Gun Control and the Terrorists among us

The news of the Boston Massacre of 2013 is both tragic and enlightening. Our hearts go out to all victims and their families. At the same time, we are reminded of why our 2nd Amendment rights are so important. Americans must be able to defend themselves and their countrymen.  

The basic right to bear arms can be summarized by saying that Americans willing to carry a gun can protect the American "sheeple" that want to take the right away. Conservatives are the cops and liberals are the lambs. While the Administration is attempting to disarm Americans, terrorists are infiltrating. I will take my chances with a punk and a gun over a terrorist with an improvised explosive device I.E.D. We can't allow America to become Iraq or Afghanistan. We must stand up and fight for our constitutional rights.

Stockton, California files for Bankrupcty

All eyes are on the bankruptcy proceedings in Stockton, California. While creditors face a loss of 83 cents on the dollar, attorneys argue that the public employee’s retirement system, CalPERS, remain unharmed. Stockton owes $900 million to CalPERS. In 2007, Stockton received $165 million in loans to pay into CalPERS.

At odds are public employees retirement verse private peoples retirement. The tax payer, or private sector, is responsible for all government obligations. Bonds are generally held in retirement accounts to avoid the risk of the stock market. So CalPERS wants grandma and grandpa in the private sector to lose their retirement to pay for the public sector retirement. There are no winners here.

Government excess is unprecedented by the city of Stockton. The city provided full retirement for life to their employees, and a dependent, no matter how long they worked for the city. This was a recipe for disaster. This is not the only public employee pension contract that has stupidity built right in. Many public employee pensions have similar abuses in their contracts. For instance, Oregon public employees had a guaranteed 7% return on their investments. The pensioners earn higher returns in a good economy but are guaranteed 7% in a bad economy. Who makes on the difference? The private sector, the tax payer! 

This is potentially a catastrophic loss for the retired employees of Stockton. I feel sadness for the city employee that worked for 30 years. I do not feel sorrow for the city employee that worked a few years and gets full retirement. CalPERS as a group must be responsible for the group. Retirement benefits must reflect the balance of the fund and the number of beneficiaries. That’s how my retirement works. I will draw an income based on the balance of my 401K. No one will bail me out. 

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Stockton is not the first and will not be the last. This bankruptcy has national implications. The court’s decision on this case will set the precedent for the country.

The Federal Budget Crisis

Obama says the U.S.A. does not have a budget crisis. John Boehner reluctantly agrees. What both Obama and Boehner are saying is we do not a budget crisis, TODAY. This is only because of the sequester cuts. Automatic cuts were legislated into the budget during the last crisis because congress will not put forth a responsible budget. 

In this debate it is important to define CRISIS. defines crisis as: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome <a financial crisis> . By this definition I would say the U.S.A. is in a crisis.

The bottom line is that cuts must be made, the question is where? Taxes are increased to pay for the current budget because a compromise or consensus on cuts can't be reached. The budget breaks down as follows: (estimates based on the budget not actual spending, note the difference between and the federal budget .com)

$825 billion Social Security
$850 billion Department of Health and Human Services
$725 billion Department of Defense
$450 billion Treasury Department
$650 billion Everything else

For clarity, Social Security is not part of the Federal Budget. It is its own entity, a separate budget. However, it is included in total federal dollars spent. "Everything else" is all other departments and federal spending. Any meaningful cut must include all line items including Social Security due to the sheer size of the budget. My frustration comes from the fact that congress has squandered (borrowed) social security surpluses for years. Had social security been the sacred cow congressman says it is, they would have left it alone. But here we are today and we are in a CRISIS. The federal government spends over a trillion more each year that it has in tax receipts. That deficit is added to the federal debt. So to say we do not have a crisis is hogwash. But where do we cut?

Federal Department Managers are making the easy sequester cuts. The cuts that will be felt the most by Americans. In my opinion, it is done for two reasons. First, because Obama wants Americans to feel them, and second, the cuts are easy to make. Employees are the biggest expense of any organization so it is easy to reach the goal with a few layoffs or hourly cuts (furloughs). 

We can't cut the Treasury because it is interest on the debt. Social Security shouldn't be cut because it is the income for our retired seniors. So Defense, Health and Human Services, and Everything else is left. I have written other blogs about where to cut and will not belabor them in this blog. However, each of these departments must make significant cuts. Defense must be reined in and Health and Human Services must address Obamacare. 

