Tag Archives: welfare programs

Obama-Legacy2

How Far Will You Go to Protect a Legacy? (Even a Bad One?)

In eleven days, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, thus ending the eight year tenure of Barack Hussein Obama.  It has become apparent that all thoughts and efforts, as of the November election, have turned to preserving the legacy of the outgoing 44th President.  Secondarily, it has become apparent that the Democratic party is also trying to preserve some kind of legacy.

What exactly is Barack Obama’s legacy going to be?

Obama Care?  (The Affordable Care Act that was not so affordable?)

Quadrupling the national debt to a staggering $20 trillion, plus or minus a few hundred billion?

Overseeing the military response to Benghazi?

The picture of American sailors on their knees after being captured by the Iranian navy?

The picture of him kissing the ring of the King of Saudi Arabia?

“If I had a son, he would be just like Trayvon Martin.”

Placing the most people in US history on welfare and food stamps?

Overseeing 19 million people leaving the US work force?

Help me out here!  I am trying to come up with something positive for POTUS 44 to hang his hat on, and I am coming up short.  He will be the first black President, but that is obvious and now I may be branded a racist for pointing out the obvious.  He may very well be the first Muslim President.  This has never been confirmed by the liberal-biased main stream media.  Of course, any media outlet that would have the cajoles to speculate about his religious preference would immediately be branded as ‘Islamophobic.’   Ah, but there is something that can be attributed to POTUS 44.  Political correctness!  We have now been inundated with people being black, gay, lesbian, illegal alien, transgender and a host of other things as not only being equal to the citizenry of the United States, but being special!  If you do not buy into that program, you are automatically branded as a racist, xenophobe, Islamophobic or any other of a myriad of phobias with negative connotations.  So, I, Grandpa T, hereby declare POTUS 44 as the President of Political Correctness.  Ta  da!  I knew I could come up with something positive.

But, with all the baloney aside, have you noticed the efforts on the part of Obama and the Democratic Party to save Obamacare?  Let me provide a little history for edification.  In 2009, immediately after being inaugurated, and with control of both the House of Representative and the Senate, the Affordable Care Act was rammed down the throats of the country.  It was not so much of an issue of being passed, but how it was passed.  It was passed without anyone knowing what was in it as it was almost 2000 pages long.  It was passed without any input by the Republican party, regardless if they had ideas that would have improved the bill or not.  It was passed by the Democratic Party without anyone  reading the bill.  Do you remember those infamous words of March 9, 2010 by the vaunted Nancy Pelosi?  “We will have to pass this bill to find out what is in it.”  Say what?  This is how government works?  Even at the time, I was shocked that so stupid a statement by Nancy Pelosi and so stupid an action by our Democratic controlled government took place.  Instead of ‘shoot first, and ask questions later,’ our Federal legislature decided to ‘enact first and work out details later.’  At the time of enactment, the Democratic Party basked in the glory of having taken total credit for the Affordable Care Act without interference or input from the opposing party.

Now comes the election of 2016 and with it comes the the victor, the future Non-Political Correctness POTUS 45, Donald J. Trump.  Donald, being a successful businessman by all measures, knows the Affordable Care Act is too costly for the users and it is just not working.  The promises made, such as lowering health care costs and being able to keep you present physician, turned out to be false.

So now we get to the legacy of what the current Democratic Party will have for now and in the future. That legacy will include being whiners, criers, divisive, counter-productive, poor losers and not being able to grasp reality.

Beginning with the Affordable Care Act, the Democrats are saying (even before Trump is inaugurated) that the Republicans do not have a plan. In reality, there are about 15 different plans floating around, and hopefully, there will be constructive discussion about what is the best and most affordable plan for America, utilizing the best from each plan including some parts of the original Affordable Care Act.  Of course, the Democrats do not want to replace the Affordable Care Act because they dubbed it Obamacare.  And, by totally repealing it as the Republicans have promised, would tarnish the largest part of the outgoing POTUS’s legacy.  I do not see the Republican controlled legislature replacing Obamacare without discussion and input from both sides….something the Democrats did not do in 2009.  But I would also like to point out that if the Democrats would have taken the time and effort to improve, read, and cooperate concerning the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, it would not have to be repealed today.  You screwed up…all to buy votes.

As poor losers, the Democratic party is going all out to purvey that Donald Trump’s presidency as not being legitimate.  They cannot believe, or get over the fact that their candidate is not being crowned ‘Queen Hillary the First’ in eleven days.  Never mind that she never campaigned in the formerly blue states because of over-confidence in winning them.  Never mind that her opponent made three times more speeches and campaign stops than she did.  Never mind that her campaign palaver was based on poor versus rich, common people versus large, evil corporations or that the common American could not survive without the interference and support of a bloated federal government.

But Hillary, here is where you lost the election.  95% of my and Grandma P’s friends and acquaintances are either college graduates or military veterans, or both.  90% of them supported Donald Trump.  And you, Hillary, from the view of your ivory tower, determined that you were omnipotent and were justified in calling us and our friends, deplorable and irredeemable, because we supported Trump. All of this from a woman whose husband was a draft dodger.  All of this from a woman that allowed four Americans to be murdered in Benghazi.  Who is deplorable now?

