Why America Faces a Big Fat Greek Bankruptcy
Why We’re All Greeks Now.
Forget Global Warming- Catastrophic Government Spending Is the True Threat to Our Survival.
Have you read the news lately? Greece is bankrupt. The entire country was poised to default on its debt, when the European Union (led by Germany) and the IMF (led by the USA) decided to bail them out…or risk the collapse of the entire EU and their currency, the euro. As always happens any time government is involved, the dollar figure necessary to save Greece keeps rising…first it was $50 billion…then $100 billion…now $145 billion, the biggest loan to a country ever.
But here’s the clincher- this gigantic loan will last only one year. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) assumes in one year, when Greece needs more money to stem the flow of red ink, they’ll be financially stable enough to attract loans on the open market, with no more government help. But what if the IMF is wrong? Then we’ll see one big fat Greek meltdown- taking all $145 billion down the tubes (much of it from U.S. taxpayers). That’s assuming that Greece is telling the truth about their debt in the first place. But just like the U.S. government, Greece has lied to themselves, and their citizens for years. And just like AIG, GM, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the failing public school system in America- the money we give Greece will never be enough. It’s a bottomless pit.
But Greece is the EU’s smallest problem. The other PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain) are in far deeper trouble than Greece. Unfortunately the EU and IMF just used up most (if not all) of their bullets on Greece. There isn’t enough money in the world to bail out the rest of Europe. We are staring at economic Armageddon.
So what caused this? Very simply, big government and government employee unions. Greece’s problem is Europe’s problem…and following closely behind, America’s problem too. We’re all Greeks now. Quite simply, Greece’s problem starts and ends with government employee unions. There are too many government employees (1 in 3 Greek citizens works for government); their salaries are way too high; their bonuses can only be described as insane (2 months for each public employee); their pensions are ridiculous (retirement far too young and free healthcare for life); and their government jobs are guaranteed for life.
Sounds crazy, right? Sounds like in Greece the inmates must be running the asylum. Except America has the exact same problem. California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are our very own homegrown version of Greece. These states are bankrupt, insolvent, and desperately need a bailout. Why? For the same reasons as Greece. Far too many government employees; bloated salaries for civil servants; bonuses and raises are contractually obligated even during an economic crisis; sky high pensions; and jobs guaranteed for life. The only difference is that we are a nation of 300 million, so the debt is far bigger than Greece. It turns out that we are Greece squared.
The solution to save America from economic Armageddon? Simple. Use the same “austerity measures” imposed upon Greece, in return for this $145 billion loan, to dramatically cut spending on government employees:
*Freeze government hiring for the next 3 years.
*Eliminate bonuses and raises for the foreseeable future.
*Institute layoffs and across the board wage cuts. Why should government employees enjoy “privileged status” that no employee in the private sector enjoys?
*Change pensions from ‘defined benefit’ to ‘defined contribution’ pension plans, meaning retirees receive only what has been built up in their 401K type retirement accounts.
*Raise the retirement age. In Greece it is going from age 53 to 67. Gold-plated pension plans are the single biggest factor that bankrupted Greece. The same problem bankrupted U.S. automakers GM and Chrysler.
*Require government employees to pay more of their healthcare (through co-pays and deductibles).
*Change the way pensions are calculated by eliminating overtime and raises in the last years of employment to “game the system”.
The real global threat to our existence isn’t global warming- it’s catastrophic government spending and, more specifically, spending on government employees. Our government’s unfunded liabilities are now estimated at $60 to $75 trillion over the coming decades. To give you some perspective, the New York Post recently reported that one New York firefighter is retiring on a pension of $240,000 per year. If he lives 40 years beyond retirement, that will cost the taxpayers almost $10,000,000. That’s for one single government employee. There are millions upon millions of them on the federal, state and local level. Can you say “fiscal disaster?”
Government employees should be cheering these solutions. The plan above might actually save their jobs and pensions. But keeping the status quo of unsustainable spending will sink this country- in which case government employees will lose their jobs and pensions. Anything that saves our economy, will be healthier for them (as well as the rest of us) in the long run.
It turns out that the Greek model is the American model. It turns out that we need saving too. We're all Greeks now. We either stop the insanity, or we wind up with our own big fat Greek bankruptcy.
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( 3 / 1979 )
HOMESCHOOL TO HARVARD: A Remarkable Education Story!
This is the story that makes teachers unions cringe. This is the story that proves that depending on government is an error in judgment. This is the story that proves no matter what the question, the answer is more freedom, choice, individuality and personal responsibility. This is the personal story of my daughter Dakota Root.