For the record, as of this morning, the National debt is: $16,702,552,000,000.00 and counting. The deficit is : $1,036,745,000.000.00 and counting. See links below.

The Federal Government still doesn't get it

The sequester cuts were intended to create some discipline in an otherwise spendthrift government. But give the government an opportunity to close the budget gap and they once again make poor budget choices. The White House cancels tours for the public but considers a $5 billion loan for a railway to sin city. They cancel tours to the national archives. They increase fees on student loans. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released 2000 dangerous illegal immigrants due to sequester cuts. In the background, the government sends F-16s to Egypt as part of their $1.3 billion aid package. 

Congress has little constraint. Where is the discipline? Remember the GSA spending close to a million dollars on a Las Vegas meeting in 2010? Who oversees these departments? The fraud and abuse is outrageous. What about $270,000 per year for White House calligraphers? Here are a few more examples of this insanity:

$121 million for food and beverage for the Department of Justice.
$35 million of Medicare funds spent on phantom clinics (fake clinics established by gangs).
$1.5 million to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam. 
$900,000 for new bicycle signage in Portland, Oregon that didn't need replaced.
$600,000 to digitize Grateful Dead photographs.
$1 million worth of poetry for zoos.
$500,000 to study shrimp running on a treadmill.
$500,000 to develop an ecoATM that exchanges old cell phone for cash.
$45,000 to pay people to attend a snow mobile competition.

The federal government could cut billions from the budget by simply cutting abuses. How about a hiring freeze and defunding all unfilled government positions? Cancel all away meetings and use conference calls instead. Stop all ridiculous spending like grants for robotic birds and squirrels. Reduce and or eliminate billions in foreign aid. Congress must rein in President Obama. In the midst of the sequester cuts Obama is pushing for $2 billion for green energy research and the White House continues to pay interns high salaries ranging between $30, 000 and $80,000. Most interns will work for free to obtain experience. In addition, the government continues to grow the public sector. Once government programs and jobs are created they are rarely eliminated. Is $2 billion for cell phones for the poor and their dead relatives a good use of tax dollars?

President Obama is in denial. He recently downplayed the debt crisis during his trip to visit House Republicans. He is pushing for more deficit spending while playing politics with White House tours. Obama just doesn't believe that debt is bad. Obama stated "My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of a balanced budget." Obama has added $6 trillion to the National Debt without a discernible worry, or a significant improvement in the economy, and his economic advisors say he needs to spend more. To add insult to injury, Obama's Federal Reserve has printed trillions of new dollars. As a result, run away inflation has doubled the cost of many consumable products during Obama's tenure. America's buying power is declining every day. Any increase in domestic growth is all but lost to inflation. 

The liberal democratic agenda is killing us but they are not alone. Don't trust the mainstream republicans either. Their spending is as wasteful as the mainstream democrats. My suggestion is to listen carefully to the Tea Party Conservative. But don't listen to the press. The mainstream media is attempting to demonize the Tea Party. In reality, the Tea Party Conservative wants to rein in spending, balance the budget, and they are not opposed to increasing taxes as long as spending is cut as well. Despite what Obama preaches, America is facing bankruptcy if we continue down the same path. It may already be too late. Before Obama's second term ends America will be over $20 trillion in debt and he doesn't seem to care. And that doesn't include unfunded liabilities, but that is another blog.

Isn't it ironic?

Isn't it ironic that President Obama supports the Arab Spring and the overthrow of Dictators for squandering the people wealth, dictating unpopular policies, squelching citizen's rights like gun control and free speech, and bringing their country to the brink of economic collapse? The main difference between Obama and these other dictators is that Obama hasn't detained any Americans or executed Americans without due process. No, wait a minute, that is not accurate, Obama has done both. Read on.

