Thursday, December 13, 2012

Private Charity 150% More Efficient Than Government Welfare

People love to claim that if you don’t support their brand of socialism, then you hate poor people, are racist, are sexist, and are the general embodiment of everything wrong with society. The truth, of course, is the exact opposite. The best thing possible for the poor is for us to shift money from welfare to charity, because the poor get far more through private charity.

When you account for all of the political corruption, the government waste, the over-sized government salaries, the redundancy, the paperwork, the special interests, and other factors, only 30% of government “welfare” spending goes to the needy. Private charity is the opposite, with over 70% going to the needy. So much for “hating the poor”.

That means private charity is 150% more efficient than the welfare state. If you account for all of the government spending that is pure waste with nothing to do with the poor, you begin to see exactly why we hate the massive federal government. The government is making people poorer, not helping them to the middle class.

I honestly have no doubt that many people will claim that we secretly hate the poor, even if the facts prove the opposite. But the facts stand on their own. As Christmas is nearing, the left will likely be screaming louder and louder in favor of more government so that the feds will become a million-man Santa army.

But this wouldn’t be the best for those who need it. The best thing for them are people like you and I taking personal interest, donating our money and time, and making sure the right people get the money. That means responsibility — not forcing someone else to “take care” of the problem.

I think, deep down, most people know this. That’s why people give to private charity during the holiday season, and don’t give extra money to the IRS. We know what’s necessary to help those who need it — we just have to have the guts to stand up for them — and private charity — when it counts. And that means fighting the welfare state.

If you want to learn more about how broken our welfare state is, just read 3 insane facts about welfare in America. It’ll give you heartburn. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

3,000 US Troops Secretly Return to Iraq

December 10, 2012

Over 3,000 US troops have secretly returned to Iraq via Kuwait for missions pertaining to the recent developments in Syria and northern Iraq, Press TV reports.

According to our correspondent, the US troops have secretly entered Iraq in multiple stages and are mostly stationed at Balad military garrison in Salahuddin province and al-Asad air base in al-Anbar province.
Reports say the troops include US Army officers and almost 17,000 more are set to secretly return to Iraq via the same route.
All US troops left Iraq by the end of 2011, after nine years of occupation, as required by a 2008 bilateral security agreement between the two countries. The troops left Iraq for the neighboring Kuwait.

Obama Sending 20 F-16s to Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

By Maxim Lott

Published December 10, 2012

Instability in Egypt, where a newly-elected Islamic government teeters over an angry population, isn't enough to stop the U.S. from sending more than 20 F-16 fighter jets, as part of a $1 billion foreign aid package.

The first four jets are to be delivered to Egypt beginning Jan. 22, a source at the naval air base in Fort Worth, where the planes have been undergoing testing, told The North African nation already has a fleet of more than 200 of the planes and the latest shipment merely fulfills an order placed two years ago. But given the uncertainty in Cairo, some critics wonder if it is wise to be sending more top gun planes.

“Should an overreaction [by Egypt] spiral into a broader conflict between Egypt and Israel, such a scenario would put U.S. officials in an embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military hardware … to both belligerents,” said Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute. “Given Washington's fiscal woes, American taxpayers should no longer be Egypt’s major arms supplier.”

The U.S. government ordered and paid for the fighter jets for Egypt's military as part of foreign aid for Egypt back in 2010, when Hosni Mubarak ruled. The fighter jets were supposed to be delivered in 2013, and delivery will go ahead as scheduled even though Hosni Mubarak has been removed from power and replaced by Mohamed Morsi, who led the Muslim Brotherhood before becoming Egypt's president.

Morsi was democratically elected, but last month attempted to seize dictatorial powers for himself. After widespread protests and violence in Egypt's capital of Cairo, Morsi backed off from his power grab. But he is pushing through a controversial new constitution for Egypt that would more strictly enforce Islamic Shariah law, and only recently said he reserves the right to have the military arrest protesters without charges.

"The Morsi-led Muslim Brotherhood government has not proven to be a partner for democracy as they had promised, given the recent attempted power grab," a senior Republican congressional aide told

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently criticized U.S. military aid to Egypt:

“The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said.

