"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27, 2010

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Topic du Jour

Think of it as sitting down in a restaurant and the wait person stops by to take your drink order and tell you what the special(s) of the day are – could be a favorite of the owner/chef; could be something they got a good buy on; could be something left over from yesterday and they want to move it; could be something that a favorite customer who is coming in today always wants available.

More than likely us regular restaurant patrons didn’t have a lot of input in determining the specials on this day.  The agenda; the menu, was decided by others and we really don’t know how or why.

When it comes to politics and media attention a similar process is at play.  There is an agenda and it is determined for reasons determinable and not so readily determinable.

Today the agenda item is gun control.  Or "are the Brits ready for a sporting event?"

Last week it was Obama’s comments on who is responsible for business success – the business person or the government that build the roads.

Before that it was Romney’s overseas investments/banking accounts/job outsourcing and tax records/payments.

You get the idea.  Someone is deciding what goes on the menu and it changes every week or so.  Next week it may be Syria/middle east/Iran/Israel or it could be Europe and their impending implosion; recession; depression.

Could be the value of the Chinese currency or the LIBOR interest rate (no, that was last month wasn’t it?)

What won’t it be?

Debt – Deficits – Destruction.

What else won’t it be?

Military industrial complex.  Wars.  CIA spending.  Drones in the homeland skies.  NSA eavesdropping, in the homeland skies.  Troops in Korea, Japan, Europe.

Speaking of drones – what has killed more innocents – American drones or nut jobs in theatres?  Also, speaking of drones, we were wondering about the inevitable but, of course, accidental meeting of a drone and a commercial airliner in our skies.  Will that be mass murder or just homeland security collateral damage?   Do you get the impression that we are now making up things just to keep the bureaucrat PR machine busy?  Don’t worry, that’s not on the agenda either.

What else won’t be on the agenda?

Bubbles in government spending/health care/education.  Bernanke’s odyssey.  Print money to keep the bubbles going.

Medicare costs.  Medicaid costs. 

Debt ceiling.  Debt repayment.  Debt anything.  No one wants to touch debt.  Debt is off the menu; just like foie gras in California.

The topic du jour is going to be anything but what the topic du jour should be.   One group of politicians won’t touch it because they want to keep it (DEBT) going.  The other group won’t touch it (DEBT) because they are afraid to not keep it going.

So why not talk about guns and soda drinks; small private companies and their investment policies; statues of false gods and candidate tax records?   Aren’t you more interested in LIBOR and Dodd – Frank than stopping the spending and the $4 billion of debt added each day while we wring our hands over a Pennsylvania pervert?

Hey, maybe next week we can talk about melting icebergs?  Sure hope they put that on the menu.  May have to wait another week or so because the chicken restaurant guy exercising his freedom of speech is now the topic du jour.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Piling on JoePa

Every day, in America, great lessons are on display.  Please allow us few minutes to explain.

Focused on Happy Valley, Pennsylvania, we Americans are watching the demise of a national icon.  Just a few years ago, Mr. Paterno was glorified as some form of demi – god for that combination of his age, endurance, leadership and accomplishments.  He was a football coach.  Many times he was either so incapacitated or injured that he could not even make it to the field.  His empire paid daily homage to him.  He earned much more than the president of the university and multiples of what was being earned by the lowly teaching assistants who conducted many of the learning classes at his university.  Reporters had to sue to even find out how much he was being paid.  Do you think Penn State and the JoePa regime were anomalies?  Do you not think the JoePa regime bears similarities to other regimes in major college towns across the country today?

Over 20 years ago, the Knight commission on intercollegiate athletics started an investigative process that focused on the many documented derelictions in college athletic programs.  Here, taken directly from their own reports, are observations about the state of college athletics in America:

  • In 1989, as a decade of highly visible scandals in college sports drew to a close, the trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (then known as Knight Foundation) were concerned that athletics abuses threatened the very integrity of higher education.
  • Except for the Ivy League, the schools which were involved were the most visible institutions of higher education in the country.
  • Can colleges and universities continue their traditional posture of upholding the highest values of personal character and integrity when they themselves display so little of either?
  • Public faith in higher education cannot be sustained if college sports are permitted to become a circus, with the institution itself little more than a supporting sideshow.