President Obama asked Congress to set aside $800 million to support the Arab Spring to overthrow Middle East Dictators. These Dictators are known to squander their country's wealth, not unlike Obama's near trillion dollar deficit for 4 years. Dictators rule with an iron thumb. Obama signed legislation to prevent American's from protesting around secret service and has tried to silence conservative radio and media outlets like Fox. Gun Control is the first step to controlling a countries people and this debate continues along with 23 executive orders signed by President Obama to make it more difficult for Americans to obtain guns to protect themselves. The first four years of Obama's economic policy has resulted in an increase of $5 trillion to the national debt, a still struggling economy, and sequester legislation that some say could be the nail in the coffin of our economy. The National Defense Authorization Act signed into law in January 2012 authorizes the U.S. to detain American citizens indefinitely. August 2012, Brandon Raub was arrested and detained for making political posts on Facebook. May 7, 2011 Al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was executed by a drone attack in Yemen. Now Al-Awlaki was not a nice person and was considered to be a terrorist, but he was an American citizen. The precedent is now set.

I am not saying President Obama is a dictator. I am saying if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it might be a duck.

The White House makes certain you feel the sequester cuts

Boycott the U.S. Government. Why you ask? A supervisor from the National Parks Service stated that the White House instructed them to make cuts where the public would see and feel the most pain. A Park Ranger told Fox news:

"It's obvious that they want the public to feel the pain in order to push this agenda that Washington wants," the ranger said. "A lot of these parks can absorb these cuts without the public's visit being affected." 

U.S. Park Rangers know they can absorb a 5% cut without making dramatic changes that will negatively impact the public. "We have the wiggle room", one employee stated. But no, that is not what OBAMA wants. Obama wants everyone to give him a pass and so he can drive America into bankruptcy. Obama is attempting to prove that Americans can't live without the government and his pork laden agenda. Why else would Obama accept a trillion dollar budget deficit without making cuts?

Obama canceled White House tours so the sequester cuts will be as visible and painful as possible, the Washington Times reported. reports how the sequester cuts will hurt women and children. The across the board cuts are designed to hurt. There will be no surgical cuts to unneeded programs. This administration wants it their way on their terms. Ironically, Obama portrays himself, and his Democratic cronies, as politicians for the people.

It is frustrating but expected from this administration. Contrasted to the private sector, where you can go to any restaurant or service industry business and enjoy great customer service. In the private sector, the customer is always right. Private companies try to absorb cuts so they are not felt by the customer, but not our government. How many times have you gone to the Post Office or DMV and had a customer service window closed during peak business hours? In fact, they will close the window right in front of you. Businesses in the private sector will call all available supervisors and staff to handle increased workload in an effort to provide good customer service. But not our government. Our government wants you to feel the pain. What ever happened to the meaning of "servant" in civil servant? 

I say Boycott government parks, buildings, and other facilities. There are plenty of private businesses that will bend over backward to please you. Private companies are even providing huge discounts to attract your business. These companies employ your family, friends, and neighbors. These companies support your community. These private businesses make a positive impact on your life and they pay their share of taxes too. If the government wants to close parks and buildings to the public, show them that you support their cost cutting efforts. You will be glad you did.

The Nanny State

Can you spell CONTROL? The New Nanny State is all about "Control". New York, specifically New York City, is a perfect example of Nanny State policies in action. New York City, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, is controlling many aspects of citizen’s daily lives. Remember the smoking ban? Many Nonsmokers were all for it so it passed with a lot of fanfare. But what happens when the new law conflicts with your beliefs? What about your right to drink soda pop? The Big Gulp, gone. How about your choice of food? Fatty fare, gone. Too much sodium in food, gone. Food for the homeless, gone. Seriously? Plastic food containers, gone. Large capacity ammo clips, gone. There should be a new reality series – Liberals Gone Wild. 

The Democrat Party is out of control. The far "liberal" left of the party is running the country. They are controlling everything from food to guns. "It is for your own good" they might say. Democrats have been pushing hard for green energy. It sounds harmless enough, right? Forget the fact that many of Obama's pet projects like Solydra have gone bankrupt, energy prices are soaring as a result of his energy policy. Why, Obama hates fossil fuel. Oil and coal are on the chopping block. It takes energy to grow food, so food prices are skyrocketing. Our daily lives are being controlled. Even our kids feel the pinch in the NEW school lunch program. Ironically, the government created the guidelines for the pre-packaged foods which it now says are unhealthy.