Dakota has been home-schooled since birth. Since almost the day that Dakota was born, her mom and dad taught her to aim for the sky. We all dreamed of her acceptance at either Stanford or Harvard. For 18 years we talked about it, planned for it, and worked for it. "Homeschool to Harvard" is a story about turning dreams into reality. And it all happened right here in the Las Vegas Valley- without government, teachers unions or education bureaucrats involved. Imagine that?
While other kids spent their school days being indoctrinated to believe competition and winning are unimportant, Dakota was learning the value of work ethic, discipline, sacrifice and personal responsibility. While other kids were becoming experts at partying, Dakota and her dad debated current events at the dinner table. While other kids shopped and gossiped, Dakota was devouring books on science, math, history, literature, politics and business. While other kids came home to empty homes, Dakota’s mom, dad, or both were there every day to share meals, a bedtime kiss, and prayer with our four home-schooled kids.
While others were out experimenting with alcohol and drugs, Dakota was practicing the sport she loves with dedication, intensity and passion- fencing. The result? She became one of the elite junior fencers in America- winning the Pacific Coast Championship and representing the United States at World Cup events in Germany and Austria.
Was all the discipline and sacrifice worth it? A few days ago, Dakota achieved her lifelong dream. She was accepted at both Harvard and Stanford. She was also accepted at Columbia, Penn, Brown, Duke, Chicago, Cal-Berkeley, Virginia, USC and several more of the elite schools in America. She actually had the confidence to turn down an offer from the Yale fencing coach before she had gotten her other acceptances. The kid turned down Yale!
Here is the most amazing part of the story: The first classroom of Dakota's life will be inside the hallowed halls of Harvard. This fall she will fence for the Harvard team- one of America’s best. Out of 3 million high school seniors, only an elite 1% (30,000) of the best and brightest dared apply to Harvard. Virtually every one was #1 in their class, or a world-class scholar/athlete, or had perfect S.A.T. scores. Only 6.9% were accepted- the lowest acceptance rate in college history. To be accepted at one or two Ivy League colleges is rare- to all, an almost impossible feat!
At a time of educational free-fall, it is a remarkable story. With America’s public school system ranked at or near the bottom of the industrialized world (and Nevada near the bottom of that), with record dropout rates, violence, gangs, drugs, teen pregnancies, and the scandal of graduating high school seniors requiring remedial math and reading before starting at college, Dakota’s story offers hope. Dakota proves the American Dream is alive, if only we’d stop depending on government to save us.
Is Dakota's story unusual? Actually no. A recent study proved that home-schooled kids score almost twice as high on exams as public school students. Other studies prove that home-school kids score dramatically higher on SAT exams (Dakota scored multiple perfect 800 scores on her SAT's).
There is no one answer for education- our choice of home-schooling melded parental education with tutoring by hand-picked retired teachers and college professors, combined with a personally-chosen curriculum. That's called parental freedom. By the way, I respect and applaud teachers. I think most of them work hard, sacrifice and care for their students. Dakota owes her home-school success to several retired teachers who are like members of our family. Those same retired teachers are now teaching a new generation of my children- ages 2, 5 and 10.
But teachers unions and education bureaucrats are a far different story. Education in this country has deteriorated for decades under their leadership. Home-schooling worked for our family because we took the best of education- dedicated parents and professional educators, and eliminated the worst- no unions or government bureaucrats involved.
In the end, the power to decide how to best educate children belongs with the parents, not teachers unions or government. The way to force public schools to improve includes school choice; reducing the power of unions so that it's possible to fire under-performing teachers and reward superior ones; and offering vouchers on the state level to give parents the power (and money) to choose education alternatives. Competition works. If it’s good enough for Coke and Pepsi, why not public schools?
Education has been on a downhill spiral since the day that the government and unions took control. Dakota Root proves it doesn’t take a state certified teacher, or a teachers union, or a village to raise a child- what matters most is having two loving parents who give a damn. One home-schooled girl has driven a stake through the heart of the public school education monopoly. “Homeschool to Harvard” is a powerful story that every parent should be allowed to offer to their children.
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( 3 / 1777 )
The Tea Party Phenomenon- Why We're Angry!
The Rise of the A.A.R.P: Americans Against Rotten Politicians
Why Big Government Politicians Are Desperate and Hysterical
Have you seen the hysterical, slanderous headlines about Tea Parties from the big government leftist-biased media? Why is this happening? Simple- the D.C. cabal of politicians, bureaucrats, unions, lawyers and lobbyists are hysterical and frightened of losing their jobs and power. They are on the run and growing more desperate by the day. They have read "the tea leaves" (excuse the pun) and they realize the gravy train is over. The citizen revolution predicted 18 months ago in my book, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts” has begun in earnest. The taxpayers and patriots are taking back their country.
