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Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

I haven’t been posting regularly here for over a week.  Part of this is just personal things that have been taking up my time.  But mostly it’s because of the nature of the news.  And it’s not because we’re having a slow news cycle, but because the news is so overwhelming.

You know when you face some daunting task, like cleaning out the garage, you may open the door, survey the mess and simply close the door and walk away.  You just don’t even know where to begin.  The news has been like that lately.  I just don’t know where to begin.  So I close the door and walk away.  But that doesn’t get us anywhere.  We need to be vigilant.  So it’s time to catch up.

There was a story about two weeks ago, that didn’t get a lot of notice.  It was about how the Veteran’s Administration is over budget and behind schedule on multiple construction projects.

The Government Accountability Office released a report showing that many of the VA’s construction projects were years behind schedule and their cost overruns were at $1.5 billion.  One example given was a medical center in Aurora, CO.  The medical center was originally scheduled to be completed and opened in 2008 at a cost of $200 million.  It’s still not done.  The GAO report says it will be complete in 2015 at a cost of $800 million.

The contractor however, projects it will open in 2016 at a cost of $1 billion.  The contractor blames the delays and costs on multiple changes the VA has requested to the original plan.  I find no information about anyone being held accountable for any of this.

And that lack of accountability is what is so emblematic of Washington in general.  For me, this story is like a microcosm of all that’s wrong with our federal government.  The GAO, the Government Accountability Office, really isn’t holding anyone accountable.  They simply do the math and supply the information.

The contractor is most likely correct, and the changes made by the VA are to blame.

The VA released a statement that says, “The Department has taken measures to implement recommendations from the Government Accountability Office through several initiatives to improve the scope, cost and schedule information of major construction projects.”

Hmmm, yeah, that ought to fix it.

Congress approves the money for all this and has real oversight authority.  But it is clear that oversight was not exercised here.  And to be fair, how can they know about something like this in time to put a stop to it?  There are thousands of projects just like this going on at any given time.  How would they ever keep an eye on all of them?

And that’s the point.  Our tax dollars are being spent by federal bureaucrats who have no incentive to spend them wisely.  There is no penalty FlushingMoneyfor waste and corruption and no one is held responsible.

No one is watching them.

Only when a project goes bad enough to get some attention from the media, does anyone in Washington even raise an eyebrow.  They are always reacting to bad news, never watching to prevent that bad news.

They can’t.  It’s all just too big.   Our federal government has grown into something it was never intended to be, something that no one can control, not even our elected leaders in Congress.  It rolls along, devouring our tax dollars in a way that would never be tolerated in the private sector where people are made to answer for their mistakes and their employment is on the line.

As I said, this story didn’t get a lot of attention.  It was around for a day or so, and then everyone moved on.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s because we’ve become accustomed to being outraged by dollar amounts counted in trillions.  Millions, even billions no longer get our attention.

Maybe it’s because we’ve grown so accustomed to corruption and out of control spending from the federal government that we’re just not surprised by a story like this one.

Maybe we’re just tired – tired of our demands for quality leadership and accountability falling on deaf ears.

-Kathy

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On Tuesday, President Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, gave us a peek into what the president would focus on in his current campaign tour.

Phony scandals?  Surely Carney was joking.

But he wasn’t.  Phony is exactly what Obama said the next day in an otherwise snoozer of a speech at Knox College in Illinois.

He took a lot of heat for the line.  But just to be sure that no one got the wrong idea and wouldn’t assume he just chose his words poorly, he doubled down and repeated the charge yesterday while speaking to another handpicked crowd of adoring fans.

Like so many others, I’m still picking my chin up from the floor and wondering which scandals he’s referring to.  Is he talking about Border Agent Brian Terry, who was killed with a Fast and Furious gun?  Or the hundreds of Mexican citizens who were killed with those guns?  Are they phony?

Or could he be talking about the four Americans murdered in Benghazi?  Are they phony?

Maybe he meant the hundreds of conservative groups systematically targeted illegally by the IRS and prevented from participating in our political system for two election cycles.

Or perhaps he meant the reporters whose phone records were “obtained” by the Justice Department.  Maybe he meant James Rosen, the FOX News correspondent who the same Justice Department falsely named as a co-conspirator in an espionage case in order to obtain access to his phone and email accounts.