Arrogance in the athletic department of large public higher education establishments is rampant; fawning (actually terrified) sycophants both within and without the state payrolls of these schools stand around waiting for some false god or some athletic department head to rule on some kid or coach who has violated someone or something.   And it all revolves around money; and winning and power and excess.  There are no term limits; no mandatory rotation of duties and responsibilities.  Money runs the show – coaches are paid as if they were Hollywood entertainers.  Come to think of it, that about describes the way the way they act and the way they are treated.

The Knight commission issued reports in 1991, 1992 and 1993.  Again, every report, every finding, every recommendation is available at:  http://www.knightcommission.org/  They issued a ten year status report in 2001 and we are offering below just one summary observation from that report –

“We find that the problems of big-time college sports have grown rather than diminished. The most glaring elements of the problems outlined in this report – academic transgressions, a financial arms race, and commercialization – are all evidence of the widening chasm between higher education’s ideals and big-time college sports.”

Their most recent report came out in 2010.  Here is part of their summary recommendations:  
This report sets forth reforms that are achievable and that, if implemented, will create a foundation upon which future reforms can build.  Our blueprint for restoring educational values and priorities begins with strengthening accountability for intercollegiate athletics in three ways:

1.  Requiring greater transparency, including better measures to compare athletics spending to academic spending
2.  Rewarding practices that make academic values a priority
3.  Treating college athletes as students firs and foremost - not as professionals

Where have you heard some of these words before - transparency; better measures; values a priority?  Does anyone besides us see any connection; any analogy between the power and corruption in college athletes and the power and corruption in American governance?  Does anyone see this cult of the personality rampant; the money more important than any values; a justification process that always points to the protection of the insider; the lax enforcement of violations and other forms of trespasses?  Are we the only ones that see a direct tie-in between America being just about money; not limits; not discipline; not values and, if so, how on earth can we complain about colleges – athletic programs, coaches and athletes when the top elected jobs in the country are operating on similar distorted values?

One of the most disappointing aspects of the Penn State mess is the rapidity with which sycophants who two or three brief years ago were fawning over JoePa, may he rest in peace, are now removing his statue (what kind of fool builds statues to football coaches at a public institution of higher learning?) and shutting down the football team (what the heck did the current football players do?) and fining the fat cats some chump change for their transgressions (did anyone consider banning the fat cats entirely?)

It is not just JoePa who is to blame even though he got caught up in the nonsense and the power and the money and its all encompassing corruption.  He was just a coach; just a man; same feet of clay the rest of us have.  Even JoePa needed someone to set some limits and discipline on him.  We failed him by not doing so.

If you want to change things start at the top.  In the federal capitol and the state capitols - Term limits; spending limits; debt limits; repay the debt and stop this madness that creates a mythology of men, money and their plans overwhelming common sense and values. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff (FC)

What is the fiscal cliff (FC)?

Well, let’s start with the Hollywood media’s definition as provided to them by their government counterpart - CBO.  On May 22, 2012, the CBO (congressional budget office) issued a report http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/05-22-FiscalRestraint_ScreenFriendly.pdf addressing the “fiscal restraints” built into current law that would take effect in 2013. To wit:
  • Additional tax revenues on 2013 compared with 2012 are $400 billion, mostly coming from tax provisions expiring 12/31/2012 and about $100 billion from reimposing the full payroll tax which was temporarily abated, and
  • Spending cuts are about $100 billion out of a federal spending budget of around $3.5 trillion.  So the spending cuts approximate a reduction rate of a 3%.  Holy smokes, let’s not get too carried away here.
  • A variety of other changes that add up to about $60 billion
  • Total - $560 billion

That’s the FC as defined by those who now define things.  At TheFundamentals we call “fiscal restraints” what they are – living within one’s means.  It is all the things that everyone said we needed to do anywhere from one to three years ago but that we would temporarily postpone because the economy was crappy.  We agreed to defer these things so that we could have huge deficits and borrowings to fix things but we all agreed to get back on track beginning 1/1/2013 (giggle - giggle.)

