A View From the Nest Weekend Edition 3/22/2015




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Top of the Nest

Economist: The American Fiscal House Is Ready to Fall

Some pretty dire testimony before Congress was reported by CNS News: ” Economist Tells Congress: U.S. May Be in ‘Worse Fiscal Shape’ Than Greece.” The U.S. has a $210 trillion “fiscal gap” and “may well be in worse fiscal shape than any developed country, including Greece,” Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff told members of the Senate Budget Committee in written and oral testimony on Feb.

Why the 14th Amendment can’t possibly require same-sex marriage

Does the U.S. Constitution require same-sex marriage? No, the U.S. Constitution requires the Court to leave this issue to the states. If you believe otherwise, then amend the Constitution. Tweet to @Frank_Turek The Supreme Court is about to decide if the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships.

From the Cuckoo’s Nest

What where they thinking?

The Embarrassing Result of School Lunch Reform – TheCollegeConservative

In all cheesy school movies, there is in the inevitable scene where some kid yells “Food Fight!” and, before anyone knows it, the entire cafeteria is filled with flying gobs of food.

Tail Feathers

Other news and views from across the cyberscape

Confirmed: Reality TV Model’s Accused Murderer Is An Obama DREAMer, Was Slated For Deportation

U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Thom Tillis have confirmed that a 19-year-old gang member accused of murdering four people, including a former reality TV model, was granted amnesty in 2013 even though he was slated for removal because of a 2012 drug possession charge. Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez is the suspect in question.

There are FOUR fake colleges in California set up just to let immigrants stay here ILLEGALLY

Conservative Student Group Commits ‘Act of Violence’ for Defending Christian Values, Refusing to Participate in LGBT Sensitivity Training

A conservative student group at The George Washington University faces punishment, including the loss of its funding, for refusing to engage in LGBT sensitivity training on campus. The students are now being condemned and attacked on campus by those who claim they’re committing an “act of violence” for standing up for their members’ individual rights and Judeo-Christian values.

I wonder how those same LGBT community groups would respond if they faced a loss their funding if they did not attend a Christian sensitivity training course? Why is it that only those who disagree with a POLITICALLY correct position are somehow hateful but those who disagree with a long-held societal norm are not? Doesn’t the demand for the ouster or the defunding of a long-standing organization or business qualify as intolerant? After all the only reason they are being protested or targeted is because those who are targeting them disagree with their viewpoints.

6.5 Million Social Security Numbers Exist for People Over the Age of 112

The Looney Bin

Crazy but true stories

The evolution of shower dangers: from hot water to just too much

The EPA is in the news for wanting to monitor how long hotel guests spend in the shower, which one critic says is not a new idea from the federal agency. “We’ve seen this movie before,” says Bonner Cohen of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

If You Drink Coffee From Pods, You May Want to Reconsider

“I don’t have one. They’re kind of expensive to use,” John Sylvan told me frankly, of Keurig K-Cups, the single-serve brewing pods that have fundamentally changed the coffee experience in recent years. “Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.” Which would seem like a pretty banal sentiment, were Sylvan not the inventor of the K-Cup.

I get a big kick out of all these environmental loons who strain at gnats to swallow camels. Now I do not know how it is where you live but tiny plastic cups are not a HUGE problem since our landfills are being filled everyday with HUGE PLASTIC garbage bags of stuff. Every retail store in America hands out millions of plastic bags every day oh how I pine for the olden days of paper bags.

However, this non-problem was starting to take care of itself through the market since reusable K-cups were invented and being used, so much so that Keurig designed a second generation brewer that would only take K-cups to continue the use of these expensive coffee pods.

The Duck Pond

Where you find all the QUACKS

If You Wonder Why Businesses in Your State Are Struggling Next Year, You Can Blame This

You may not realize that air quality has improved dramatically over the past few decades. A careful review of the science shows that EPA’s current ozone standard of 75 ppb (parts per billion) protects public health and air pollution continues to decline with today’s more efficient and environmentally conscious manufacturing and cleaner fuels.

Court to lesbian couple: Fatherhood can’t be contractually erased

A lesbian couple in New Jersey may be forced to share parental rights with a sperm donor they used to conceive their 1-year-old son. Sheena and Tiara Yates are appealing a September court ruling that awarded visitation rights to a private sperm donor they hoped would have no relationship with their child.

Things are bound to get worse as families are becoming even more fractured as courts, and not biology, decides what constitutes a parent, or for that matter a family.

As hard as they try a man-made contract does not negate the laws of nature and of natures God. You see to reproduce you need a FATHER and a MOTHER. Two mommies can not have a baby nor can two daddies. In order for them to reproduce they need a third member of the opposite sex to procreate. The introduction of that third-party into a marriage which is supposed to be between two people opens up the door to all kinds of legal issues both now and well into the future.

