Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Though the "liberal agenda" level is high (granted, mostly among other students), I was able to participate in interesting and insightful conversations and no screaming matches. The number of like-or-similar minded individuals was impressive as well, and the diversity of those individuals was impressive.
The biggest news its this: I have joined the Texas Army National Guard. I will be attending Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri from January 11 through approximately late-March. I have been duly warned that it will be very, very cold... which almost scares this Texan more than the running (I was never much of a runner... however, I have been told that I will become one). Upon completion of Basic, I will be entering Officer Candidate School. I will be doing the "traditional" program which will allow me to complete my Masters while attending OCS.
I am very excited about the opportunities the military will provide for me, and am honored to be able to serve my country (some may say that I am making sure to "walk the walk" and I am okay with that). I believe that the experiences, education, training and benefits that I will receive from the National Guard will only contribute to my passion for my country, the political process and my ideology.
While my postings have been inconsistent at best, I wanted to at least provide a valid explanation for the next couple of months.
Best wishes to all for a wonderful 2010.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Things have been a bit busy in my little world!
I am in my first semester of graduate school at the University of Texas at Dallas, studying Political Science...and I am in the process of joining the Texas Army National Guard. Whew!
I did attend the 912 March in Fort Worth (on, duh, 9/12/09). I was wildly impressed with the number of attendees (and the broad demographics represented) especially considering it was a soggy, rainy day. The leadership of the Fort Worth 912 organization did a fantastic job, and were great speakers... in addition to bringing down Judge Andrew Napolitano to speak!
Unfortunately, my current class schedule is precluding me from attending my local city council meetings AND the 912 Fort Worth membership meetings.
Agenda for this week: writing about public opinion for class, voting on the 11 proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments, calling my US Representatives and Senators to oppose the Democrat's health care bills and going to MEPs.
I've been posting lots of links through my Facebook page (if you want to find me there) and have been enjoying posts from the following sites/people as of late:
For now, signing out.
Your friendly, neighborhood, evil conservative
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I am writing you today to implore you to continue, with other Republicans in the US Congress, to fight the proposed economic stimulus plan. Through simple common sense and digging through the available coverage of the bill, I have been able to come to the conclusion that putting our country into further debt is not an effective means to stimulate the economy. It is not possible or sensible in any way to spend oneself out of debt. In essence, it seems that is the goal of this bill. We can not keep printing money out of thin air, or we will face outrageous inflation.
The amount of money that would be committed to projects and programs is astronomical and completely inappropriate given the world's economic climate. It is unacceptable that this bill, supposedly intended to stimulate the economy, also includes elements to prepare the country for universal healthcare, spend more money on "green" initiatives and other unrelated and unnecessary expenses. The national deficit has been too high for too long, and this spending package will surely condemn future generations to major fiscal and economic challenges.
Approaching the economic situation at hand should be approached with the same capitalistic principles that have a proven track record of success: tax cuts for both individuals and businesses and less legislation that restricts business. Complicated and temporary tax "credits" or "checks" do nothing for the long term.
It appears that Senator Demint has an interesting proposal: the American Option. Please look into this and other options instead of a bill that will cripple our country's economic future. For instance, I am aware that the House Republican Study Committee proposed a much more effective and long lasting tax program as a true economic stimulus.
I hope that you and other Senate Republicans (and possibly Democrats) will stand up for what is right for the nation and fight this bill.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
50 De-Stimulating Facts
Chapter and verse on a bad bill.
By Stephen Spruiell & Kevin Williamson
I highly recommend reading... or at least skimming. This offers another break-down of all the miscellaneous items included in the proposed so-called "stimulus" package (which seems more and more to have less to do with stimulating the economy, and more and more with spending into oblivion).
Speaking of spending, does anyone wonder where this money is coming from? Easy answer: we are simply printing more...
Problem? When does money begin to lose value? If China and Japan decide they are no longer interested in buying our debt (that's what happens now) will we just print the billions that are necessary for this proposed package?
Please see the graph:
Notice that the sharpest spike in the amount of money in circulation is merely in the past 6 months?
Believe me... this is a problem.
I am presently finishing composing a letter to my Senators (Cornyn and Bailey-Huchison). I will post here when it is sent, in case you would like to "borrow" it and send it yourself, too.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
And I'm not being some "alarmist," this is included in our fancy, new stimulus package!
"Training Primary Care Providers: $600 million to address shortages and prepare our country for universal healthcare by training primary healthcare providers including doctors, dentists, and nurses as well as helping pay medical school expenses for students who agree to practice in underserved communities through the National Health Service Corps."
pg 10: http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/PressSummary01-15-09.pdf
Now, as lovely as the whole Universal Healthcare thing sounds to some, or how beautifully it is sold to us by our ever so trustworthy politicians, I just can not bring myself to trust my HEALTHCARE to the people that can't seem to figure out: how to improve roadways in a timely/effective manner or how to track billions of bailout dollars given away within the past 6 months.
