A military man’s take on a budget that stiffs vets while enriching illegal aliens

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicleThe new budget cuts pensions for vets, including those who were wounded while serving this country, while continuing unchecked the flow of money to illegal aliens.  We’re not shocked, because we’ve learned that, no matter how low our government goes, give it a day and it can go even lower.  The absence of shock, though, doesn’t insulate us from anger and disappointment.  I got the following from a friend who serves and I think it pretty much says everything that needs to be said on the subject:

So I signed a contract with the govt outlining what exactly I would get in exchange for my lifetime of service. Now the govt gets to change the deal yet I am expected to continue to hold up my end of the bargain.

The same government who is complaining about military “entitlements” eating us alive has no issue extending unemployment benefits at the drop of a hat. They also feel someone who has chosen a life of dropping fries and flipping burgers deserves a “living wage.”

Illegal immigrants crossing into USIn the end, those who have chosen a life of service and actually have contributed to society get a pay cut while the leeches and those with their hand out contributing nothing get a reward.

Also, John McCain is a dick. I would expect more support from a POW. This is the height of hypocrisy considering his political career is based on his military service, specifically time spent as a POW.

This entire issue smacks of disloyalty and is particularly galling to those of us who have spent a lifetime of loyal and faithful service.

Is Obama this disciplined and clever?

A friend wrote me about Mark Levin’s theory, and now you can read about that theory in this article:

According to sources in Congress and the White House, Barack Obama is preparing to usurp the Constitutional power of Congress to control the purse strings of the federal government. The Obama plan entails using the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to bypass Congress on the upcoming debt ceiling debate and unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress.

On Thursday Mark Levin cited several Congressional sources who have told him that Obama has no intention of negotiating with Congress on the debt, which is just under $17 trillion, the highest in U.S. history. When unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare are added in, the real debt is over $125 trillion — a figure so astronomically high that the country has no hope of ever paying it back. Uncontrolled spending has led the nation to this point.

According to Levin, Congressional sources say that Obama does not want any limits on his spending ability, in spite of the fact that the Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to control spending. Further, the use of the 14th Amendment to bypass Congress has never been done before. Thus, such an act would be an entirely new “interpretation” of the 14th Amendment and would raise a plethora of Constitutional issues concerning separation of powers.

Are we paranoid to believe this?  Or are we living in the zone of “even paranoid people have enemies?”  And if he does usurp the House’s power of the purse, do you think the House will respond with a bill of impeachment.

Frankly, when I read that Obama’s hyper-politicized Pentagon is set to court martial military chaplains who are continuing to perform mass, I begin to think that this administration is capable of anything.  (H/T:  Danny Lemieux)  Of course, this could be a hoax.  After all, there is a bill funding the military which would, presumably, keep those chaplains chaplaining.  Indeed, I can’t begin to imagine the outrage should the administration deprive troops of access to mass.

UPDATE:  The Anchoress, who knows these things, tells me that “The masses ARE going on at Quantico and rites like Baptism will go on too, but probably with outside priests or deacons which shouldn’t be a problem.  That press release was updated but apparently some didn’t get it.”

Lowering expectations in California

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article that both praises Governor Jerry Brown’s “balanced” budget and notes that California is in desperate financial shape.  Clearly, the Chron is lowering expectations in case Brown’s “balanced” budget doesn’t do what it promised.

The Chron is wise to keep its readers from getting too excited.  I heard from a fairly knowledgeable source that Brown achieved his balanced budget (a) by determining how much he wanted to spend and (b) by announcing that the amount he wanted to spend would be matched precisely by anticipated 2013 tax revenue.  The first number (spending) is real; the second number (expected revenue) is completely phony.  In other words, reasonable people can confidently assume that, by the end of 2013, California’s budget will be more out of whack than ever.

California-for-Beginners-copy

Which party is most likely to reverse course before we hit the economic iceberg? (Hint: it’s not the Democrats)

Danny Lemieux left a link to this video in the comments.  I think it deserves its own post.  You might also want to share it with your friends.  It’s studiously non-partisan, so one hopes it will make liberals thoughtful, rather than defensive.

Incidentally, if any of your liberal friends think the answer is just to tax the rich, Iowahawk already considered that possibility and concluded — based on actual math — that it can’t be done.

For those who panic when numbers show up, Bill Whittle made a nice video based upon the Iowahawk post:

Fool me once, shame on you….

In his most recent article at the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove explains in great detail how Barack Obama told quite obvious lies about the stimulus numbers, only to pretend now that he didn’t really mean what he said.  (That’s the lying pattern I’ve told you about.)  The American people were good and fooled.  The question, of course, is whether they’re going to let themselves be fooled again into believing Obama’s health care numbers:

This fits a pattern. The administration consistently pledges unrealistic results that it later distances itself from. It has gotten away with it because the media haven’t asked many pointed questions. That may not last as the debate shifts to health care.

The Obama administration wants a government takeover of health care. To get it, it is promising to wring massive savings out of the health-care industry. And it has already started to make cost-savings promises.

For example, the administration strong-armed health-care providers into promising $2 trillion in health savings. It got pharmaceutical companies to promise to lower drug prices for seniors by $80 billion over 10 years. The administration also trotted out hospital executives to say that they would voluntarily save the government $150 billion over 10 years.