Let’s see what happens when the infant child of three parents gets old enough to decide for themselves whom they consider to be their ACTUAL parents. Will biology or contracts rule the day?

In a companion piece there is this:

Regulating the ‘marketplace of children’

The Last Word

Commentary on the news from a Conservative Christian viewpoint

Sin Killed the American Dream

The American Dream used to include thoughts of retirement, where one could live off the fruits of a lifetime of toil and enjoy family, friends, and maybe a bit of travel to see the world. Now, many of us have absolutely no thought of ever stopping, and will be in the workforce until no one will pay us anymore.

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Bait and Switch: In Pursuit of YOUR Happiness

Health Care for All! L1190421

Health Care for All! L1190421 (Photo credit: erlin1)

: a selling method in which a customer is attracted by the advertisement of a low-priced product but then is encouraged to buy a more expensive one
  1. :  a sales tactic in which a customer is attracted by the advertisement of a low-priced item but is then encouraged to buy a higher-priced one
2 : the ploy of offering a person something desirable to gain favor (as political support) then thwarting expectations with something less desirable
“If your child asks you for bread, would any of you give him a stone? 10 Or if your child asks for a fish, would you give him a snake? 11 Even though you’re evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him? Matthew 7:9-11 (GW)

Bait and switch” is a well-known deception used by con artists who promise a non-existent good deal and then switch to what they call a better deal that is neither needed nor desired by their “mark.”

Our health care political hucksters are the latest to try this shameful stunt. They told  us, repeatedly, “You can keep your plan and your doctor if you like them, I promise, period!

But with the new law being implemented we find that, all along, it was written in such a way that possibly millions will have no alternative but to switch to different government-mandated, undesired plans.

In response, some ranking politicians say it’s all for our own good, which reminds us of their end game — to implement a “single payer system” managed by the federal government. It will then be obvious that there is no escape from the government-mandated plan whether you like your plan or not.

They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 2 Peter 2:19 (NLT)

This is not the first time nor will it be the last time that “big government” will promise some grand idea that is supposed to make life better for those who are forced to take part. There is a long list of broken promises and “bait and switch” programs that have proven to be “not as advertised”.

Fairness My Asterisk: Op Ed on the SOTU Speech

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

Image via Wikipedia

President Obama’s State of the Union address revealed his plan for a new American economy that he claims must be “built to last” through government and financial systems that will ensure “everyone does their fair share.”

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share,” Obama is slated to say.

Fairness, class warfare, and social justice are bandied about as reasons for mandated wealth redistribution. There has always been wealth disparity in the United States. The Bible even says that the poor will always be with us. But how poor is poor?

“Compare the vision of the poor as presented in the Bible – men without homes, their bodies full of sores, hungry, owning only one tunic – to the circumstances of many poor people in the United States, and the social skewing of the definitions of poverty becomes clear. To be poor in America often means ‘having less than one’s neighbor’ instead of ‘lacking resources necessary for life.

Obama said much the same months ago in a speech delivered in Osawatomie, Kansas, the same city where a century ago, former President Teddy Roosevelt delivered a speech calling for a “New Nationalism.” Roosevelt’s speech extolled the government’s role in promoting social justice and regulating the economy to help the underprivileged, and he criticized some fellow Republicans for refusing to tackle the economic power of the wealthy, which is simply code for more taxes on the rich so that government can continue to give select groups of people goodies from the confiscated goods of others.

What is fair about forcing America to pay for his failed bail-outs that we told him we did not want? What is fair about forcing taxpayers who pay their bills to have to bail-out states and unions who do not? What is fair about increasing our taxes just to pay for wasted government stimulus plans which threw billions if not trillions away on so-called “green jobs”.

Obama calls for the elimination of corporate loop holes in the tax code which he says are not fair but I ask what is fair about the stimulus loop-hole he gave to the teacher’s unions and the Public Employees Unions? What about the loop-hole of giving tax-rebates to people who do not even pay any taxes? How is that fair? I mean how can someone who owes no taxes and pays zero taxes get a rebate check in the mail?

How is it that Obama wants to raise taxes on people who actually pay taxes and ignores all his democrat buddies who refuse to pay taxes like tax cheats Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel, Jeff Imelt of GE, and Warren Buffet, who owes billions?

What is fair about giving a special tax credit to people with children while those who do not have children have to pay for it? What is fair about taking money from senior citizen’s retirement funds and then turn around and tell them we have to raise the retirement age because there is no money to pay their Social Security benefits? Had the person actually taken the almost 14% of their wages and put it in an interest earning account they would actually have money when they retire as opposed to this “FAIR” plan Obama and the democrats like to promote.