So, it’s no cliff, it’s just following through with what we agreed to do.  The only problem with this FC is that it has the order of priorities reversed - it should be mostly spending cuts and the reinstatement of the payroll tax and more taxes on loudmouths like Buffett and the Hollywood set.  But let's get to the heart of the matter - the chicken littles are saying the FC will cause a recession.  Will it?

Will these so-called restraints cause a recession or any one of the other terrible consequences coming from the mouths of our glorious leaders?  Of course not.  We are in a recession.  GDP, notwithstanding the lies from elected and hired politicians and bureaucrats, is not up.  It’s down.  The only thing propping it up is deficits financed by our national bank – aka “the fed.”  Well, it is also being propped up by the ongoing diminution of the savings of America’s middle class.  When you look at your bank statement or your investment statement, hoping that it has not declined (think about that – you no longer seek growth or positive increases, you just don’t want it to go down more than you can bear to observe at any one time and this is what our president calls progress) you are experiencing first hand your contribution to our declining economic situation.

If we adjust GDP for the devaluation of the dollar and the deficits and borrowings, known and estimates of the unknown portion, and the decline in your savings and investment accounts, we are in a recession – big time.

And darn it all, all those stimulus things and fancy big spending programs and wars and extended unemployment benefits and huge federal government payrolls with all their benefits and pensions and other goodies (think of all those valuable public servants flying all over, first class, if they are middle managers – private jets if they are higher ups (no pun intended) are not keeping us on a growth spree. 

Huh?  That’s not right.  Why could that be?  Obama, Krugman, Geithner (whatever happened to him?), Bernanke, Nancy, Harry even Barney (ditto?) said just do what we say and things will get better.

Shucks and golly gosh.  T’aint working.  What to do next?

Here is our take - a body, falling off a high cliff can attain a maximum drop speed of about 122 mph.  Physicists call that “terminal velocity (TV).  Don’t confuse this TV with the one many Obama voter’s space out on for 8 – 10 hours per day.  Now, a body falling off a high cliff will reach about 50% of TV in 3 seconds.  We can safely suggest that the American economy has reached 50% of TV.  In the next 5 seconds it will attain 90% of TV.  And in the next 7 seconds, 15 seconds in total, it will be at 99% of TV.

We, at TheFundamentals, estimate that the acceleration goose coming from the Hollywood media’s so-called FC will not materially change anything in terms of our collective TV attainment.  We have one hope, well, really two –

1.    Spiderman can swoop down and grab us from that point where TV and TF (terra firma) meet --

2.    Or, Superman can do the same --

All Hollywood has to do it make it come true.  The actors are in place.  The script has been written – we all heard it four years ago.  And now we are hearing it again.  Let’s just call it Hope and Audacity, the Sequel.

Can’t wait to see this one.  But we do wonder, "Who will they blame in the trilogy?" 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What about the debt Mr. President? An Update.

On February 29, 2012, TheFundamentals published an essay entitled “What about the debt Mr. president?”

At that date, the debt of the country was $15.4 trillion compared with $10.6 trillion on the date Mr. Obama took office and swore to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States.

We never hear Mr. Obama talk about debt.  His prioritization of things suggests that debt is not a concern.  His past in Chicago and Illinois suggest that debt was never much of a concern.   He seems to think outsourcing and his opponents tax returns are a concern.  We think, as elected leader of the country, this debt issue should be the appropriate focal point of his reelection campaign.  We think his opponent needs to make a very big deal out of debt and the need to stop adding to it.

We have promised our readership to draw attention to the issue.

Today, the debt is $15.9 trillion.  It has risen $500 billion since we published our post in late February.  It has now risen over $5 trillion dollars in less than four years, since Obama pledged to uphold the constitution.  It is rising, daily, by $4 billion dollars.

Yet we cannot find or cannot recall any Obama reference to the $5 trillion added to debt on his watch.  We can find no reference to a plan to repay the debt; much less stop adding to it.  We can find no projection of what the debt will be at the end of his second term if reelected.

And yet all his minions, the top military guy, the head of the fed who is actually buying up the debt and his rapidly growing number of departing key bureaucrats say – the debt is unsustainable.