The Trump presidency will be considered illegitimate because Hillary won the popular vote.  Hillary did win the popular vote. (Thank God for the electoral college!)  But if you subtract the votes from one state, California, Trump wins 49 states and Hillary will be the ‘Queen of California!’  We need to take a closer look at California.  California has a Hispanic population of 14,990,000.  It has a Caucasian population of 14,920,000, 5,736,098 Asians, 2,552,858 blacks, and 648,172 American Indians.  This gives California a total population of 39,487,345.  But here is where it gets interesting.  34% of the United States population receiving welfare, live in California even though California accounts for only 12% of the total US population!  To simplify, there are 23,113,200 welfare recipients living in California…over half its population!  So, if you subtract the votes received from both candidates that were cast in California, Trump wins!  Now I am going to speculate and put myself out on the ‘xenophobic’ limb; how many illegal aliens do you suppose voted in California?  If the United States required voter ID’s to vote, such as the picture ID’s with thumb print and hologram as required in Mexico to vote, how do you think the vote total would change?  Hmmm. (California needs to re-think the idea of ‘sanctuary cities.’  Without federal aid, it would be bankrupt in seconds!)

I forgot.  The Russians are responsible for skewing the election to Donald Trump.  Even though the US intelligence community has said numerous times that the Russkies did not directly affect the vote total, that is not what the Democrats want to purvey.  Never mind that John Podesta’s email account password was, well, ‘password’.  Those darn Russkies released all kinds of unsavory things that skewered the election.  Unsavory Clinton foundation illegal foreign contributions?  Paid demonstrators to disrupt Trump rallies?  What were those Russkies thinking?

Did you know that there are efforts in five states to keep Trump off the ballot in 2020?  Yup. Maryland, California (no surprise there!), Maine, Massachusetts and New York are all trying to take his name off the ballot if he does not release his tax statements.  I never knew one’s tax statements were a condition of running for office.  Talk about sore losers!

Of course, in true whiner, crier, divisive and counter-production form, the Democrats are already toting that they will fight against any supreme court justice nominee, and play devil’s advocate and fight most cabinet nominee appointments.  None of this was done by the Republican party in 2009 after Obama was inaugurated, but the Democrats, with their addled thinking, are justifying why they will do it now.

So what has the Democratic party become?  Do you remember any riots, protests, movie star bad-mouthing, politicians swearing non-cooperation when the incoming Obama was elected in 2008?  No?  That’s because there weren’t any!  Bad behavior, lack of respect, the use by celebrities to use their station in life to exacerbate lack of respect, the promise of non-cooperation by politicians now in the political minority are only traits of today’s Democratic party.  That is what the ‘ivory tower’ attitude, justified in their own minds, Democratic party has become.  With all of the Democratic machinations that have taken place since the election, Hillary really needs to reevaluate who the ‘deplorable and irredeemable’ really are.  It’s you.  And this will be the Barack Obama and Democratic party legacy.

donald-trump

An Open Letter to President-Elect Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

Congratulations on your recent victory as the President-Elect of the United States of America.  I was one of your supporters from the minute you announced your candidacy.  Admittedly, I thought the winning ticket would be a Donald Trump/ Marco Rubio ticket.  I can see why, as a result of a very tumultuous and nasty debating season, you did not take Senator Rubio as your running mate.  I was not familiar with Mike Pence, but he is indeed the perfect person for the Vice President. Grounded, experienced, loyal and intelligent, he is everything a person could want as the Vice President.

I was your supporter from the beginning because I believe a businessman who could establish a successful financial empire is more qualified (and needed in this country!) than a slew of career politicians who seem hell-bent on destroying a perfectly good country and government.

You have had an excellent start on making America Great Again.  I agree with many of the efforts you have initiated and would like to add my two cents in hopes of making these positive changes for the good of our country.

Voter ID.  Could we please pass a law making it a requirement to present a valid photo ID to vote in a federal election?  In Canada, to be able to vote you must have: (1) A driver’s license, or, (2) A provincial or territorial ID card, or, (3)  Any other government card with your photo, name and current address.  But like the those shopping channels on television…..wait, there’s more!   To be able to vote in a federal election in Mexico, you must have:  (1) A government issued photo ID card with a thumbprint and an embossed hologram, and, (2)   All citizens are required to personally enroll and show proof of birth or citizenship, and, (3)  Applicants are required to personally return to collect their voting credentials.

Why do our neighbors have more practical, stringent and sensible federal voting requirements than our country, and yet at the suggestion of such requirements it is considered racist?  To not have ID requirements simply wholesales the value of our citizenship in comparison.  All those wars fought, all those battles won, and all those lives lost….all to protect our country, and yet, we allow people who do not share our values, who will never contribute to the well-being of this country, who are here to be takers and never contributors….to vote and sway our national elections.  A travesty by any measure.  Shame on us and our political leaders for allowing our democratic principles to be compromised and abused and degraded by the use of voter fraud.