The $213 million order, which is paid for by U.S. taxpayers and is part of Egypt's foreign aid package from America, had to be approved by lawmakers in Washington.While the basic F-16 has been a military workhorse for top air forces for more than 25 years, the cockpit electronics are constantly updated and the models Egypt is getting are the best defense contractor Lockheed Martin makes.

"This is a great day for Lockheed Martin and a testament to the enduring partnership and commitment we have made to the government of Egypt," said John Larson, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programs.

"We remain committed to providing our customer with a proven, advanced 4th Generation multirole fighter."
"In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft," the U.S. Air Force description of the plane reads.

"The F-16 can fly more than 500 miles, deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions."

A Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. and Egypt have an important alliance that is furthered by the transfer.

"The U.S.-Egypt defense relationship has served as the cornerstone of our broader strategic partnership for over thirty years," said Lt. Col. Wesley Miller. "The delivery of the first set of F-16s in January 2013 reflects the U.S. commitment to supporting the Egyptian military's modernization efforts.  Egyptian acquisition of F-16s will increase our militaries' interoperability, and enhance Egypt's capacity to contribute to regional mission sets."

The writer of this piece can be reached at

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Rural America Becoming Less Relevant


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has some harsh words for rural America: It's "becoming less and less relevant," he says.

A month after an election that Democrats won even as rural parts of the country voted overwhelmingly Republican, the former Democratic governor of Iowa told farm belt leaders this past week that he's frustrated with their internecine squabbles and says they need to be more strategic in picking their political fights.

"It's time for us to have an adult conversation with folks in rural America," Vilsack said in a speech at a forum sponsored by the Farm Journal. "It's time for a different thought process here, in my view."

He said rural America's biggest assets - the food supply, recreational areas and energy, for example - can be overlooked by people elsewhere as the U.S. population shifts more to cities, their suburbs and exurbs.

"Why is it that we don't have a farm bill?" said Vilsack. "It isn't just the differences of policy. It's the fact that rural America with a shrinking population is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we had better recognize that and we better begin to reverse it."

For the first time in recent memory, farm-state lawmakers were not able to push a farm bill through Congress in an election year, evidence of lost clout in farm states.

The Agriculture Department says about 50 percent of rural counties have lost population in the past four years and poverty rates are higher there than in metropolitan areas, despite the booming agricultural economy.

Exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks found that rural voters accounted for just 14 percent of the turnout in last month's election, with 61 percent of them supporting Republican Mitt Romney and 37 percent backing President Barack Obama. Two-thirds of those rural voters said the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.

Vilsack criticized farmers who have embraced wedge issues such as regulation, citing the uproar over the idea that the Environmental Protection Agency was going to start regulating farm dust after the Obama administration said repeatedly it had no so such intention.

In his Washington speech, he also cited criticism of a proposed Labor Department regulation, later dropped, that was intended to keep younger children away from the most dangerous farm jobs, and criticism of egg producers for dealing with the Humane Society on increasing the space that hens have in their coops. Livestock producers fearing they will be the next target of animal rights advocates have tried to undo that agreement.

"We need a proactive message, not a reactive message," Vilsack said. "How are you going to encourage young people to want to be involved in rural America or farming if you don't have a proactive message? Because you are competing against the world now."

John Weber, a pork producer in Dysart, Iowa, said Friday that farmers have to defend their industries against policies they see as unfair. He said there is great concern among pork producers that animal welfare groups are using unfair tactics and may hurt their business.

"Our role is to defend our producers and our industry in what we feel are issues important to us," he said.

Weber agreed, though, that rural America is declining in influence. He said he is concerned that there are not enough lawmakers from rural areas and complained that Congress doesn't understand farm issues. He added that the farm industry needs to communicate better with consumers.

"There's a huge communication gap" between farmers and the food-eating public, he said.

Vilsack, who has made the revitalization of rural America a priority, encouraged farmers to embrace new kinds of markets, work to promote global exports and replace a "preservation mindset with a growth mindset." He said they also need to embrace diversity because it is an issue important to young people who are leaving rural areas.

