to be for individual incarceration.  All are secured by guard towers and high fences topped with barbed and concertina wire.

Seemingly few people are aware, or show concern, about the subtle but rapid changes in our lives with the central government taking more control, usurping and eviscerating our constitutional rights and freedoms.

Orwell wrote fiction in 1948 that was still accepted as such in 1984.  If he had only titled his book 2004 or perhaps 2014 he would be considered a prophet akin to Nostradamus.

GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS

January 20, 2012

General Motors Chairman and CEO, Dan Akerson, has agreed to meet with the Congressional panel that is set to investigate the government’s investigation into fire risks in the Chevrolet Volt.  That’s right the government is investigating a government investigation into a company that is 61% owned by the government. 

I’m certain it will be an arm’s length investigation investigation.  The arm used may be a short-arm, but that’s what we’ve been getting since January 21, 2009.

And, as an extra added bonus, the man testifying before the committee was installed as the CEO of General Motors by the very same government that is investigating the investigation of the green project into which billions of government monies were invested.

Here’s the lineage of inbred progress for his takeover.  In July 2009, shortly after Obama became President, Akerson, as a representative of the U.S. Treasury under the tax challenged Timothy Geithner, was appointed to the board of directors of GM.  Akerson’s experience qualifying him for the position was in the communications industry. He was, however, a close friend and large donor to Obama.  In 2010, he became CEO when Ed Whitaker was summarily dismissed by the primary stock holder (the U.S. government) and he assumed the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors early last year.

Obama wants to make every aspect of every industry a monochromatic green, at any cost.  He refuses to allow an estimated 22,000 people employment on the Keystone XL project.  Instead, he is willing to allow those jobs and that petroleum and  much needed by-products to be shipped to China for refining and sale.  He has “invested” hundreds of billions (if not untold trillions) of borrowed American taxpayer dollars in solar companies that have failed miserably after receiving the money.  He “invested” our dollars in Finland with (Fisker Automotive), a company making an all electric automobile that only 2% of the American public can afford to purchase.  At least at this point, Fisker seems to be a viable company.

I, for one, am looking forward to hearing the forthright testimony of Mr. Akerson.  I’m sure we’ll find out that the blazing Volts were a product of faulty wiring schematics produced by the G.W. Bush administration simply to make Obama look bad.

There will be no dancing around the truth like with A.G. Eric Holder, Rahm Emanuel, Janet Napolitano or Solyndra’s CEO Brian Harrison or CFO Bill Stover when they appear before Congress.

Any questions why I call this Bizarro World, USA?

RE-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

January 14, 2012

All Is Great in the United States, Re-elect President Obama

We keep hearing via the MSM arm of the administration how well Spending Package I and II have done for the economy.  Of late, the spin has been that unemployment is dropping, though there are no hard figures of where the creation of jobs provides a net gain over layoffs.  Retail sales are up, but they’re flat.  Manufacturing is up, yet our trade deficit exceeds the accretion.

Because of the overwhelming liberal bias of major information sources, most people only hear or read one side of most stories.  Headlines like “Home Sales on the Rise” overshadow those reading “Foreclosures Increase by 20%”.  We are being fed all that the government wants us to hear while counter arguments are suppressed.  Banners of “Eat All the Vegetables You Want, They’re Good for You” obscure “EPA Regulations Cause Farm Prices to Soar”.

“Defense Spending to be Cut by $500 Billion” avoids the level playing field effect of the administration.  American superiority on the battle field is cause for another apology tour.  Besides, the savings can be sent to the Muslim Brotherhood for greater equality.

Some times, we are presented with only half of the headline or half of the full article.  “President Obama Asks Congress For Another $1.2 Trillion” should be completed with “For More Busses Under Which American Citizens Can Be Thrown”.

The stated reason for combining the Commerce Department’s core business and trade functions; the Small Business Administration; the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the Trade and Development Agency is to help businesses thrive.  The true intent for the consolidation seems not to increase efficiency, but to maximize the collective authority these agencies hold over domestic business.

Read the headlines, read the story then ask who wrote it and how he or she is trying to influence you.  Re-elect Barack Obama, I don’t think so.