Job Creation.  Keeping businesses in America, bringing new foreign businesses to America, and bringing off-shore American businesses back to America would create jobs for Americans.  Two things could be done to make this happen and to stimulate the economy.

First, cut the existing federal corporate tax rate in half.  The U.S. already has the highest corporate tax rate of the industrialized nations, and corporate taxes account for only 11% of all federal government tax receipts.  Individual income taxes are responsible for 47% of all federal government tax receipts, while payroll taxes contributed by employers and employees account for another 34%. Corporations are in the business of making money.  By allowing them to keep a larger share of their profits, they will purchase more raw materials, expand facilities and hire more employees….thereby increasing the amount of federal tax revenues from individual income tax payers because there will be more people working.  

I am sure you know that there are 112 million people working in the United States and 106 million receiving some form of government assistance?  Admittedly, some of the 106 million are social security recipients that have paid into, and are now collecting their benefits.  But, there are 90 million people capable of working that are not working, or at least they are not paying taxes.  That needs to change. Jobs need to be created, and the welfare system needs to be revamped.  You have made strides in that direction and I fully support those efforts.

Secondly, abolish the (Un)affordable Health Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.  Before the true expense of this program was known, employers were estimating that the cost would be 20%-25% of their total payroll expenses.  What did the employers do?  They quit hiring, began firing, or reduced working hours for their employees to 32 hours or less to avoid the burden of the program. This was necessary for businesses to remain competitive in the international marketplace, or go out of business.  This program, more than any other, has inhibited job and wage growth for Americans.

This program needs to be replaced with something that is affordable and practical for both the insureds and the insuring.  The federal government needs to get out of the health care business and let the bulk of this program rest on the shoulders of a competitive, free-market economy of insurance companies and health care providers.

Welfare Reform.  The largest single item in the U.S. budget is welfare.  The federal budget provides 75% of the funding for welfare programs.  The states provide 25% of the funding but are tasked to supervise the welfare programs in their respective states.  Unfortunately, even though there were laws passed during the Clinton administration limiting welfare to a five year term, most states conveniently ignore this law.  Why?  Because with the federal government footing the bulk of the cost, the states view this as another form of income for their state.  I would propose that the federal government reduce the amount of welfare payments to the states to an equal amount, cutting their 75% contribution by 2/3.  This would assist our federal budget and cause the states to be more prudent in their dispersal of welfare. (See Welfare Cost – The Big Gorilla in the National Budget, published 2/21/2013)

It is appalling that so many people included in the 106 million receiving federal government assistance have lowered their lifestyles to live solely on government assistance.

Term Limits.  The life expectancy during the times of our founding fathers in the 18th century was 35 years old!  To be 50 years old was considered to be a very old man.  Many of the original members of Congress served out of duty and patriotism, while at the same time making huge personal sacrifices.  Many of these people lost their businesses and homes because they were away tending to the needs of a new nation.  Needless to say, they did not ever foresee the eventuality of career politicians.

We all are aware of the disadvantages of having long-term career politicians.  Too much influence, too much money, too much campaigning, and too many lobbyists and personal interests.   Their primary concern is to get reelected and not necessarily what is ‘right for America.’  (Thus, one reason for your stunning victory, Mr. Trump.)

May I suggest that in the future, say 2028, all members of Congress are limited to 12 years of service.  Senators get two, 6 year terms and representatives get six, 2 year terms.  I would also like to propose that the Supreme Court justices be retired at age 70 or 72.  Here again, our founding fathers could not have known that we would let people ‘fossilize’ in place while serving on the Supreme Court.

Mr. Trump, if you can get legislation passed imposing future term limits, I would believe you could walk across Lake Okeechobee without getting your feet wet or without getting eaten by an alligator. Good luck with that.

The Wall.  I would like to point out that in 2014, over 47,000 Americans died of drug overdoses and over 35,000 were killed in traffic accidents.  Who would have thought that there would be more drug overdose deaths than those of autos?  Some of these drug deaths were because of the improper and illegal use of prescription drugs (opiates) and some from illegal drugs.  Whatever the reason, the bulk of the flow of illegal drugs in this country is coming from our southern border.  If it takes a wall to stop that flow, then that wall should be built.

Of course, we need to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.  If they are here with the best of intentions, then an application procedure needs to be established.  Because Mexicans require a photo ID with a thumbprint to vote, doing a background check should not be impossible.  It would not be surprising to learn that other Central/South American countries have similar ID’s. Unfortunately, many of the ‘border crossers,’ are here for nefarious reasons, or are unaccompanied minors.  Illegal immigrants involved with crime need to be sent back to their respective countries. If caught again, they need to be imprisoned.

Safety and Security.   Mr. Trump, the three classes of people that I hate the most are terrorists, murderers, and pedophiles.  I am personally not interested in ‘reforming or rehabilitating’ anyone accused of terrorism or murder.  I believe that capital punishment should come into play for these two crimes and the sentences should be carried out within a two year period.

I believe that anyone charged with killing a policeman, fireman, or medical rescuer should be given the death sentence.  I believe that any terrorist that kills an American should be given the death sentence.  I cannot think of a punishment cruel enough for a pedophile, but I suppose we would have to settle for incarceration.  After all, what kind of society have we become if we cannot protect our children.