None of this comes near to being true. On the promised $2 trillion, everyone admits that the number isn’t built on anything specific — it’s an aspirational goal. On drug prices, a White House spokesman admitted that “These savings have not been identified at the moment.” It is speculative that these cuts will actually be made, when they would begin, or whether they would reduce government health-care spending.

A month ago, I would have said that a compliant media would simply spin things for Obama again, with a credulous American public going along and footing the bill for its own destruction.  Despite the fact that the media is still shilling for Obama, at least as to the little things, I’m not absolutely sure that media members (who also pay taxes) are as willing to shill for the bigger things.  Two signs that they might not are Obama’s increasingly (and steadily) negative polling numbers, and somewhat belated articles from the MSM admitting that his budget numbers don’t add up.  I’m not dancing jigs yet, especially with that “60″ in the Senate, but I’m allowing a faint hope that the juggernaut might be slowing down.

Cognitive dissonance at the AP

Zhombre alerted me to the AP’s problem when it tries to balance its story line (Obama good) with the facts, whatever they happen to be.  Here’s the question Zhombre asked:  “It there some dissonance between the first and second sentences or it is me?  Does the AP lead completely contradict what Senator Gregg actually said?”  I’d answer “yes.”  How about you:

The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee says the Obama administration is on the right course to save the nation’s financial system.

But Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire also says President Barack Obama‘s massive budget proposal will bankrupt the country.

Government views Americans as endless cash supply

I like the way Drudge tends to snapshot trends.  Here’s an interesting one, considering the looming deficits federal, state and local governments face:

What’s missing from the above list, of course, is CUTS.  Lawmakers are figuring out as hard and as fast as they can ways to drain more money from the taxpayers.  The one thing they seem incapable of doing, at any level, is cutting spending.  I’ve mentioned before that government is the only entity that, when deep in debt, can constantly demand more money instead of putting itself on a budget.  The above Drudge snapshot is a revealing insight into how we’re going to be sucked dry.  Government is busy trying to kill the taxpaying geese that lays golden economic eggs and, to switch sayings mid-sentence, once we’re dead, it will still try sucking monetary blood from taxpayer rocks.  Bleh!

This is what happens when taxes go up

I suspect that, once Obama starts raising taxes, buyer’s remorse is going to set in with incredible speed.  This article focuses on the local economy, but is a harbinger of what will happen when taxes go up on a larger, national scale:

A temporary 1.5 percentage point sales tax increase proposed Thursday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to deal with the state’s worsening fiscal crisis comes just two days after Marin voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax increase for passenger rail service.In San Rafael, it would push the sales tax to 10 percent.

“The timing is terrible,” said Lise Sonnen, owner of Sonnen BMW in San Rafael. “Chevrolet across the street is in Chapter 11. All their new cars are gone. The Ford store died. … It’s hard enough for us as it is.”

San Rafael City Manager Ken Nordhoff said San Rafael’s sales tax, up a quarter of a percent after Tuesday’s passage of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit tax, is about half a point higher than the sales tax in other Marin cities.

Schwarzenegger, who proposed the tax hike along with another $4.5 billion in spending cuts during a news briefing, said he has little choice: Just six weeks after signing an overdue state budget intended to close a $15.2 billion deficit, the state faces an $11.2 billion deficit.

[snip]

In addition to raising the sales tax, Schwarzenegger is proposing expanding its scope to include some services such as vehicle, appliance and furniture repair.

“That would be another $50 or so on our average ticket, which would definitely hurt,” said Gary Nugent, service manager at Heynneman European, a San Rafael auto repair shop. Nugent said the shop’s business is already down 50 percent due to the economic crisis.

The sales tax hike, which would continue for three years, is part of $4.4 billion in tax increases proposed by Schwarzenegger. Other revenue could come from raising the registration fee for vehicles by $12 and taxing companies that extract oil from California, which he said would generate $528 million this year.

[snip]

State Sen. George Runner, the Senate’s GOP caucus chairman, flatly said Republicans will not support a general tax increase.

“The fact is that during this time of economic challenges is not the time to go back to California taxpayers and ask for more money from them,” said Runner, of Lancaster.

Read the rest here.

I can assure you that, as Marin resident, I will do my best to leave the county for any big purchases I need to make. If I can get into a county that charges 8.5% in taxes, that’s where I’ll make my bigger purchases.  For example, if I need a new car (which I don’t right now, but will soon), I will save $450 on a $30,000 car just by driving a few extra miles.  Small drive; big savings; no-brainer.

It never seems to occur to anyone in government to stop a deficit by cutting spending.  Wouldn’t it be nice if, when I go on a spending spree and outrun my budget, I could simply go to my boss and extort more money from him?  I can’t, though, and the government shouldn’t be able to either.

To be entirely honest, the article does discuss the fact that the government is making spending cuts, most notably for schools.  With those cuts in mind, I’d like to suggest that, if the schools refined their focus to on reading, writing and arithmetic, and stopped all the environmental and community service stuff (which should emanate from the home and not the school), they’d find that they could manage with a shorter day and fewer resources.  I like my schools to educate, not attempt to take over as parents, imposing their values, not mine, on the students.