Perhaps he meant the revelation that the NSA is collecting data on each and every one of us, storing it all away for some yet undisclosed purpose in the future.

Are these all phony?

Who paid any price for the death of Brian Terry?  Who has paid for the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty or Ty Woods?  The only person jailed was the guy who made the video.  Who ordered that video be used as a cover-up?  Talk about phony baloney.

Who’s investigating the IRS?  The American citizens who testified before Congress about how they were targeted and abused say no one from the FBI or anyone else has contacted them.

I’m angry.  Really angry.  All around me, I see the lives of Americans being destroyed.  Good, decent, hard-working people who have played by the rules all their lives are losing their jobs, their businesses, their homes and their life savings.

What’s being done about it?  Arrogant, overpaid bureaucrats hide behind their “rights.”

LoisLerner

Lois Lerner

Except for a tiny handful of decent men and women, members of Congress go along to get along, spending borrowed money we can never repay, and covering up for the most outrageous and criminal behavior of those in positions of power.  Their number one concern is getting re-elected and staying on the gravy train of taxpayer dollars.  Meanwhile, they preach to the rest of us, call us cowardly racists and just too simple-minded to understand their grand plan.

Our president sneers at our complaints, and with his signature smirk he labels them phony.  He dismisses us and swats us away as one would a gnat on a hot summer day.

It’s spiraling out of control now folks.  Nothing is being done about any of this.  They’re simply waiting us out.  They’re waiting until we get tired of asking for answers and action.  Obamacare will soon hit us and that will do the job.  As we all watch our healthcare system implode and find ourselves with little access to medical care we’ll realize that they even have the power to take away our health.

What’s happening is all very real.  And a real price will be paid by real Americans.

They only things that are phony are the hollow words coming from our leaders.

-Kathy

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I think it’s important that we all start from the same place.  The implementation of Obamacare was never meant to run smoothly.  The objective has always been government-run healthcare.  That was the starting point and everything else about the law works backwards from there.

While the world has been fixated on the Zimmerman trial, the U.S. government has been humming along, mostly unnoticed.  Over the long Fourth of July weekend, the Obama administration quietly announced that it would not enforce the part of the Obamacare law that requires employers to provide coverage for their workers.  The law says that this is to go into effect in a few months but as other sections of the law are not on schedule, companies are unable to comply.

So, the administration said, “Well, never mind for now.  We’ll just wait until next year.  We won’t enforce the penalties for now.”  We’ve all grown accustomed to this administration cherry-picking laws or parts of laws it likes to enforce, and ignoring those it doesn’t.  This is nothing new.

But a lot of people wanted to know if individuals (you and me) would get the same consideration as the business owners.  If we don’t have health insurance will our penalties be waived too?

“No, no, no,” said the administration.  “Your penalties will stay in place.  But here’s what we will do for you.  If you can’t afford insurance, just apply for a government subsidy.  We won’t check to see if you are truthful on your application.  We won’t check to see if you actually qualify.  We’ll just give you the money.  We trust you.  No one ever fibs to get a government handout, right?”

So why would they do this?  Fair question.

To get people on the gravy train.

It’s a sad fact that once entitlements are in place and people are dependent on them, they never go away.  It’s nearly impossible to even make adjustments to these programs.  See what happens to any politician who suggests changes to Medicare.

What is most important to supporters of Obamacare is to get people into the program as quickly and in as large numbers as they can.  They need to have people dependent on the program so it can never be repealed.

When it was passed, Obamacare looked like this.

Obamacare2

At last count it had grown into this.

Obamacare7foot

And they still haven’t finished writing the regulations.  Who the heck can even know all that’s in there?  And why would sane, thinking people even try to implement such a monster?

Go back to the starting point.  The objective is government-run healthcare.  All that talk about keeping your doctor and your insurance if you like them was nonsense.  The size and scope of the law was designed to destroy our private healthcare system by strangling it with regulations and making it unaffordable.  Eventually it will collapse.  And frightened people will run to the government for help – right into the open arms of bureaucrats just waiting to sign us all up for universal Medicaid.  We all end up at the mercy of our leaders to dish out our medical needs as they see fit.