The military needs to be expanded and updated to meet the challenges of our potential enemies. Whether we want to recognize the threat or not, both Russia and China have greatly expanded their military presence and have used them for expansionist purposes.  The goal of Russia is to put together the old USSR as much as possible beginning with the invasion of the Ukraine.  The Chinese are saber rattling and expanding by making strategic artificial islands in the South China sea.

Does anyone know for sure the real ambitions of Iran or North Korea?  Both have threatened with the use of missiles and nukes.

These are just a few of the problems to be faced with your upcoming administration.   There are many more.  So far, you have done an amazing job of cabinet selection.  Surrounding yourself with the best and the brightest should make your job easier and make for a better America.  I apologize for not writing sooner, but it took me a month to sober up from your victory party!

God Bless America.

Respectfully,

Grandpa T

 

 

 

Proud-American

Foreign Cruiser Opinions about the United States

I have been remiss about addressing the questions, concerns and opinions of our fellow, foreign cruisers about the good old United States of America.  Most of the people we have interfaced with have either been from the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada.  There are many people from other countries, but it appears we are drawn to the people from the English speaking countries.  Speaking of which, I perfectly understand the Canadians and Australians, but those people from the United Kingdom are difficult for me to understand.  Is that really English?  Do the people of Scotland really speak English?

Anyway,  here were some of the topics discussed during our recent cruises by our foreign friends.

Guns and Violence

Glen and Willene were a very pleasant couple from Canada.  They sat at the adjacent dinner table for about five weeks during our recent South America cruise.  Willene, being the strong minded and opinionated person that she is, was appalled by Americans owning so many guns and the gun violence in America.

So, Willene, this is for you.  When America gained its independence, they got it from Great Britain.  At the time, Great Britain was ruled by a dictatorial meanie named King George III.  After winning this war, (with the use of guns) the biggest concern was that we did not form a government that would allow a dictatorial meanie to rule the new America.  The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1789.  Federalists claimed that the new government would only have limited powers expressly delegated to it.  This wasn’t enough assurance for anti-federalists like George Mason.  These anti-federalists wanted explicit guarantees to certain rights in order to prevent any potential encroachment by the federal government on state or individual rights.  Mason wrote:  “A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural , and safe defense for a free State.”

The Second Amendment was specifically included in the Bill of Rights to prevent this.

Currently, the population of the United States is approximately 330 million.  It is estimated that there are about the same number of guns in America.  I personally believe that gun estimate is low.  Coming from a Midwestern state, hunting was popular.  Most hunters had a gun for every hunting occasion.  (It is the same principle as women having shoes!)

We introduce guns to our children at the earliest age.  After all, once a child is done with a pacifier, a sippy cup or a play pen, you can easily find these items in a garbage can.  But you will never find a Colt, a Glock, or a Smith & Wesson in a garbage can!  In the age of technology, a handgun is very much like using a computer mouse…..just point and click!

OK, now that I have your attention, I will admit that I don’t think anyone needs an assault weapon.  I have never seen anyone hunt with an assault weapon.  Police and military – si.  Everyone else – no.

Being a country of armed citizens does have its advantages.  Japan decided not to invade the United States during WWII because they realized the populace was well armed.  Most of the people serving during the two World Wars in the 20th century from the USA were not strangers to weaponry.  I believe this can be said about Canada at the time, also.  This weaponry knowledge contributed to the winning efforts.

America is the third most populated country on the planet.  There are more people in the state of California (38 million)  than there are in the entire country of Canada (35 million).  Whereas a Canadian would have to travel hundreds of miles to commit a homicide, we Americans do not have any such restrictions!  One more thing…..which state in the US has the most concealed handgun permits?   Texas?  (the most logical choice) Oklahoma?  Arizona?  The state with the most concealed handgun permits is………….Florida, with over 1 million permits representing over 5% of the population.  You may want to remember that before raising a ruckus at Disney World.  Mickey could be packing heat!  Don’t even think about pinching Snow White!  The United States does not even crack the top ten for homicides per capita.

Because of our vast American movie and TV industry, it really does appear that everyone is murdering everyone else on a regular basis in America.   Just think of the most popular shows on TV: NCIS, NCIS New Orleans, Blacklist, Castle plus many more.  These are some of our favorite programs and they all are murder mysteries.  And……….the only way to have a murder mystery is to begin with a murder!  Unfortunately, this is what we are exporting to our foreign friends on TV.  We no longer have the once popular comedies and variety shows of my formative years.  It is murder shows and reality shows, with just a few comedies worth watching.

Movies?  We are already at Fast and Furious 7.  Most of our movies?  Murder. Sex. Violence.  How many parents would drop their children off at a movie theater today without knowing which movies were playing?  None.  But, this is what my parents did while I was growing up as our theater would not show anything not appropriate for all ages.

So, Willene, we are not all really killing each other off here in America.  But my offer to you still stands.   If you ever feel unsafe in Canada, you can come to our house.  We’ll protect you.