From Mr. Obama – “No comment.” No plans.  No projections.  Nothing.

There is no good word in the English language to describe Mr. Obama’s dereliction of duty.  None. The deliberate and calculated destruction of a nation’s currency is a crime of incalculable import to all its citizens.  Even those who are currently benefitting from the crime will ultimately be destroyed because their children and grandchildren will incur the impact.  If we were to ask Bernanke or Obama or any of the so-called “leaders” who are responsible for this dereliclion of duty how much debt they personally plan to leave to their children and grandchildren to repay – we think they would say none.  Which gives you, the reader, all you need to know about the value these people place on personal and fiscal responsibility and oaths.

We will provide one more “debt” update right before the November 6th election.  Please demand that the candidates address this issue.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”  BObama, July 13, 2012

When you think you are on a roll, it is amazing how you loosen the tongue and the real sentiments come out.  We need to replay the tapes of Obama taking credit for the killing of Osama.  Heck, we need to play the tapes of his blaming Bush II for all the woes of the country.  if what we do when we accomplish something is always a communal activity then it only follows that things like wars and housing bubbles and wall street excesses, heck even the failures of FHLMC (did you know that an Obama stooge by the name of Rahm Emanuel was on the board of this outfit before it went bankrupt?  Man, these guys have short memories) and FNMA and Solyndra must all be community organizing type failures too?

Sure, you can explain away this recent political nonsense as “political nonsense.”  Why not?  The press doesn’t much care what he says, or how he says it or even what it means or even does it mean anything.  Why should they?  They gave him a pass four years ago; three years ago; two years ago and they are doing the same this year.

Do not expect the tone or the publicity to change.  Every democrat attack on Romney will be examined and amplified, by the Hollywood media, and every Romney attack on Obama will be used as brief counter fodder and given I minute of coverage to 59 minutes of Obama attacks.

This is America now.  This is how carefully the Hollywood media care about the direction and leadership of the country.

To the quote above – in case you never had or desired the opportunity to attend an eastern college, or, for that matter, most any college, the statement in quotes above is now the accepted truth.  We don’t teach young people about Thomas Edison or Henry Ford or the Wright Brothers or Jonas Salk (see TheFundamentals March 3, 2011 http://thefundamentalsus.blogspot.com/2011/03/leadership-series-public-servant.html .)  We would get a kick out of the response of Henry Ford to Obama’s idiotic comment about someone building the roads.  Mr. Obama, the roads did not come first. Sorry to so inform you.  It was not the roads that built the automobile.  Other way around.  What worthwhile lessons does Harvard teach?

When we first started writing TheFundamentals we frequently addressed basic economics – things such as wealth creation and market discipline, supply and demand and pricing theory.  Why?  Because no one teaches it anymore.  How could Obama possibly know that what he said is wrong?  Did his mommy or daddy teach him?  Harvard?  His employer?  He has never worked in a competitive business; never attended a school that support the concept of market discipline and doesn’t even ponder the possibility of the need to limit government if you seek competitive businesses that succeed.  His attacks on Romney and his business career are daily illustrations of his training; his education and his distorted knowledge base.  And he is now preaching this catechism of his church to a group of people who desperately want to hear a distorted message.  No wonder the world looks at America, shakes their heads and whispers to each other, “What fools.”

In Chicago as elsewhere, government is responsible for two of the most vital and important responsibilities any government can rightfully lay claim to:

1.    The safety of the law abiding citizen, and

2.    The education of the children (well, not politicians children)

Chicago politicians and bureaucrats fail on both responsibilities.  They failed yesterday, when Obama was part of it; they fail today when his protégé Emanuel is part of it and they will fail tomorrow unless and until the people say enough.  What do failures do?  Lie, distort, bluster and blather.  We all know people who are successful only in their own minds.  In Chicago, we call those people – mayor, alderman, governor, senator and Mr. President.

Is Mitt Romney the answer?  Who knows?  At least he understands who to give credit to.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The NAACP Irony

We know that America is a divided, balkanized country;

We know that the black vote goes to the democrats by an overwhelming majority – 90% or more;

We know that most of those 50% of Americans who do not pay any federal income tax vote for democrats;

We know that white male’s mostly vote for republicans and that a lot of white females vote for democrats and that usually is enough to elect democrats;

We know that well to do folk are admired, envied and are welcome almost anywhere as long as they bring their wallets;

We know that most politicians prefer to give their speeches to friendly audiences and that the ones in power will always pack the audience with those who can read an applause sign.