"We've got something to market here," he said. "We've got something to be proactive about. Let's spend our time and our resources and our energy doing that and I think if we do we're going to have a lot of young people who want to be part of that future."

Friday, December 07, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Proposals Assault Charitable Giving

by: Bryan Baumgart - 12/7/2012

As I described in my post on "The Role of Government", if we truly wish to take care of America's poor and needy, it must be done through charity. 
Progressive taxation aimed at redistributing wealth to the needy is well intentioned, but eventually succeeds only in destroying wealth and creating poverty.

Economic policies that lead to wealth creation and encouraging charitable giving through tax credits not only result in more effective social assistance, but guarantee the sustainability of that assistance.
Characterized as "loopholes", tax credits for charitable giving now find themselves on the chopping block in the infamous fiscal cliff negotiations.

Because the majority of charitable giving is made by wealthy Americans, the Democrat's tax hike proposal is sure to have a negative affect on charitable giving.  The Republican's counter proposal isn't any brighter for charities. In the past, it was President Obama pushing for reduced tax credits for charitable giving, but now we find the GOP putting forth a plan calling for the same.

Their proposals would not only negatively affect charities, but colleges, universities and hospitals as well. Donations are the primary source of income for most charities and because these donations are encouraged through resulting tax credits, removing this incentive would likely be devastating to charities and non-profits who often receive a third to half of their annual donations in the month of December as people begin to think about income taxes and the need for deductions.

Colleges received just over $30 billion in donations in 2011, and the largest gifts most colleges receive are typically made with awareness of tax benefits.
“There’s just no question that it will hurt charitable giving.” - Charles Phlegar, vice president for alumni affairs and development at Cornell University
The deduction for charitable giving costs about $52 billion in tax revenue per year, but the assistance it provides to America's poor and needy is immeasurable!!!

Tell your representatives to leave the charitable giving tax credit alone!!! 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Two Ways to Increase Revenue

by Bryan Baumgart

December 3, 2012

I’ve always hated the phrase, “increasing revenue”. From a business perspective, increasing revenue is a good thing. From a governmental perspective, “increasing revenue” usually means “increasing taxe rates”, which to the American taxpayers is NEVER a good thing. I will always call it what it is…”increased taxes”.

There is another way to “increase revenue”; however, without increasing tax rates. It involves creating wealth in the private sector which increases the pool of taxpayers. THIS is the type of increased revenue we should be pursuing.

Spending cuts (and tax rate increases) won’t begin to solve the problem. Spending cuts only involve cuts in the amount of increase in spending planned, not actual spending cuts. And asking more from the wealthy is only a drop in the bucket, it get’s us nowhere.

As Warren Buffett admitted, the plan to ask more from the wealthy is nothing more than a morale boost to the poor (aka: a big screw you to the wealthy). This meaningless class warfare gets us nowhere. If we don’t pursue policies of increasing revenue through wealth creation (including slashing corporate and income tax rates) and deregulation…we will never get out from behind the eight-ball.

If the only bill that will be on the table in these "fiscal cliff" talks, is a bill that involves “increased revenue” through increased taxes rates, then I don’t think the Republicans should have any part of it. We currently have guaranteed cuts in spending (through sequestration) coming already. Let the democrats own the tax rate increases just as they own obamacare (which is equating to large middle-class tax increases, premium increases, job loss, price inflation, along with the diminishing of the quality of healthcare in this country).

If Republicans cave and become complicit in these tax increases, the dems will surely (and I hope they do) use those votes against the Republicans when they run for re-election. I will too!!!

We got ourselves into a huge mess here, and just as I would be forced to make some painful sacrifices to get out from under huge credit card debt I wa responsible for running up…Americans will have to make some painful sacrifices to get out of this debt we ran up. We lived beyond our means and now it is time to pay the price. Everyone is pointing to everyone else to make those sacrifices.

“Ask more from the wealthy”

“I don’t want to lose my entitlements”

Bottom line…we are all in this together (both Republicans and Democrats ran up the debt this past decade) and it will take sacrifice from ALL of us to get out!!! EVERYTHING has to be on the table. Defense, entitlements, and even Obamacare (a massive espense). And we need to increase revenue by seeking wealth creation in our private sector.