National Debt

Robert is a production manager for a company in Australia.  He was one of my smart trivia teammates.   He asked me, “How can America have such a huge national debt?”  What he really meant was, ‘How can we have such a huge national debt and survive?’  ‘How can we pay it off?

I explained that this is the first year of the Obama administration, when the Republicans gained control of both Federal houses, we have had a budget.  Harry Reed, as the Democratic gatekeeper to hell, vowed to never allow a budget bill to be presented to the US Senate for a vote.  He kept his word.  Now that Harry is no longer Senate majority leader, we surprisingly have a budget!

The majority of our budget is spent on social-welfare programs.  Medicare, Medicaid, Social security, Food stamps, welfare a hundred ways………take up the vast majority of Federal Government expense.  The military, the usual first target for budget cuts, takes up approximately 22% of our budget.

We will have to eliminate/reduce many welfare programs, revamp social security and address many of these dubious federal departments and policies.  This is going to take a strong willed POTUS and a strong willed Congress that will be willing to tackle these huge issues and finally, finally do what is right for America and for the future of America.  Paying off the debt?  Not during my lifetime.  Maybe my grandkids will see it.

America at War!

Rudy was from Canada, one of my trivia teammates, and totally against war.  The imposition was that America went to war.  Often!  Well, let me think.  Since 1900, we have only been in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan.  That’s not so bad for 115 years is it?  One war every 20 years.  That sounds about average.  Oh yeah, then there was occupation of Nicaragua (1912-1933), occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), occupation of Dominican Republic (1916-1924), Russian civil war (1917-1923), Bay of Pigs (1961), occupation of Dominican Republic II (1965-1966), Invasion of Granada (1983), Invasion of Panama ((1989-1990), Somali Civil War (1992-1994), Kosovo War (1999), Libyan civil war (2011), and military intervention against ISIS (2014-?).  Did I miss any wars, invasions or occupations?

What can I say?  Summer television reruns really suck and we need to keep our military in shape with practice.

Seriously, I agree with Rudy.  It would be a much more enjoyable world if there weren’t any more wars.   My sister-in-law joined some peace organization and asked me if I took offense to her membership, being that I was a retired military officer.  Here was my response.  “I absolutely support your efforts to achieve world peace.  I don’t know of one soldier that wanted to go to war to prove his manhood.  You have me convinced.  Now go convince our enemies.”  She was taken aback by my response.

So Rudy, you are correct about the United States becoming too involved in world affairs that result in military intervention.  But the world, in particular our allies, have thrust the mantle of world power on us, so we have become an easy target.

What concerns me more than the number of military interventions we have been in is this; who are our allies and who are our enemies?  Are we helping the dictator of Syria, Assad?  Who are the bad Muslim extremists?  Sunnis?  Shia?  Is Iraq our ally or are they going to do the guppy flop to Muslim extremism?  Nukes for Iran?  What is our stance concerning Israel?  I am totally confused as to what is our national policy and who are our enemies and friends.  In the meantime, we are still committing military resources all over the world.

So there you have it.  My thoughts and responses by three very intelligent people to three legitimate issues concerning our country.

Even though no one from the United Kingdom really expressed their opinions about the USA (I think they are still smarting from losing the Revolutionary War!), I very much admire them for one thing.  The political campaign season in the United Kingdom is 6 weeks long!  OMG!  Our next national election is still 18 months away and I am already suffering from sensory overload as to the potential bazillion candidates from each party.  Didn’t we learn anything from them?  There ought to be a law!

 

New Political Party

GRUMPY – The Party that Dwarfs all Others!

Sound the trumpets!  Hang the banners!  Unfurl the flags!  It is time to unleash a new political party in the United States.  Move over Democrats.  Tremble with fear Republicans.  The newest and greatest political party to appear in the history of the United States of America is making its debut!

The name?  Our new party is called  ‘Government Revisions Utilizing Many Practical Years’  party.  If you are having a difficult time remembering the name, it is perfectly acceptable to refer to the ‘party’ by its acronym.  We are the ‘GRUMPY’ party!

In lieu of having a donkey or an elephant as a mascot, we will use Grumpy from the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as our mascot.  Why?  First of all, Grumpy is a person, not an ass or a mammoth.  Secondly, Grumpy looks a lot like me and most of my readers, both in appearance and temperament!

Our party is founded on the basis and belief of ‘common sense.’  As the party chair, I make a motion that we accept the definition of common sense as follows:  Common sense is knowing the difference between right, wrong and stupid!  All in favor of accepting this definition signify by saying aye?  Opposed?  Motion carried unanimously!  (Could it get any easier?)

The GRUMPY party will now establish the party plank.  The following items have been submitted for the GRUMPY party plank.

Balance the budget,

Term limits,

Uphold the constitution

Support our military and law enforcement officials,

Stop illegal immigration,

Reduce corporate taxes,

Birth control,

Attack terrorism wherever it rears its ugly head,

Balancing the Federal Budget

Balancing the budget will never be an easy task, but it will always be a necessary one.  No other item poses as much of a threat to the US, or our way of life, than our mounting national debt.  We may think that external enemies are our largest threat, when in fact, it is our internal fiscal policies that will eventually have a greater and more devastating effect.