So let's move on to Gun Control. Reviewing the statistics in New York City, murders and other gun violence dropped precipitously in 1994, the same year that a ban on ammo clips was passed into law. You might jump to the conclusion that gun violence was thwarted directly due to this ban. However, you would be wrong. While it is difficult to tell whether the ban had any effect, what is known is that in 1994 a conservative mayor, Rudy Giuliani, was elected and implemented a string of new policing policies. In addition, starting in 1990 under Mayor Dinkins, 7000 police officers were added to the force. So was it the ban of large capacity ammo clips that decreased crime or officers on the street (with guns I might add). Will gun control be effective for the entire country? For the answer I guess we should investigate whether there are still fat people in New York City.

The Control doesn't stop with smoking, sugar, fat, salt, guns and plastic containers. Look around you. Stop light cameras are in many intersections? I bet these cameras can do more than issue tickets.

Rand Paul returns $600,000

Rand Paul returned $600,000 to the U.S. Treasury to pay down the national debt. This money was budgeted but unused. In his opinion it was money budgeted for unnecessary spending, budget surplus. Did Rand Paul layoff his staff to save this money? Did he spend his own money instead? Or did Rand Paul see the excesses spent by congress every day and choose not to follow in their wasteful spending habits? Perhaps it was money for gourmet lunches. What was this money for? According to the Examiner, $600,000 is about 20% of his operating budget. Seriously? That is a $3 million operating budget. Many middleclass Americans spend a lifetime saving and hoping to sock away $600,000 for retirement. Apparently, U.S. Senators are wasting that amount every year. Where's the outrage?

The Sequester is the best thing that congress has ever done. It mandates spending cuts. Now managers in charge of overseeing federal budgets have the same opportunity that Rand Paul does. Cut wasteful spending out of their budgets, but instead they are crying the blues. They are threatening layoffs. Maybe they should take Rand Paul's advice and cut the waste.


As the deadline for the automatic federal budget cuts loom, Congress, and now Governors are crying the blues. If not an across the board cut, what, complete elimination of a government program? I am certain there are a number of programs that can be eliminated without destroying our economy or the lifestyle of the average American (except for the employees that lose their job as a direct result for the cuts). The Sequester is fair if nothing else. It cuts government spending across the board, with the exception of a few mandatory programs like Medicaid (Welfare) and Social Security. That is roughly 7.8% cut to defense and a 2%-5.8% cut to Medicare and other discretionary programs. In 2014, the cuts increase to 9.4% cut to defense and an 8.2 % cut to everything else.

While the media and politicians debate the consequences of the Sequester, the rest of America, particularly the middleclass, go about their business cutting their own budgets to make ends meet without a single word from the aforementioned media and politicians. For me personally, and my coworkers, healthcare premiums went up almost 300 percent. That is a $230/month increase. That means we have to cut somewhere else to offset the increase in premiums. If we have to cut our spending, why shouldn't the government cut theirs? Especially since our cut is a direct result of government legislation, Obamacare. 

Here is my plan. All people receiving welfare have to report for work to offset their monthly check. You might ask, what "type of jobs" can welfare recipients perform without a formal education? There is plenty of garbage along our highways. Our state park system can benefit from some litter cleanup as well. Pulling weeds doesn't require much education. How about raking leaves, shoveling snow, and cleaning public rest rooms? If their children aren't attending school yet, they can provide baby sitting or daycare at local community centers or churches for the other moms. This will allow other welfare moms to help with litter patrol. There are plenty of jobs they can perform that will benefit our communities and instill a work ethic in the masses that are receiving welfare benefits.

If government managers are unwilling to cut their budgets like Rand Paul did, returning over a million in unused funds in the past two years alone, then cuts should be forced on them. There are 435 members of congress and 100 senators. That is 535 ways to cut the budget. If every member of congress and every senator reduced their budget by $500,000 like Rand Paul, they could reduce the debt by $267, 000,000.00. If each can only find $100, 000 they could contribute over $50 million toward the national debt. Here's a thought, why not give government employees an incentive to cut. For instance, give managers a bonus for reining in their own budget. 

Government spending is growing faster than the economy and certainly faster than tax revenue. It must stop. The Sequester may be the only legislation passed by congress that could actually prevent the financial collapse of the federal government and the destruction of the American economy.

Healthcare - Stem Cells and Printers

What do stem cells and printers have in common? Very little, except when used together they can create incredible things. The new printer technology, 3D printing, can dispense embryonic stem cells in precise drops that can grow to become human tissue. The opportunities are endless. Imagine a 3D printer creating a new kidney. It’s not that simple, but the technology is amazing. 

