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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Current Events - Part 2 / Follow Up

In the last post I listed a few national issues and things in the news and was going to comment on them. As the post was getting long I decided to end the comments and revisit in another post. Here is that post. 

Here are the things I did NOT cover from my opening remarks of last:

When half of the population is living off of the other half through government programs, it is time to wake up. When our national debt has grown more in the past eight years than in the total of all years prior in the history of our country, it is time to change things. When people that illegally enter our country are called "immigrants" and offered benefits normally reserved for citizens, we need to wake up. When the First Amendment is used to stifle religious practices vs protect them, we have lost our way.

I hope any of you that read and/or have read the posts here know that I try to be fair. Yes, I have my opinions and thoughts about what is right and wrong with our policies, government, etc.; but I do try to avoid the hyperbole and outright lies that are perpetrated in defense of so many positions out there. I do painstaking research before I write the posts that show figures. I have cited my sources in more than one occasion. I have responded to emails asking me for clarification and my sources. I have also tried to admit when I am proven wrong (which to be fair, does not happen often on these pages just because I do the research)

Well, this is one case where my comment above could be taken as hyperbole. It is true in the grand sense but it involves some bias in the figures. Here we go:

In a largest sense there are between 49 and 50 percent of the households in the US that receive some sort of government aid. Now here are the reasons that is skewing the numbers a bit - note it refers to "HOUSEHOLDS". There could be one, two, three, or whatever number of people in the household. One, two, etc. of them could be on different programs - all legit. For example, retirement from certain government jobs are included here. I do not know anyone that thinks anyone that earned a retirement/pension in a legitimate way should have it taken away. (we do need to reevaluate our pension and retirement programs going forward. We cannot pay someone for thirty or forty years what they made for one or two after working twenty. But I digress) It also included VA benefits. This is another area that has almost universal acceptance. If someone serves our country by wearing the uniform of one of our armed forces, then they deserve any and all benefits promised. Lastly, because the figure is looking at households, there could be household members that are working and paying taxes. So, they are essentially being counted as a negative and a positive - with emphasis on the negative. 

Bottom line though, my argument here is that even if it does involve some hyperbole, the fact is that almost 50 percent of the people are taking money from the government. This is not sustainable long term. We will go broke. (or "broker" - we are already broke!)

Now for the national debt numbers. By the way there are many other posts I have done that go into great detail about this one. I am keeping it simple here. 
At the end of the fiscal year 2000, the total debt was a little under 5.7 trillion dollars. As of today it is just under 18.4 trillion. That growth is ridiculous! We cannot keep spending money we do not have. If you want a quick snapshot of the growth by year, you can go here: 

Now, for illegals. And, YES, they are illegals! I have said before on these pages - calling our illegals an immigration problem is like calling bank robbery a withdrawal problem. Also repeating - one of the few jobs specifically outlined in the Constitution as a responsibility of the federal government is "securing the borders". Investigating steroid use in professional sports is not, believe it or not. We must take away the incentives for people to come here illegally. Businesses and corporations that employ illegals need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Illegals need to be sent back starting with those that commit crimes. The idiocy of "sanctuary cities" is a violation of the safety and welfare of law-abiding citizens. We must address this problem of drain on our resources and cost to our society. 

Lastly, the First Amendment. This amendment was added to the Constitution as the first change made to it after it was drafted. (hence - 1st Amendment) This was because the Crown of England had suppressed anti-government speech so much that the concern was paramount. Also the founding of the US was largely begun as a religious freedom movement. Europe and the near East had been fighting battles and out-right wars for centuries. The Protestant vs Catholic and newer Protestant sects vs the older ones had reached a fever pitch on the Continent and in the British Isles. The Pilgrims, Mennonites, Puritans, Moravians, Quakers, etc. came here due to persecution there. The founding fathers knew this (and were part and parcel of it to an extent) and wanted religious liberty to be a guarantee. The exact wording is: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."
It is the prohibiting the free exercise thereof that has been ignored in my mind. The humanist, agnostic, and atheist power bloc has taken precedence by screaming "separation of Church and State". That interpretation of the First Amendment was actually made by the Supreme Court in a ruling made in 1878. The acceptance of a person's right to practice their religion was and in my opinion should still be the most important.