Social/welfare programs take up the largest share of our budget.  There are 79 welfare programs managed by the federal government!  These programs, in fiscal year 2011 cost America $717 billion!  Social security cost us $785 billion.  Medicare costs totaled $574 billion.  That accounts for $2.1 trillion of our $3.7 trillion total budget!  How can we afford this?  The short answer is that we can’t, so the government continues to borrow.  The current interest on this debt is about $260 billion every year.  This is the  interest cost during a time when the interest rates are historically low.  It is anticipated that, when the fiscal 2013 figures are released, all of these expenses will increase.

There was a ‘talking head’ on television yesterday that forewarned that at our current rate of government borrowing, and with interest rates expected to rise to a modest 6%, that by the year 2022, the interest rate costs on our growing debt will exceed $1 trillion!  That is only 8 years away!

Social Security, Medicare and the other welfare programs need to scrutinized and revamped or eliminated altogether.

Currently, the federal government pays 75% of the welfare costs, with the state governments paying 25% for the 79 programs that exclude Social Security and Medicare. The states provide the administration for these programs.  During the Clinton administration, there was a bill passed that put the limit for receipt of welfare to a 5-year term.  Do you think that is being enforced at the state level? Probably not, with the ‘big brother’ federal government footing 75% of the cost.  Our party plank proposes that the federal government cuts their welfare contribution for the 79 programs to $210 billion, which matches the states’ contribution.  That would save over $500 billion.  You can rest assured the state governments would become much more ‘efficient’ out of necessity.

Here are some suggestions for further reduction of government spending. We could eliminate most, if not all, of the czars.  We currently have 38 czars drawing salaries and employing their own staffs.  We could eliminate the Asian carp czar, bird flu czar, climate czar and the Great Lakes czar without much governmental degradation!  (Yes, these are real czars!) We could eliminate the Department of Education and the Department of Energy.  They are both unnecessary and were not a part of the administration until Jimmy Carter became POTUS. The country survived before their presence.

Term Limits

The GRUMPY party recognizes that balancing an inflated budget requires smart people with a sense of what is right for America.  Most of the people currently representing our electorate are more concerned with getting re-elected than with doing what is right for our country.  Thus the term limits.

During the early 90s, there was a groundswell movement to place term limits on our federal officials.  It was popular with the majority of the people in the United States, but it never became a law. Why?  Because the Supreme Court, that group of legal adventurers that do not have any term limits, determined that it was unconstitutional.

Grandpa T’s Rule Number 1:  Politicians are more concerned about getting re-elected than they are about doing what is good for the country.

We need to raise that groundswell again.  Additionally, we should put term limits on the Supreme Court.  They should not be allowed to fossilize while sitting on the bench!

Uphold the Constitution

Our forefathers agonized and debated over what would be in our Constitution.  They masterminded a document that has not only been a model for this country, but for other democratic countries that followed us.

So does it not appear that more effort is being placed on circumventing the constitution than on enforcing it?

Obamacare?  How exactly was that determined to be constitutional by the fossils, oops, I mean the Justices of the Supreme Court?  Politics!   You can imagine the pressure placed on these Justices to further this program because it would garner votes for the Democratic party.  It was another ‘feel good’ program that was not affordable and now appears to be unmanageable.  Remember, the Republicans have been strongly criticized for opposing this program.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have insured individual freedoms.  Yet, we have people continuously attempting to chip away at both in the hope of converting this country from a democratic nation to a socialistic nation.

The GRUMPY party position?  Defend and enforce the Constitution!

Support our Military and Law Enforcement Officials

The GRUMPY party supports our Military and Law Enforcement officials for all of the sacrifices that they have made to protect our country and to ensure our safety.

We, oftentimes, overlook the dangers that law enforcement faces.  I have known many people that were in the military but were also cops.  I have often said that I would rather be in the military, because you normally knew who the enemy was.  When you are a cop, the enemy looks just like anyone and could strike at any time without warning.  A routine traffic stop can turn into a policeman’s fatality.

If you don’t support these people, then imagine yourself in the position to replace them and do the job yourself.  You would appreciate their service all the more!

I find it interesting that our current POTUS has taken it upon himself to criticize the law enforcement community on numerous occasions.  Trayvon Martin and the current situation in Ferguson comes to mind. Aren’t the Secret Service basically policemen?  Isn’t their mission to protect and to serve? What would the POTUS do if they walked off the job?  Hmmmm.

Stop Illegal Immigraton

There are ways to become a legal US citizen.  It takes time and effort to become a legalized US citizen.

Allowing 10,000 illegals to cross the border every day is not the way to develop a stronger America.  Our southern border is so porous that it has been used by terrorists.  Many of these people are illiterate, diseased and of questionable character.  Yet, the POTUS has deemed “mean” the Republicans  that want to strengthen our southern border.

A policy that allows temporary work permits needs to be put in place.  The borders need to be regulated.

The GRUMPY party position is that we do not want people in this country whose first act was to commit a crime by entering it illegally.  There are laws and we need people to have the guts to enforce them.