Read more.

Teachers and Concealed Carry Permits

School Districts across America are debating gun control. More importantly, they are debating whether teachers should have the right to carry concealed weapons on the campus. If gun control, or bans on assault weapons, really prevented school shooting I think the debate might be much different. The reality is that even liberal educators know that there is an element within the public that can not be restrained. They see it in the kids they teach. The Bully Ban has not stopped bullying. Some people are just pure evil. Worse, many of the kids that carry out these heinous crimes are the inconspicuous quiet types.

Recently, South Dakota passed a bill that allows teachers to carry. Tennessee is considering a bill to either allow armed resource officers or arm the teachers. These states are not alone. Alaska, Maine, Oklahoma, Virginia, South Carolina, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota and Missouri are also considering bills that might allow teachers or school staff to carry guns. And two schools in Texas allow trained teachers to carry concealed weapons. 

The bottom line is that bad people exist and those people will find a way to do harm. In my opinion, preparing for the inevitable is the best course of action. Weapon free zones only protect criminals. A school that arms every teacher is a safe place for children. Imagine a shooter going into a school knowing that every classroom has at least one armed teacher. I think the shooter would think twice before entering a potential warzone. These shooters are cowards after all.

A Nail in the Economic Coffin

The new immigration reform plan proposed by the Obama Whitehouse could definitely push America's economy over the edge. Most of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants are underemployed or have low paying jobs. As American citizens, these new immigrants will be entitled to all the benefits of other American citizens. Millions of people added to government payrolls would push an already burdened system over the edge. It is not completely unlike the burden experienced by countries that accept refugees. Simply put, the economic benefit of an increase tax base is outweighed by the fiscal burden of these new citizens.

Many others countries around the world have accepted refugees from neighboring countries. The hardships created and strain on their economies is undeniable, see link below. Unlike the poor countries noted in the article, the United States is not a third world country. However, the economic implications still exist. While 11 million illegal Mexicans are already in the United States, they are not currently entitled to all the benefits of other poor U.S. citizens. Welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, Obamacare, disability, social security, and other benefits will be available to the millions of low income immigrants. While these same illegal immigrants would be issued social security numbers and pay income tax, their tax rates will be low due to lower paying jobs. In addition, unemployment insurance would be future stressed. 

America is over $16 trillion in debt and growing exponentially. A poor economy is adding to this debt through lower income tax revenue and increased need by unemployed Americans. Adding another 11 million citizens to this burden could be the nail in the coffin of our economy.

Kick the Can

Ever notice how congressman refuse to make difficult decisions? You have two sides of the aisle, one Liberal/Democrat and the other Conservative/Republican. Both parties are the same in their desire to divide tax payer money and take it back to their home state. Both have good intentions and both face difficult decisions. Neither compromise on improving the fiscal restraint of government. They just kick the fiscal can down the road.

In fairness, many congressman fill that seat for a single term and can only be responsible for the work on their watch. But collectively they have destroyed our position in the world both economically and politically. America is facing a cross road, an economic cross road that will shape the nation for decades to come. The world is watching and we are not alone. Many countries have faced similar economic catastrophes. Like them, we will survive but America will be a much different place. 

Congress has been on a spending spree since the great depression. President Johnson deepened FDR's pledge to promote prosperity with deficit spending to create a great nation. For years it seemed to work. The problem is that every politician following them wanted a legacy and spent tax payer money to do it. Worse, their legacy wasn't a single budget item it resulted in a larger federal budget every fiscal year going forward. I remember a debt debate in an economics class in 1980. America was facing a Trillion Dollar debt and we were genuinely concerned. The Keynesians said not to worry, it was fine. Fast forward to 2013. America is over $16 Trillion in debt and running a Trillion Dollar deficit. Were the Keynesians correct? NO! 

So what's a politician to do? Congress can no longer kick the can down the road. If Congress refuses to kick the can what will happen? Federal budget cuts will ensue. Congress has already negotiated automatic budget cuts of 8-10 percent if a balanced budget can't be reached averting the fiscal cliff, increasing the debt limit. They have three options. First, cut spending. Second, increase taxes. Third, do little of both. The bottom line is that tax increases alone will not fix the problem so cuts to government programs must be implemented. 