Are there problems with the current American healthcare system? Of course!
Is putting the government in control going to magically fix it? Of course not!
While it doesn't often seem to make our front page, many countries are having problems with their wonderful universal healthcare programs. I believe it was in England that I recently heard they were beginning to privatize some hospitals, as the government ones could not handle the load on their own. I'm just not very fond of the idea of working (albeit not currently), then having to wait in line behind some loser who choses not to work and chooses not to take care of themself just for regular healthcare, or more pressing procedures and care!
Once again, those who speak in fear of "big brother" are encouraging and perpetuating the "nanny state."
Personally? I think we should consider illegalizing health insurance. Outrageous charges and insurance costs drive up the cost of healthcare for everyone. If we all were actually just working on the power of the dollar capitalism, could, once again, fix this.
(for the record, this is coming from someone who may very soon not have health insurance)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This legislation does follow the one financial principal we are all aware of: spend yourself out of debt. Right? I mean, in what reality does that actually work? "I can't afford my bills this month, so I'm going to go hit the mall, then all my problems will be solved!" That is the logic our government is currently using.
Personally, I have already called my 2 U.S. Senators (Cornyn and Hutchison) and my 1 U.S. Representative (Granger) and left messages regarding the Pres. Obama Stimulus Package: DELAY A VOTE or VOTE AGAINST IT!
Obama Stimulus Package Breakdown
January 26, 2009 - 11:16 ET
What is the money being spent on-general breakdown between infrastructure, tax cuts, etc…?
Some highlights of the package, by the numbers:
• $825 billion total (as of 1/15/09)
• $550 billion in new spending, described as thoughtful and carefully targeted priority investments with unprecedented accountability measures built in.
• $275 billion in tax relief ($1,000 tax cut for families, $500 tax cut for individuals through SS payroll deductions)
• $ 90 billion for infrastructure
• $ 87 billion Medicaid aid to states
• $ 79 billion school districts/public colleges to prevent cutbacks
• $ 54 billion to encourage energy production from renewable sources
• $ 41 billion for additional school funding ($14 billion for school modernizations and repairs, $13 billion for Title I, $13 billion for IDEA special education funding, $1 billion for education technology)
• $ 24 billion for "health information technology to prevent medical mistakes, provide better care to patients and introduce cost-saving efficiencies" and "to provide for preventative care and to evaluate the most effective healthcare treatments."
• $ 16 billion for science/technology ($10 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation; $6 billion to expand broadband to rural areas)
• $ 15 billion to increase Pell grants by $500
• $ 6 billion for the ambiguous "higher education modernization."
[Source: Committee on Appropriations: January 15, 2009]
Here is a further breakdown of the package:
NOTE: The following are highlights of the package; for the full 13-page summary from the Appropriations Committee, click here:
(as of 1/15/09)
$32 billion: Funding for "smart electricity grid" to reduce waste
$16 billion: Renewable energy tax cuts and a tax credit for research and development on energy-related work, and a multiyear extension of renewable energy production tax credit
$6 billion: Funding to weatherize modest-income homes
Science and Technology
$10 billion: Science facilities
$6 billion: High-speed Internet access for rural and underserved areas
$30 billion: Transportation projects
$31 billion: Construction and repair of federal buildings and other public infrastructure
$19 billion: Water projects
$10 billion: Rail and mass transit projects
$41 billion: Grants to local school districts
$79 billion: State fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid
$21 billion: School modernization ($15.6 billion to increase the Pell grant by $500; $6 billion for higher education modernization)
$39 billion: Subsidies to health insurance for unemployed; providing coverage through Medicaid
$87 billion: Help to states with Medicaid
$20 billion: Modernization of health-information technology systems
$4.1 billion: Preventative care
$43 billion for increased unemployment benefits and job training.
$39 billion to support those who lose their jobs by helping them to pay the cost of keeping their employer provided healthcare under COBRA and providing short-term options to be covered by Medicaid.
$20 billion to increase the food stamp benefit by over 13% in order to help defray rising food costs.
*$500 per worker, $1,000 per couple tax cut for two years, costing about $140 billion.
*Greater access to the $1,000-per-child tax credit for the working poor.
*Expansion of the earned-income tax credit to include families with three children
*A $2,500 college tuition tax credit.
*Repeal of a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time.
*An infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two.
*Bonus depreciation for businesses investing in new plants and equipment
*Doubling of the amount small businesses can write off for capital investments and new equipment purchases.
*Allowing businesses to claim a tax credit for hiring disconnected youth and veterans
[Sources: Associated Press: Highlights of Senate economic stimulus plan; January 23, 2009; WSJ: Stimulus Package Unveiled; January 16, 2009; Committee on Appropriations: January 15, 2009]
When is the money being is going to be spent, and on what?