Reduce Corporate Taxes

We exist in a global economy and yet we expect our corporations to compete globally  while paying the highest corporate taxes in the world.

The real way to strengthen our country, increase employment and expand our economy is through private businesses and corporations, not by increasing the size of government.   Corporate taxes represent about 16% of the federal taxes received.  That means that 84% come from working, tax-paying individuals.  Reduce corporate taxes and we will really stimulate the economy, not artificially stimulating the economy as the Federal Reserve has been doing.  Reagan did it.  Even JFK reduced corporate taxes to stimulate the economy.

Grandpa T’s Rule Number 2:  Corporations and businesses are in business to make a profit.

The GRUMPY party  supports cutting corporate taxes in conjunction with cutting government spending.

Birth Control

Here is the GRUMPY party’s most controversial position concerning birth control and abortion.  The GRUMPY party has decided not to have any position!

Yup.  As a man, I have never understood how something as personal as birth control and abortion have made it to the national arena.  Isn’t this a very personal item?

I have my opinions, but I also firmly believe this issue should be at the state governmental level or lower.  I would be perfectly content with allowing any woman to choose her own option concerning this matter.  As mentioned, I have difficulty understanding how this has been elevated to a national issue.

Terrorism

ISIS is a well funded, well organized terrorist group that has already killed Americans and is holding other Americans hostage.  Where did they get their money?  Which countries are giving them military and financial support?

Whether you call them ISIS, Hamas, Al Qaida or any of a number of other names, it all boils down to the same thing – they are all terrorists. They will kill innocent people without mercy.  They particularly relish nabbing and killing Christians or people of any religion that differs from their fanatical teachings.  They especially enjoy capturing American Christians, which equates to being a ‘terrorist twofer.’

The GRUMPY party position?  Kill and engage any terrorist organization that rears its ugly head. (I would like us to go to the sponsors of these terrorists, but I would sound like a warmonger if I were to say that Iran and Saudi Arabia would be prime suspects.  Saudi Arabia, you ask?  Remember, most of the 7/11 terrorists were Saudis.  Yet the POTUS knelt to kiss their king’s hand.)

There you have it.  We have launched a new political party and have established a party plank.  This is much more of an accomplishment than what has been done in Washington during the month of August.   I can hear the groundswell for GRUMPY party support gaining momentum as my fingers fly over the keyboard.  And just like the Russians invading the Ukraine, we launched our party during the Congressional summer recess and while the POTUS was golfing.

Sometimes, it is just too easy.

Welfare

To Earn or Not to Earn: That is the Question

Cutting lawns,

Planting and picking cucumbers,

Driving a farm tractor,

Washing cars,

Gardening,

Trapping gophers,

Baling hay……………………

These were the things I did to earn money, before the age of 17.

Let me elaborate on my money-making adventures.

I drove my first farm tractor at the age of 5, with adult supervision.  By the ripe old age of 6, I was driving by myself.  This was not uncommon in a Midwestern farming community.   My job was to drive a Ford Type N tractor at a speed of about one mile per hour while pulling a hay wagon.  My uncle, who was the farmer, and my grandfather would be walking on either side of the wagon, loading the hay bales that were baled earlier that day.  I mention the Ford Type N tractor because my uncle had two of them.  One was 14 horsepower and the other was 16 horsepower.  They were small tractors but were very common in the mid 50s. (Later in life, I owned a riding lawnmower with an 18 horsepower engine!)  We did not have any of those large Farmall, John Deere, or Massey Ferguson tractors like many of the local farmers.  We stuck with the Fords.

That was it.  I started my tractor driving career pulling a hay wagon.  Many of my first grade classmates were experienced at cultivating and plowing with the much larger tractors.  I was envious.   That was life in a farm community.  Everyone in the family pulled their weight and contributed.

My first dip into an entrepreneurial enterprise was trapping pocket gophers.  My grandmother taught me how to trap these malicious little rodents.

Here is how you do it.  First, you find a newer ‘gopher pile.’ This was not very challenging as there were plenty of them on our farm.  You brushed the dirt off the pile.  Then you prodded with a stick to locate the gopher hole.  This was indicated by softer dirt.   Once found, you used your hand to dig out the dirt until you found the tunnel.  If you were really lucky, you found a tunnel that was ‘T- shaped’.  If you were unlucky, you found the gopher!  I never did get bit in the thousands of traps I set.  You then scooped out dirt big enough for your trap at the intersection of the ‘T’.   You set and staked the trap and then covered the hole with sod and dirt so that no light shined into the tunnel.  That was it!