I participated in a political phone survey on this subject just last night. Congress knows what they have to do but they are afraid to do it because their career and legacy are on the line. The survey posed questions like do you support allowing congress to hit the debt ceiling and go over the fiscal cliff knowing that it will negatively impact you and the country financially? Now how do you answer that? The short answer is YES. It is a matter of kicking the can, or not. Should congress kick the can down the road another 6-12 months or deal with the problem. Kicking the can might buy us 3-5 years. But the devastating depression from a fiscal collapse is inevitable. 

The United States of America can't pay its debts any longer. Other governments like China have already started preparing for our collapse. America is the world's reserve currency, but not for long. Politicians like Barack Obama want to add services not cut them. Liberals think there is enough money to pay for more services if they tax the rich. There isn't. Our government budget is set up to automatically increase annually to pay for cost of living adjustments, COLA's. If congress stopped spending more today we would still go over the fiscal cliff. If congress implemented a 10% cut across the board it would really only result in a 6.5% cut due to COLA's. So what do we do?

Karl's plan. We start with a 10 percent cut across the board. Follow that with a reduction in PERS payments of 10%, totaling 20%. Freeze Federal COLA's. Freeze all continuing contributions to PERS. Freeze all new federal hiring. All unfilled government positions are removed from the federal budget. Congress takes a 20% pay cut. Military takes a 20% hit by pulling troops out of all nonessential deployments and allow other governments to pay for their own security. We stop sending F16's as gifts to other countries. We reduce all foreign aid by 50% the first year and zero by year three. We quit federally funding the arts and other nonessential institutions. We ask that rich billionaires like George Soros pay for these services. Michael Moore and his toadies in Hollywood pay for all the other services they do not want cut. Obamacare is scaled back. After a 10% cut to Social Security, we leave grandma and grandpa's social security alone. We re-access this program annually. We quit enrolling new recipients into social security if they have not paid into the system. Unfortunately, social security will face draconian cuts in the future as a matter of survival.

All of the aforementioned cuts will only avert the fiscal cliff for a short while. The largest federal line items include; The Defense Department, Health and Human Services, and Treasury Department (interest on the Debt). Social Security is a huge expense, that is why all the debate revolves around entitlements. No one want's to take away grandma and grandpa's monthly social security check. But here's the math.

Federal Budget $3.5 Trillion ($1 Trillion of that is deficit - credit card). A 10% cut is $350 Billion and the Federal government spends just under $10 Billion per day. So a 10% cut buys us a little over a month. All of the other line items above, with the exception of military, and social security /Health and Human services, and our debt, are peanuts. However, federal employees must feel some of the pain that the private sector has been enduring for Obama's entire last term. Obamacare added a huge debt to a faltering economy and helped bankrupt federal budget. Obama's new tax plan will bring in $1 Trillion over ten years. That is another $100 Billion per year so we get another 10 days of spending. The two combined is about $450 Billion which will not even cover the deficit for one year which means we will be faced with default again before years end.

I predict Obama will say he funded his healthcare plan through taxes on the rich, knowing full well the plan was approved in an effort to avert the fiscal cliff. Congress will gut the military and use drones for engagement. Foreign aid will be cut to our best allies and not our enemies. Social Security will be cut but not PERS. Congress will say their pay cut is unconstitutional. Congress will kick the can down the road until Obama's term ends. The next presidential election will be won by a GOP candidate. The economy will collapse and Democrats will blame it on the Republicans knowing full well that most Americans won't do the math.

Comments (0)  
The Delicate Economic Dance
by Karl Logan on 01/23/13

The world's economies are very delicate. A small change can have significant, lasting, and devastating effects. For years many American's preached that the U.S.A. had to stop thinking of ourselves as an island. We must reach out to the world. The government began channeling aide worldwide and corporations embraced the concept by creating opportunity overseas only to be lambasted by the same do-gooders because it either negatively impacted jobs at home or it somehow exploited the poor abroad. This story will focus on a micro economy, the economy that we feel individually at home in our community.