The government wouldn't be able to spend at least one-fourth of a proposed $825 billion economic stimulus plan until after 2010, according to a preliminary report by the Congressional Business Office that suggests it may take longer than expected to boost the economy. The government would spend about $26 billion of the money this year and $110 billion more next year, the report said. About $103 billion would be spent in 2011, while $53 billion would be spent in 2012 and $63 billion between 2013 and 2019.
• Less than $5 billion of the $30 billion set aside for highway spending would be spent within the next two years, the CBO said.
• Only $26 billion out of $274 billion in infrastructure spending would be delivered into the economy by the Sept. 30 end of the budget year, just 7 percent.
• Just one in seven dollars of a huge $18.5 billion investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs would be spent within a year and a half.
• About $907 million of a $6 billion plan to expand broadband access in rural and other underserved areas would be spent by 2011, CBO said.
• Just one-fourth of clean drinking water projects can be completed by October of next year.
• $275 billion worth of tax cuts to 95 percent of filers and a huge infusion of help for state governments is to be distributed into the economy more quickly.
[Note: The CBO's analysis applied only to 40 percent of the overall stimulus bill, and doesn't cover tax cuts or efforts; a CBO report outlining all of its costs is expected in the next week or so.]
• The Obama administration said $3 of every $4 in the package should be spent within 18 months to have maximum impact on jobs and taxpayers; if House or Senate versions of the bill do not spend the money as quickly, the White House will work with lawmakers to achieve the goal of spending 75% of the overall package over the next year and a half.
[Source: AP: Three-quarters of stimulus to go in 18 months; January 22, 2009; Bloomberg News: Much of Stimulus Wont Be Spent Before 2011, CBO Says; January 20, 2009; link]
Who will be spending the money? Will the states be receiving any money to spend, community organizations? Churches?
The economic stimulus plan now moving through Congress would shower billions of federal dollars on state and local governments desperate for cash:
• The House stimulus bill includes an extra $87 billion in federal aid to state Medicaid programs.
• It allots some $120 billion to boost state and city education programs.
• There's $4 billion for state and local anticrime initiatives in the legislation, not to mention $30-plus billion for highways and other infrastructure projects.
• $6.9 billion to help state and local governments make investments that make them more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.
• $87 billion to states, increasing through the end of FY 2010 the share of Medicaid costs the Federal government reimburses all states by 4.8 percent, with extra relief tied to rates of unemployment.
• $120 billion to states and school districts to stabilize budgets and prevent tax increases and deep cuts to critical education programs.
Overall, about one-quarter of the entire $825 billion recovery package would be devoted to activities crucial to governors, mayors, and local school boards - making them among the plans biggest beneficiaries.
[Sources: Committee on Appropriations: January 15, 2009; Reuters: Roads, energy, states win in US stimulus plan;15 January 2009; Christian Science Monitor: States to win big in stimulus sweepstakes; House bill allots almost one-quarter of the $825 billion recovery package to states, localities. How will that boost the economy?; January 25, 2009; Link]
But wait... there's more!
Let's put this in perspective...
More Stimulus Proposal Facts
January 26, 2009 - 11:16 ET
Total Cost of Stimulus Legislation: $825 billion
How does this compare?
[Source: QUICK FACTS ON THE DEMOCRAT STIMULUS PROPOSAL; January 15, 2009]
• In 1993, the unemployment was virtually the same as the rate today (around 7%). Yet, President Clinton’s proposed stimulus legislation *only* contained $16 billion in spending
• The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.
• This legislation nears a trillion dollars. President Reagan said the best way to understand a trillion dollars is to imagine a crisp, new stack of $1000 bills.
• If you had a stack four inches high, you’d be a millionaire. A trillion-dollar stack of $1000 bills would measure just over 63 miles high.
• In $20 bills, a trillion dollar stack would be 3150 miles high. That’s about the distance between DC and Trujillo, Peru.
• President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save 3 million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $42,000 a year.
• This bill provides enough spending to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.
• This bill will cost each and every household $6,700 in additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.
• Although this legislation has been billed and described as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, but only three percent ($30 billion) of this package is for road and highway spending.
• Much of the funding within the proposed stimulus package will go to programs which already have large, unexpended balances.
• For example, the draft bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which already has $16 billion on hand.
• And, this year, Congress has plans to rescind $9 billion in highway funding that the states have not yet used.
• Deficit spending will not expand the economy. If that were true, then the current $1.2 trillion deficit -- the largest in history -- would already be rescuing the economy.
• $800 billion more will not change that.
• Trade groups state that every $1 billion in highway “stimulus” can be spent creating 34,779 new construction jobs.
• But Congress must first borrow that $1 billion out of the private sector.
• The private sector then loses or forgoes roughly the same number of jobs.
• Japan responded to a 1990 recession by passing 10 “stimulus” bills over 8 years (building the largest national debt in the industrialized world). Their economy remained stagnant and their per capita income went from the second highest in the world to the tenth highest.