But here is something we learned just this week – for the very first time.

Mitt Romney had the spine to go to the NAACP meeting and give a speech, the same speech he gives everywhere, calling for the repeal of Obamacare among other things and…

…we know that there is not a snowball’s chance in Hades that his opponent will show up with any one of his standard speeches in front of a tea party meeting anywhere in the United States.

And that is just about all you need to know about Romney and Obama if you are trying to make up your mind who to vote for.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mr.Mayor - Where is the curfew?

There are at least three guaranteed characteristics of anyone in Chicago politics:

1.    They have the answers, and

2.    They have the arrogance and chutzpa to present the answers with great determination and knowing, and

3.    They always make sure they are taken care of and protected and that the same goes for their families.

The streets of the south and west sides of Chicago are not safe for the residents of the communities crisscrossed by those streets.

The politicians and bureaucrats know where to go, when to go and when to stay away from the unsafe streets.  When they do go they are protected – with their own guns; with the guns of the police who accompany them and with their entourages.

The residents operate under a vastly different set of rules –

·         No guns

·         No police escorts

·         No entourages

·         No storm trooper helmets, vests and automatic weapons

·         No laws to protect them if they take their safety and the safety of their children in their own hands

If your child can be shot on her front porch or skipping rope on the sidewalk in front of her home, can you find solace in the tough but empty words of a politician or a police chief or any cop who says it’s this persons fault or that persons fault?

We think not.  We think the mayor and police chief can do one of two things.  Either resign, or get off their well protected fannies and take the following steps:

1.    Declare a dusk to dawn curfew in the neighborhoods noted above

2.    Place two national guardsmen on every block in every neighborhood until further notice

3.    Suspend the Chicago police union contract until further notice – declare a state of emergency and notify each officer that they can either quit or operate under state of emergency orders until further notice.  Terminate all police arrangements to protect any politician current or retired.  It is a disgrace for any police officer to be so engaged when law abiding citizens are unsafe in their own neighborhoods

4.    Give each family in the neighborhood a damaging but non lethal weapon to defend them and their families during the day and let them openly carry it.  Provide immediate training in the use of said weapon(s)

5.    Pass a defense of home law to relieve each law abiding family of any responsibility for defending their home against any threats

6.    Shoot to kill any curfew violator after a clear and recorded warning (Chicago loves to record its citizens but does not extend such similar courtesy to its politicians, police and bureaucrats - time to make this change)

7.    Create safe access for law abiding adult or employed citizens to come and go during curfew hours

Chicago is a disgrace to the country.  Many of its streets are “no-man’s land” and under the control of gangs similar to those operating openly in Mexico.  Good police officers risk their lives to do their jobs in this situation – many will not go there.  The new police chief made himself ridiculously visible fighting a gathering of 100 or so unarmed protesters a few weeks ago safely surrounded by hundreds of storm trooper attired police.  The police banged the heads of these kids attired in their shorts and sandals and then retired to air conditioned surrounding for self congratulatory sharing.  Where is this massive presence at 2:00 am in the Austin, Garfield, Lawndale, Englewood and Kenwood neighborhoods to name just a few?

A few years ago one of the local TV stations did a 3 minute clip on how the cops can make a street safe.  Check it out at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5migYVB9c4

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Paul LePage Speaks Truth to Power

It is interesting to meet a man who is powerful in his own territory – a governor of one of America’s sovereign states, yet who speaks with great humility and intelligence as just one of us – one of “we the people.”

It is not often that a man with this standing, stands up to power and speaks the truth.  We have noticed that there are more governors who are becoming comfortable with saying no to Washington.  That is good; very good because the hope for America now rests with the strength and forbearance of strong, economically successful states that adhere to American fundamentals.  The California and Illinois templates are doomed to failure.  Many others still choose to play the game; go along to get along; always on the make for one more handout; one more “federal government program” to ensnare the people a bit deeper into the briar patch of dependency.