Loss of revenue from your paycheck in the form of a pay cut or a tax increase can negatively impact your ability to pay your bills. Your financial obligations do not decline just because your paycheck got smaller. But how does this impact the economy? Case in point; a new tax law decreases your net income. What are the financial implications? You belong to the middleclass and do not have an abundance of deposable income (savings). In an effort to control your spending, you cancel your cable service. Unfortunately for the cable company, you are not alone, your entire community receives a similar tax increase. Some people cancel cable while others cut back on phone service. These companies in turn lay off employees to reduce the losses or face bankruptcy because they understand that this teetering economy will not support an increase in cost of goods/services.

Your neighbor, devastated by his job loss at the cable company begins to cut personal expenses. No more daycare, no more lawn service, no cable, phone, DSL, subscriptions, or eating at this local restaurant. Your neighbor isn't alone. Similar stories happen to the Internet provider, the phone company, the local lawn service, and even the local restaurants. Yes, their business was also negatively impacted by this seemingly innocuous tax increase. The pattern continues to almost every sector except for the government sector. Public employees are doing okay. Their employers increased their operating budget by raising taxes so they are still humming along. For now.

Fortunately, many of these employees can fall back on unemployment so as long as they just cut back on the services mentioned above they will survive as long as they can find employment before the benefits run out. A year passes and over half of these folks haven't found gainful employment. Some are working fast food jobs to make ends meet. Many have sold their cars and dropped their insurance. Unfortunately, services like insurance, auto repair, gasoline, and new purchases of these products have also declined resulting in more layoffs. 

Going into the second year of unemployment, your neighbor was relieved that congress extended unemployment benefits. But now, his wife's hours were cut at the auto dealership. They will have to sell their house. Two years ago they had equity in their home but the economy has put them upside down. They are facing foreclosure. They chose to move in with their parents and let the house go. The bank is struggling because this is the tenth foreclosure this week. With few home sales the bank's mortgage depart has been suffering where your spouse works. You are trying to remain optimistic and are confident that congress will act and takes steps to get the economy going.

After the fourth year of this recession, you read in the morning paper that unemployment is on the decline and the Whitehouse rejoices. Buried on page ten you read a commentary about how unemployment rates are calculated. Part time employment is considered employed, a job the Burger Hut is considered gainful employment, and folks that have lost unemployment benefits are no longer counted. You look at your devastated community and wonder where the prosperity is. Many of your family and friends are using credit cards to make ends meet. You hear the government talking about the fiscal cliff and you realize that the government is also living on borrowed money. You scratch your head and turn to the classified ads, job section.

They say that the difference between an recession and a depression is when your neighbor loses his job it is a recession, when you lose your job it is a depression. Without change the U.S. government will collapse from their own debt. It is inevitable and no one in Washington wants it to happen on their watch so they kick the can down the road. And so it goes in congress, gridlock, the blame game, posturing, and pointing the finger at the other guy. But both parties are guilty of robbing the tax payer. 

Hold onto your seats because it is going to be a bumpy ride. Stockpile some food. Hide your guns and ammo. Stash some commodities for barter. If everything blows over without a collapse you will have enough extra food to going camping for a month. If everything goes to hell you will be thankful you took this advice.

Gun Control, What's the Bottom-line?

When it comes to gun control, the big question for me is: What's the end game? What are gun control proponents really trying to accomplish? Many gun control advocates are so dishonest that we can't trust them. They are calculating liars. They manipulate data to support their case. I can't help but wonder what their real motive is. I believe that most democrat congressmen/women are pushing for gun control just because it is on their agenda. But is it more nefarious than that? What are they not telling us?

I want to know the congressional bottom-line. I do not trust congress. I expect a watered down version to be passed by congress only to be altered later through executive order. Note the list of executive orders Obama has proposed, link below. Many of these orders seem benign and are already on the books in some form. I believe this is meant to fool the general population. Collectively these actions paint a much broader picture of gun control which can be easily manipulated. In function, assault weapons are really hunting rifles with cosmetic changes. There are a lot of options like multiple round clips but they are simply semiautomatic rifles not machine guns. The term assault weapon was invented by the media to elicit an emotional response and confuse the public.

So what is their bottom-line? What is their agenda? Do they want to ban all weapons? Are they afraid of guns? Are they secretly anti-hunting advocates? Do they really believe that banning guns will make us safer? Do they want to disarm America so we can be taken over by another country? Or are they concerned that their own congressional stupidity and misdeeds will result in a backlash by angry rednecks with guns?