The administration’s decision to ignore Obamacare’s mandate on business owners for another year is a political move, designed to ward off the mess until after the next election so low information voters won’t see it until it’s too late.  The vote last night of the Republicans in the House to give the same exception to individuals is the predictable, political counter-move.

But in the big picture, the implementation of Obamacare is moving along right on schedule.  There has never been any concern on the part of its supporters about any of this.  Whatever mess is made, purposefully or by chance, is part of the plan.  Our current healthcare system must be destroyed.  Those of us who fear government healthcare must be left with no place else to go.

And it’s all falling right into place.

-Kathy

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FoundingFathers

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

So begins our Declaration of Independence.  It goes on to list the Colonies’ grievances against the King of England and ends with these words:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

 And so they did.  56 men signed The Declaration, and in doing so, committed treason against England, the most powerful nation on Earth at the time.

It’s hard to imagine such courage in today’s America.  And it’s sad to watch American citizens give away their freedoms, handing them over to government in exchange for false promises of security or for wealth that that same government confiscated from another American, when our history is filled with brave men who so loved liberty, they put their lives on the line for it.

Today is a good day to reflect on our foundation and on the wisdom and courage of the men who crafted it for us.  So I’ll apply a little guilt – I’m sure you can find five minutes in between the fireworks and hotdogs to actually read The Declaration of Independence, and appreciate in full what we celebrate today.

-Kathy

Read Declaration of Independence here

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Last night, the Treasury Department (the soon-to-be enforcers of our healthcare) posted an announcement on their website about Obamacare.

“The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.”

Everyone has been scrambling, trying to figure out how to comply with the law and come up with the money to pay for that compliance, with little direction from the government that imposed it on us.  Implementation is just months away and no one seems to know what to do.  The exchanges promised by the government are still not set up and the law is still being written, as so much was left by Congress to be up to the “discretion” of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.

It’s contributing to unemployment, as companies large and small look for ways to avoid being penalized.  The nation is engaged in a giant game of hot potato.  No one wants to get stuck paying the bill.

The Obama administration, who have loudly been touting Obamacare as “the law of the land,” now seems like it doesn’t want to comply with it either.  Everyone, including some on the left, are calling the entire thing a “trainwreck.”    So, as has become a habit now, the administration is picking another portion of another law that it doesn’t like and announcing that they simply won’t enforce it.

Businesses are to get a free ride for another year.  We won’t have to watch that trainwreck happen, at least not now, not until 2015, at which time the administration says it will enforce the law.  Now, what happens in November of 2014, right before all this?

Think, think, think….

Oh yeah!  Midterm elections!

The left is hoping to take back the House and retain the Senate next year.  But if voters actually see Obamacare in practice, that is simply not going to happen.  Obamacare is such a disaster that the democrats know they will lose even the low information voters who still believe they are going to get super-deluxe healthcare that someone else is going to pay for.  Remember, not a single republican voted for Obamacare.

My own personal opinion is that President Obama and his close, inner circle don’t really care about any of this.  They are content to ride out the minutia and the day-to-day issues in favor of their larger plan.  These are book people.  They are academics and idealists.  Like their foreign policy, all this works out great on a blackboard and in the faculty lounge discussions.  They peer down their noses at those of us who point out the faults of their plans.

It doesn’t much matter to them that Americans are suffering because the country has no direction and the rest of the world is spinning out of control.  It works in their books and so they know in their minds, that it will eventually work in practice if they just get rid of the opposition and give it enough time.  This is naïve at best and insane at worst.

We are living their dream.  We are their guinea pigs.  We are their experiment in progressive ideology.  They are rich and insulated and will pay no price when all this crumbles.  That will be left to us also.

So if they have to put off their grand plan for another year to placate some members of Congress and deceive voters just a little longer, it’s no big deal.  It’s a small price to pay to see their lifes’ work implemented, and their progressive dreams imposed on us all.

-Kathy

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cri-sis – noun:  a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.

We certainly have our share of crises going on in America.  Real unemployment remains in double digits as Americans continue to lose their homes and their savings.  We have an alphabet soup of scandals coming from Washington as members of the Obama administration dodge and weave questions, offer the “least untruthful” answers, plead the Fifth or simply hide behind executive privilege.