There is nothing fair about Social Security where a system forces producers to pay for non-producers. But the biggest injustice of all was telling our seniors that the money that was being taken from their paychecks was going into a “lock-box” and was an “insurance policy” for their retirement when all along the government knew it was nothing more than a tax and a revenue stream for the government to squander on worthless programs and to buy constituent votes.

Tell me what is fair about almost 50% of the population who take from the system but do not contribute one thin dime for the same system? Why should less than 50% of the population have to pay all the taxes and almost 50% pay nothing? You call that fair? What would be fair is if EVERYONE paid something.

What would be fair would be to cut all tax rebates and subsidies of any kind and begin a flat tax. Eliminate the IRS and the current tax code which is only used to garner political favors and punish producers. If you end all these special tax breaks and rebates and make everyone pay something that would be fair and then the government must be forced to live within its means. Pass a balanced budget amendment which would mandate that congress could not spend more money then they have. Families and businesses must work within a budget so too should Congress. Now that would be fair.

What is fair about forbidding the drilling for oil in the Gulf but subsidizing the drilling for OIL in the Gulf by China and Brazil and Cuba? What is fair about handicapping our industries with onerous EPA regulations and blocking the opening of a Boeing plant by the NLRB or raiding a guitar company just because they are the only non-union shop? What is fair about giving unions huge tax-payer bail-outs at the expense of the average working man? Why should taxpayers be forced to pay for their retirements and benefits just because they refused to do so?

What is fair about having to pay for public employee retirement plans because they were made promises by some politician? Let those politicians who lied to them pay the freight. What is fair about always asking the American people to pony up and the federal Government ever does with less? No matter what, the federal budget grows year after year, in good times and bad. While the rest of the economy struggles the federal government continues to spend, spend and spend.

You want fairness Mr President then how about you and your crooked pals retire and let someone else with integrity take your place? You want fairness Mr President how about you stop beating up the American business person and calling patriotic Americans derogatory names.

You want fairness Mr President how about you stop the flood of illegal activity along our Southern border and instead of suing an American State how about you prosecute those who are breaking and entering our country illegally? You want fairness Mr President how about you call off your NLRB and EPA dogs and allow businesses to run free of onerous government intervention.

And that is my view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

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Real Threat to Social Security Benefits is Government Spending

In his Friday night prime time media event, the President Obama spread the notion that he might be forced to delay the August Social Security payments.

Jessica Yellin was one of the pre-selected White House reporters to set the President up with a friendly question .

Standing here tonight, Mr. President, can you assure the American people they will get their Social Security checks on August 3rd?  And if not, who’s to blame?

With that question, Obama launched into a long discourse inferring that Social Security and more were in fact at risk and the Republican House of Representatives was to blame.  You can read the entire transcript courtesy of the Wall Street Journal here

This is an oft-repeated strategy used by government to intimidate opposition to budget cuts. The same mantra is used over and over again. If you cut the federal budget at all senior citizens. the sick and infirm, education of our children, and the middle class will suffer. How many times must we hear ‘the sky is falling’ before we realize all these threats are lies. Yes there is a real threat to future social security benefits and it is simply federal spending. The failure to raise the debt limit should not affect social security in any way since President Reagan signed into law the 1983 social security reform act .

Since the inception of Social Security, the government had administrated it as a pay-as-you-go program, paying benefits out of current receipts rather than building up a capital fund for each contributor. However, in the mid-1970s, expenditures for Social Security benefits began to exceed tax payments coming into the trust funds. This occurred because a serious recession reduced employment and trust-fund revenues while inflation simultaneously created a need to increase benefits. Public concern developed over the possibility that the Social Security system might become bankrupt over time. Since the funds had been accumulating for over 35 years, they had a reserve of more than $40 billion in 1976, so the system was in no immediate danger. Nevertheless, experts warned that in the long-term the reserve would eventually become depleted. In an effort to restore the financial integrity of Social Security , the government began to reform the system of contributions and benefits. source

This was part of a much larger package of program changes designed to address the financial solvency of the program. One might fairly say that cutting benefits and raising revenues was the purpose of the 1983 Amendments, and the adoption of Social Security benefit taxation was simply one provision among many to facilitate these aims. It is also important to note that funds raised under this provision does not go into the General Fund of the Treasury but into the Social Security Trust Funds. This emphasizes again that the purpose of introducing this provision was to raise revenue to help restore Social Security’s financial solvency. (The Committees estimated the six-year savings from this provision at $26.6 billion, and estimated that this provision would supply almost 30% of the total additional long-range funding provided by the Amendments.) source

The reality however is less rosy. Since the federal government sees all revenues coming into the treasury as "government money" the funds that should have been held in reserve in the social security trust fund have long since been raided to spend on other government programs, and as kick-backs to political cronies to garner votes and to gain constituent support. In other words the federal government is the enemy of Social Security. The federal government has long ago spent any ‘social security surplus’ and replaced it with worthless paper IOU’s.
Had the government actually invested the funds it collected from the separate FICA payroll deductions into tradable treasury notes, then the value of the ‘trust fund’ would have gained value, instead they spent all the money and ‘promised’ to repay it with other funds taken from the general fund. These funds of course need to be raised from the private sector through taxation and regulation or out right theft.