The A.A.R.P. (American Association of Retired Persons) may have sold out to Obama and big government. But the real A.A.R.P. is on the rise- Americans Against Rotten Politicians. We don’t have violent revolutions in America. The people who attend Tea Party rallies don’t condone threats or violence. They only want to VETO the politicians who are robbing the taxpayers (Vote Everyone of Them Out). And for good measure, we want to indict a few of them too. And that’s precisely what has the big government cabal in D.C. so frightened- the rebels and peasants with pitchforks are at the door.
For the first time ever, we clearly understand what’s being done to us. We watched in disbelief as last weekend Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led a rally in Las Vegas for illegal immigrants, while at the same time vilifying Tea Parties filled with patriots, taxpayers, homeowners, small business owners, veterans, parents and grandparents. Obama, Reid and Pelosi (the Axis of Taxes) have the gall to denounce the people who obeyed the laws, paid their taxes, risked their money to start businesses and create jobs, and fought for their country…while openly praising, celebrating, and promising to reward illegal aliens. Why? It’s quite simply bribery in return for votes. This is how big government politicians divide and conquer.
Does this mean the citizen revolution is anti-immigrant? No, not at all. We recognize the tremendous contributions many legal immigrants make to this country. In my book I’ve written extensively about ways to open up immigration. The right kind of immigration can solve our country’s economic problems. But allowing any immigration should start and end with one issue- banning any immigrant from government entitlements and handouts. But how can anyone not see the absurdity of this comparison above? Who in there right mind would punish, vilify and denigrate Americans who have done everything the right way, and reward those who have come here illegally and pushed the nation’s hospitals, schools and government to the brink of bankruptcy? This is sheer madness.
Our eyes are now wide open as leftist big-government politicians try to damage and demoralize taxpayers and small business owners (the people that contribute to fiscally conservative candidates), in order to reward Democratic voters- who expect no taxes, zero responsibility and free handouts from government. Obama called it "spreading the wealth." Karl Marx would be proud. And the New York Times questions why Tea Partiers are angry? This isn’t just insanity- it’s insanity SQUARED.
Former President Bill Clinton, ranting and raving about Tea Parties being racist, spewing hate, and “setting the stage for violence in this country” is a sign of the desperation of the political class. The more hysterical their criticisms, the more obvious it is how panicked they’ve become. The Tea Parties have awakened the victims of big government theft. That's the story the New York Times is afraid to cover. Yes the supporters of Tea Parties are more educated and have higher incomes than the rest of America (as the N.Y. times study just reported). But that's precisely why they are so angry. They are the very groups being punished, vilified, and taxed out of existence to pay for entitlements and handouts to Obama’s voters, that are little more than vote buying schemes.
We are living in interesting times, as the famous Chinese proverb goes. These times mirror the pre-American Revolution days. I’m certain that the desperate rantings and warnings of the King of England in 1776 sounded just like Obama, Clinton, Pelosi and Reid. I’m certain the newspapers of the day in England sounded just like the New York Times does today. And, just like today, the more articles and hysterical pronouncements from the King and his court, the stronger the sign that the revolution was succeeding and spreading. Politicians are quite simply in shock and denial that their long-term fraud has been discovered.
“Business as usual” is over in D.C. The end is fast approaching for the big government cabal of politicians, bureaucrats, government employee unions, lobbyists, and lawyers. And, if you think as a Republican politician you can get away with supporting earmarks, bailouts, stimulus, or tax increases by simply pointing your finger at others, watch out- you’re going down too! V.E.T.O. is aimed at every incumbent and career politician that believes in big government- Democrat or Republican. The Americans Against Rotten Politicians are now taking control.
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( 3 / 1851 )
The Michigan Miracle- Proof that Obama is a Hypocrite and Tax Cuts Work
It’s “tax week” in America. This week includes that infamous date of April 15th where the I.R.S. intrudes on our lives and tries to convince us (at gunpoint and threat of prison) that our money and property actually belongs to them. Over the years I’ve come to realize that the mafia offers a far better deal than the I.R.S. Let’s look at the facts. The mob comes to a businessman (like me) and demands 10% for “protection.” The rub of course is that the protection is from them. The government calls that extortion and will send a mobster to prison for 20 long years for that crime. Yet the same government comes to that same businessman, demands a 50% (or more) cut of his business, and offers no protection whatsoever. I prefer the deal offered by the mafia. This story illustrates the travesty and hypocrisy of government.
Government also lies, cooks the books, and distorts the facts when it comes to taxes. Obama tells us that tax increases will not hurt the economy. He calls tax cuts “handouts” to the wealthy. He says that tax cuts create deficits. But whenever Obama wants to spur the economy, he is quick to offer tax cuts to his voters. When Obama wanted to sell cars, he offered a tax cut called “Cash for Clunkers.” When Obama wanted to sell homes he offered a tax rebate to homebuyers. When Obama wanted to sell appliances, he offered a tax rebate to consumers. When Obama wanted to encourage spending, he offered an almost trillion dollar stimulus in the form of “tax cuts” to people that never paid taxes in the first place. Weren’t all those programs “handouts”? Didn’t those tax cuts increase the deficit? This is how politicians distort facts and cook the books.