The wheels are coming off the Middle East and we are up to our eyeballs there – seemingly with all the wrong players.  China continues to steal our technology and our military secrets.

We are just months away from implementing the major portion of Obamacare, the largest government program in our history, and the process for that implementation is still not in place.  Polls show that the majority of Americans don’t trust their government.

But have no fear!  The United States Senate is on the job!  They know that all these things are not what keep you up at night.  The big crisis, the one you are most concerned about, is that of our undocumented workers.  Your senator feels your pain.  He or she knows that you worry.  These people who have broken our laws, who sneaked into America uninvited are “living in the shadows.”

How do they do it?  How do they get through the day?  How can we make life better for them?

What a farce!

This “crisis” began 27 years ago, when our last amnesty kicked off the current wave of illegals crossing our border.  Suddenly it’s number one on our hit parade?

It’s a crisis because our elected leaders want it to be one.  And that’s just their first lie.  They are promising that this bill with finally give us border security.

Really?

If they are so interested in securing our border, why haven’t they done it already?  They have the power.  The primary function of the federal government is the security of the nation.  It’s their job.  They simply have to demand we enforce current law and fulfill their obligation to safeguard our sovereignty.  There is no need for a new law to do this.

They promise none of these illegals will receive government benefits.  Well, many of them are already receiving benefits.  Are we going to cut them off?  Imagine the media coverage of a poor mother with five young children who have been thrown out of their Section 8 housing and had their EBT card taken away.  Her children have been denied enrollment in public school and cannot seek medical treatment because they cannot pay.  With tears in her eyes, she pleads in her native language to the TV camera for help.

How long do you think it would take for politicians to revoke that promise?

Supporters also promise all these people will pay fines and become taxpayers.  Again, really?  These are low-skill workers, earning low wages.  Our system already has 47% who pay no income  taxes.  This will simply add more who not only don’t contribute, but take money out of the system in the form of child credits.

And once they are added to the gravy train, they will vote for more of the same (yes, they will be fast-tracked to voter registration) putting more strain on our lopsided system and drive us closer to bankruptcy.

All the while, no one will ask that they assimilate and more of our cities will become like Miami, where American citizens don’t speak the language and feel like they’ve stepped into a foreign country.

There is no crisis here.  It’s a fabrication of self-indulgent politicians who are either cultivating new voters or who are out to prove they’re not bigots.  The price for their self-indulgence will be paid by American citizens in the form of tax dollars, national sovereignty and our very culture.

-Kathy

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The federal government has been taking a tremendous amount of heat lately, much of it based on how badly they have treated people associated with the tea parties.  One might think that they would be very, very careful about how they treat such citizens at a time when they are under such scrutiny.

But one would be wrong.

It seems that the arrogance of our current administration doesn’t have boundaries.  This video is from a tea party protest in St. Louis last Tuesday outside the local IRS office.  It’s a bit long.  You don’t need to view the entire video, but I wanted you to see the people doing the protesting and those watching them.

Do those protesters look dangerous to you?  I see men in business suits, grandmas with walkers and pretty average, unthreatening folks.  But note who is watching over them – Department of Homeland Security’s federal police force.

It’s been reported that these police officers from DHS were at similar protests all around the country, many of them in plain clothes, moving through the crowds.

The DHS was presented to us 11 years ago as a means to consolidate intelligence gathering and protect our airports and our borders.  But look how this massive agency has grown and morphed.

Now they send these guys to watch over American grandmothers with walkers.

DHSPolice

While at our airports they send these guys

TSACrotchPerv

to watch for this guy.

BritTerroristThe TSA has grown so fast that many of those “agents” at our airports haven’t yet even been screened by the FBI.  We have no idea how many felons and convicted sex offenders are sexually molesting our grandkids at our airports under the cover of national security.  These “agents” have minimal training and those badges they wear are unearned.

Meanwhile, the actual trained law enforcement force they do have is sent out to intimidate American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights.

There’s something very, very wrong with this picture.  This is not the America of our Founders.

What more do people need to see in order to understand what’s going on?

-Kathy

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