In simple terms, the federal government stole the money they forced you to pay into a retirement fund. These funds that should have been held in secure treasury bonds were spent on other government programs and wasted in federal largess. The Social Security trust fund now only contains worthless IOU’s. As the number of retirees continues to grow and the number of workers to support these retirees continues to decline the deficit created by this funding disparity continues to grow year after year.

But since the Supreme Court has declared that Social Security is not a contractual entitlement and that the congress can do with the fund as they see fit, there is no incentive to secure your Social Security by this or any other congress.

Section 1104 of the 1935 Act, entitled "RESERVATION OF POWER," specifically said: "The right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision of this Act is hereby reserved to the Congress." Even so, some have thought that this reservation was in some way unconstitutional. This is the issue finally settled by Flemming v. Nestor .

Therefore it is reasonable to assume that unless you personally take control of your own retirement, congress has no obligation to honor Social Security payments to future generations. There is no law requiring this or any other congress to secure these FICA payments, in fact the law says this or any future congress can change the rules of Social Security or eliminate it altogether without any court remedy.

How secure do you feel now? So regardless of whether Social Security checks get issued on August 3 or not is not the question that should be asked. What should be asked is can we opt out of this gamble and select to use our own money to fund our own retirement accounts which congress can not eliminate with the stroke of a pen, and the funds are not made available to the federal government general fund.

money flowing into the trust funds is invested in U. S. Government securities. Because the government spends this borrowed cash, some people see the trust fund assets as an accumulation of securities that the government will be unable to make good on in the future. Without legislation to restore long-range solvency of the trust funds, redemption of long-term securities prior to maturity would be necessary.source

Private-sector trust funds invest in real assets ranging from stocks and bonds to mortgages and other financial instruments. However, the Social Security trust funds are only "invested" in a special type of Treasury bond that can only be issued to and redeemed by the Social Security Administration. As the Congressional Research Service noted in a report on May 5, 1998:

When the government issues a bond to one of its own accounts, it hasn’t purchased anything or established a claim against another entity or person. It is simply creating a form of IOU from one of its accounts to another.

According to the Office of Management and Budget under the Clinton Administration in 1999:

These [trust fund] balances are available to finance future benefit payments and other trust fund expenditures–but only in a bookkeeping sense. These funds are not set up to be pension funds, like the funds of private pension plans. They do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits. Instead, they are claims on the Treasury, that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures. [Emphasis added.]

In short, the Social Security trust fund is really only an accounting mechanism. The trust fund shows how much the government has borrowed from Social Security, but it does not provide any way to finance future benefits. The money to repay the IOUs will have to come from taxes that are being used today to pay for other government programs. For that reason, the most important date for Social Security is 2018, when taxpayers must begin to repay the IOUs, not 2042, when the trust fund is exhausted. Source

The Social Security System is now, forever has been, and forever will be a system where money is taken from people who work and given to people who do not work. It is also one of the most incredible cons ever perpetrated on a citizenry. So the only solutions to the so-called Social Security crisis are these:

Raise Taxes

Raise the Federal Debt

Reduce Benefits

Some combination of these three things will happen. There absolutely is no avoiding it. As it is very unfortunate for a person with a brain tumor to be told he has a headache, and to treat it with aspirin, so, to, would the Social Security situation benefit from an honest appraisal of what it is and what it is not. It is not a retirement program.

How secure do you feel now? So regardless of whether Social Security checks get issued on August 3 or not the question that should be asked is can we opt out of this gamble and select to use our own money to fund our own retirement accounts which congress can not eliminate with the stroke of a pen, and the funds are not made available to the federal government general fund. Only when you take control of your own future can your future be guarenteed. No government run program has your best interest at heart. They simply can not be trusted.

My Way by Obama

“my way or the highway” approach will not produce a deal. “I don’t see a path to a deal if they don’t budge. Period,” Obama said at a press conference Monday.

For two years Obama and the democrats did things their way and completely ignored the American people now he is attempting to smear the republicans who are trying to do what WE THE PEOPLE sent them to congress to do. We the people do not wish to compromise with those in congress who set a course of ruin for this country. We stand firmly behind those congressmen who are attempting to roll back this out-of-control government. We the people demand the Government credit card be cut up. We demand the check book be balanced. We demand that the government learn to live within its means. We the people demand that our government stop spending more money then they take in and we the people REFUSE to pay more into this bloated government.