Laws to restrict and even ban private ownership of military rifles, assault rifles, are already on the books. So what is their agenda? Statistics prove that cosmetically altered hunting rifles are not more dangerous than the run of the mill hunting rifle. So one must ask, will they go after semiautomatic weapons next? That leaves us with single shot weapons. Will there be a restriction on caliber size? How about the shelf life of gun powder? This might prevent stock piling. Banning large capacity clips might make a difference but those can be easily adapted and/or manufactured. This ban will only prevent law abiding citizens from obtaining them. Are they so ignorant to believe that criminals will not find a way to obtain illegal weapons? 

I believe they want to reduce the number of available weapons to the general populace to protect themselves. I believe that the government wants to rule with an iron hand and this is the first step. I believe that the government knows America is headed for hard times due to congress's spendthrift ways and they are afraid of backlash. I believe that cities with millions of desperate citizens are a powder keg and congress is concerned. I believe the bottom-line is governmental control. I strongly believe that gun control will not stop with assault weapons. I believe that people who think criminals will obey the law are a special kind of stupid. This is not the end game. This is just the beginning.

Gun Control and Obama's executives orders

President Obama will no doubt use executive orders to push through his gun control agenda. However, some legislation is required to reestablish bans on assault weapons. The goal is to use recent school shootings as a catalyst to ban assault weapons and establish more gun control. But is more gun control necessary? What exactly is an assault weapon? How does it differ from a machine gun? Can we realistically stop crime and violence through gun control measures? And what is the real motive for gun control? 

An assault weapon is a semiautomatic rifle that is designed to look like a military style assault rifle. From Wikipedia…( The use of the term "assault weapon" is also highly controversial, as critics assert that the term is a media invention,[7] or a term that is intended to cause confusion among the public by intentionally misleading the public to believe that assault weapons (as defined in legislation) are full automatic firearms when they are not.[8] ) The ten year ban on assault weapons expired in 2004 and gun control proponents are pushing to reinstate it and make it permanent.

While owning automatic weapons is not technically illegal, these weapons have been heavily regulated since 1934. The general population does not have access or the means to obtain them. Only serious collectors with deep pockets can afford automatic weapons. In 1986, ownership of newly manufactured automatic weapons was prohibited for civilians. Therefore access to automatic weapons is nearly nonexistent. As noted above, calling semiautomatic rifles assault weapons is meant to elicit an emotional response from the general public. It is very difficult to obtain an automatic weapon. Since 1934, when machine guns were regulated, only two homicides were committed by legally owned automatic weapons and one of those was by a police officer who shoot an informant. 

As for illegally owned automatic weapons, even during 1980 at the height of homicides in Miami, Florida, a machine gun mecca due to drug trafficking, machine gun deaths were less than 1% of gun crimes. Statistics show that violence with automatic weapons just doesn't exist. It is Hollywood that is responsible for the appearance that automatic weapons are so prevalent. 

So what is the motive for renewed gun control measures? The motive for gun control varies by who you ask. A proponent of gun control might state that it will reduce crime and prevent mass murder. If it really were the case that gun control would truly prevent crime I might jump on board. The reality is that criminals will obtain firearms legal or otherwise. A baseball bat or knife would do just fine in a home invasion robbery if it weren't for homeowners securing firearms to protect themselves. Granny is no match for a 20 year old meth head with a bat. But give her a revolver and she has a chance. A complete elimination of guns might reduce the number of causalities during a mass shooting, assuming the criminal couldn't obtain a firearm, but what is to prevent the criminal from using explosives? Many of these criminals intend to die at the scene anyway. Timothy McVeigh brought down a building to make a point. Personally, I would like the often of defending myself.

Gun Control in Linn County, Oregon

It's about time someone in Oregon stood up against the White house over gun control. Of course it wasn't anyone in liberal Lane County. Tim Mueller, Sheriff from conservative Linn County, wrote a letter to Biden stating he will not enforce unconstitutional guns laws. At least I know I can go over the mountains and through the woods to a safe haven, rednecks with guns. 

Property prices will probably increase in Linn County with this stance. Who wants the local sheriff to confiscate your guns? No one! If you buy property in Linn county you have a safe haven. There is only on thing worse than a redneck with a gun. A redneck with a gun and a backhoe.