Later in the day, I checked all the traps.  If I was unlucky, I found a trap that had been snapped without the prized gopher.  If luck prevailed, a hissing rat-sized, bucked-toothed gopher was in the trap.  My Army entrenching tool quickly dispatched the ‘scourge of the farm.’  To prove that we had caught a gopher, the county required the front feet before paying the 20 cents per gopher.  The Army entrenching tool once again came in handy in cutting off the front feet.  I would keep these paws in a jar that was loaded with salt.  Once I had 25-30 gophers, I would collect my bounty.  Now that I think about it, no county representative ever counted my gopher feet.  They always paid for the number I said was in the jar.  Hummmmmmmmm……

I would have from 12-20 traps on my trap line.  I checked them at least twice a day.  Once a gopher was caught, I would have to reset the trap in another pile.  I would capture 6 to 10 gophers a day.  It would take me about 3 to 4 hours a day to do this trapping.  The more gophers I caught, the longer it took, and the more bounty I collected.  You could say I was a ‘commissioned’ trapper!  I was an experienced trapper by the time I was 8 years old.  Because I was so good, we virtually eliminated the farm gopher population, thus effectively putting myself out of business by the time I was 10!

Big Daddy G expected me to keep our lawn cut if I were to receive my 50 cent allowance.  I got that allowance every two weeks.  We had a 22″ push lawn mower which required the old style rope pull.  This had the exposed flywheel which would not pass any safety requirement today.  The real danger was snapping yourself in the face with that damn pull rope.  It happened many times.  Our lawn was over an acre and it took 8 hours to cut.   I started cutting the lawn at age 8.  I did this until I left to go to college.  Ironically, Big Daddy G bought a large riding lawn mower the very next week.  I cut other lawns for money as well.

(Amazingly, I drove tractors at the age of 6, and cars/trucks at the age of 13.  However, I could not have a bicycle until I was in the  fourth grade!  What’s up with that?)

I washed new cars at the local car dealership for $1.00 per hour.

I baled hay for other farmers for $1.00 per hour.

Another entrepreneurial venture was planting and picking cucumbers.  My grandmother and I planted and picked one acre of cucumbers.  To do this, the seed was gotten from the local ‘pickle merchant.’  Then a contract had to be signed stating that we would plant, care for and pick these cucumbers.  I signed my first contract when I was 13 and did it for 5 summers.  Grandma and I would go picking by 6:00 AM before the sun was high and the temperatures spiked.  We would pick half the field each day, every day for the entire summer.  It took about 4 hours a day.  You had to do this because if the cucumbers got too big, the amount paid went down significantly.  Those little jars of sweet gherkins that you buy for $3.00?  We got paid $6.00 for a hundred pounds of those.  We made money.  I would make about $400-$500 per summer.  This was huge earnings in the early 60s.

Once I was done with picking cucumbers every day in the late morning, there was time for trapping, baling, washing cars, gardening or whatever.  I had over half the working day left to make more money.

What lessons can be learned from all of this reminiscing?   Firstly, never be raised on a farm!  Just kidding, of course.  I would not change one thing about my youthful upbringing.

The lesson to be gotten is that ‘I never once got paid for something I did not do.’

With this in mind, why does this country still have so many people living on and receiving welfare benefits without doing one thing in return?  Why does this country have so many people receiving extended unemployment benefits without doing one thing in return?

It gores my bull (yup, we had cattle) when our Federal Government continually talks about reducing our military or social security, but never talks about cutting welfare!  Welfare in this country at the state and federal level costs this country over $1 trillion a year!  It costs the federal government over $750 billion.  The federal government has 83 different agencies to dispense welfare to targeted groups.  Does this appear to be ludicrous?

The military costs the federal government about $540 billion a year.  Social security costs about $725 billion, and medicare costs about $480 billion.  Welfare is the largest gorilla in the room, and it has increased almost 400% in the last 30 years.   Do we really want to reduce the military in light of what is happening in the Crimea with Putin attempting to replicate the old USSR, and with our continual terrorist threats?  Common sense tells me that this is dangerous.

President Clinton passed a law called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.  It put a cap on welfare payments of 5 years.  There were programs in place to educate and make these welfare recipients desirable employees.  This law was a great step in the right direction.   This is a law that exists in our great land, but it is not being enforced!  Over 20% of the people receiving welfare have been on much longer than 5 years.

I subscribe to President Reagan’s philosophy that the ‘best cure for welfare is a job.’

Why do we not require welfare and unemployment recipients to perform tasks in return for their government support?  With the aging of the population thanks to my generation of Baby Boomers, there are many tasks that could be performed.  Shoveling sidewalks or cutting lawns for the elderly.  Daycare services for working mothers.  There is no shortage of garbage in parks or trash along roadways or beaches.  I see convicts doing some of these items, why not welfare recipients and unemployment recipients?  Don’t want to work?  No benefits!

Unfortunately, our liberal representatives in Washington have provided a host of ‘designer benefits’ for their constituents.  Obama phones, Obamacare, extended unemployment benefits, extended food stamp benefits, voter privileges for convicted felons (Haven’t heard of this yet?  It is under consideration by our Attorney General. ) are all socialistic programs ‘designed’ to expand their base, thus keeping them in power.   It does not take a rocket scientist or a pickle picker to realize these people receiving benefits are not voting Republican.

People that are capable of working should be working.  From responsibilities of my youth, I obtained a work ethic and learned independence and responsibility.  Welfare and other government entitlements were never intended to become a lifestyle.   The unemployed certainly could learn the lessons of my youth.

Or, I could teach them how to trap gophers.