But the most telling story of all about taxes is found in Michigan. Michigan is a big government, big entitlement, big union state run by leftist and socialist progressives (just like Obama). It is no surprise that Michigan suffers from the worst economy in America; 14% unemployment; “empty cities” like Detroit (which has lost half of its population); and leads the nation in moving vans moving out. Yet one thing is working fantastically in Michigan- TAX CUTS!
In the midst of economic Armageddon in Michigan there is one part of the economy that is booming- movie production. Why? Because Michigan offers the most generous tax incentives in the nation for movie-makers. The result? The liberal progressive hypocrites of the movie business…the same ones who support Obama…the same ones who call tax cuts for the rich “greedy”… have moved Hollywood to Michigan! Last year 87 films were made in Michigan- a 900% increase from the year before. 3 major movie studios are opening this year in Michigan. Yes, the tax rebates cost Michigan $40 million…but those same tax cuts produced 7000 new jobs and $325 million in new revenues for the Michigan economy. Now that’s a great economic success story.
Michigan is Exhibit A for proving that allowing taxpayers to keep more of their own money works like magic. Even amidst the most worst economy and worst weather in America, it’s enough to convince Hollywood hypocrites to relocate from sunny Southern California to depressing and freezing Michigan! Can you imagine what a dramatic tax cut would do for the entire American economy?
Well I can- and I’ve got the plan. Let’s institute a one-year “Income Tax Vacation” for the taxpayers of America. This would benefit in particular small business owners- who pay most of the taxes and create 75% (or more) of new jobs. If you let them keep 100% of their own money for one year, they will create the greatest economic turnaround in world history. They will invest it in stocks (driving up the stock market), bonds (driving down interest rates), real estate (ending the foreclosure crisis), starting new business and expanding old ones (creating millions of new jobs and producing millions in new tax revenue). They will invest in and revitalize America.
Obama, Reid and Pelosi (the Axis of Taxes) would say, “But where would we find the money?” Well Obama found the money for $1 trillion in stimulus…$1 trillion for universal healthcare…$13 trillion for bailouts…and billions more for earmarks and legal bribery (to gain the votes to pass all this obscene spending). Those programs have failed to reignite the economy because Obama doesn't understand simple economics. Small business is the economic engine of America. Yet Obama wants to incentivize everyone in the country- except the taxpayers and small business owners who actually pay the bills…and create the jobs. Reagan’s tax cuts proved that if you motivate small business with a dramatic tax cut, you can turn a deep recession into an economic boom almost overnight. Well this isn't a recession, it's a depression. It calls for special measures. This Income Tax Vacation is "Reagan squared."
Perhaps Obama knows exactly what he's doing. Perhaps Obama’s goal is to punish, demonize and demoralize the successful…redistribute the wealth…forever cripple the people who contribute to limited government causes…and bankrupt the capitalist system, so that Americans grow desperate and dependent on government. There is one problem with this scheme Mr. Obama- who will be left to pay all the bills?
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( 3 / 1853 )
The Congressman Stupak Mystery: Retirement or Legal Bribery?
Congressman Bart Stupak announced his retirement this morning. Really? I wonder why? I wonder what Obama, Reid and Pelosi (The Axis of Taxes) promised him in return for destroying his career? You think maybe millions of dollars for a cushy lobbyist job in DC for life? This is legal bribery. It's what I predicted from day one. I believe that key Democratic votes for Obamacare were bought with promises of jobs for life from FOD (Friends of the Democratic Party). These "friends" just happen to benefit from Obamacare and other big government programs...and of course they make big contributions to Obama. This is in my opinion fraud. This is how Obama passed healthcare bill. By promising a win/win for every Democratic Senator and Congressmen. If they win re-election, all is fine and dandy and they keep their cushy jobs for life. If they lose, they get a huge raise from $175,000 per year (plus all they can steal under the table) to perhaps $1,000,000 per year as a lobbyist or a D.C. law firm partner. Win if you win, win even bigger if you lose!
This is disgusting. This Bart Stupak retirement from Congress smells like fraud to me. This is proof positive of the outright theft of taxpayer money. This is proof positive that taxpayers are being sold down a river. Stupak sold out for trillion dollar fraud known as Obamacare. Every single Democrat from a conservative or moderate district knew they'd be giving up their careers, but they also knew there were trillions of dollars on the line for Democratic donors. This is how you steal trillions of taxpayer dollars and dramatically increase the size of government. Bribery is at the root of all of this.
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( 3 / 1579 )