Not so with Paul LePage.  We introduced you to this man one month ago with a posting entitled, “Do you know Paul LePage?”  (See: http://thefundamentalsus.blogspot.com/2012/06/do-you-know-paul-lepage.html ).

We begin today by asking you to spend a few minutes to listen to Mr. LePage’s recent radio address about America, dependency, Obama and his solutions and other pertinent observations about being a citizen of this country in these very strange and distorted times.  Please go to:  http://www.dirigoblue.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Government-run-Health-Care-.mp3

Also, Mr. LePage offers a website to keep current with his actions for Mainers.  It is a wonderful repository of good ideas and common sense (go to:  http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/ )  TheFundamentals has taken the liberty of snitching some of the ideas and common sense from Mr. LePage’s website and presenting them below with full attribution.  We have found no one who can say as much in as few words as Mr. LePage:

“It’s time to get Maine working again, and that means tearing down the roadblocks that establishment politicians have built over the past 40 years. Smaller, smarter government is the key to new jobs and financial security for Maine families.”

“Reducing Maine’s excessive tax burden so Maine families can keep more of their own money is the right thing to do. You know how best to spend or save your hard-earned wages, not government.”

“Welfare should be a temporary helping hand to get Mainers back on their feet – not a lifestyle and ticket to permanent dependence on government.”

An interesting fact.  Did you think that Maine was one of our original thirteen colonies?  It was not.  It was actually a part of the commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820 when it voted to secede from Massachusetts (excellent judgment Mainers!) and then joined the US of A as our 23rd state.  Did you know that Maine was just one of two states that did not support Franklin Roosevelt in the 1936 election?  The other was Vermont.  So much for “as Maine goes so goes the nation.”  More recently Maine has supported the last five Democrat candidates for president including the incumbent.  One of the many peculiarities that fascinates this essayist are the voting idiosyncrasies of Americans – Obama for president; LePage for governor?  By the way, over 90% of Mainers are non Hispanic whites.  The official state treat of Maine is the “Whoopie Pie.”  This is what a whoopie pie looks like:

The world’s largest whoopie pie ever was made in Maine last year.  It weighed 1,062 pounds.  There is hope for America.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Taxing Times for Regular Americans

This essayist gets a kick out of the politicians and bureaucrats and now, even more of a kick out of all the union folk representing government employees who now make much more than private sector workers while enjoying European style vacations and days off, health care benefits and, most of all, ridiculously generous pension plans and payments, telling us that the solution is higher taxes, higher government fees and higher everything flowing to them. 

Let’s take a look at what a real, regular American family earns and pays in taxes.  First we go right to the census bureau (home of really well paid, hard working, public servants who have almost guaranteed job security; all sorts of union rules protecting them from any form of difficult job pressure – lots of high civil service grades paying $80, $90 even $100,000 per year and then, on top of all that, they also get all the free benefits and the generous pensions) and they tell us that the typical American family earns $72,000 a year.  So let’s start with this $72,000.00 (a lot less, by the way, than many government family's).  And let’s give them a household of four – spouse and two kids.  What do they pay with those middle income earnings of theirs to our various hard working public servants across the land?

First, the feds.  Right off the top goes 5.65% (goes up to 7.65% on 1/1/2013) for social security and Medicare.  Never even see it - $4,100.00 gone.

Also, the IRS tells us that this family will pay federal income tax around $4,320.00;  goes to Washington DC, straight out of the paycheck; never seen; never enjoyed; absconded before the worker even gets to count it out and turn it over.

Now this family owns a home.  Bought it fifteen years ago; paid $225,000 and it was worth $450,000 for a few days in 2006 but now it is valued at $275,000.  The local government and the school board and the police and fire pension funds and the library and the mosquito abatement folk all get to add their needs to a property tax bill sent out once a year.  Totals 2% of the value now set by the local appraiser which is $300,000.  So, out goes another $6,000.00.

This family also buys things to support their life style.  Mind you, not a lot of things because you can see that two governments have already relieved them of $18,740 of their earnings or 25%.  When they buy things they pay state and local sales tax at the rate of 7%.  We estimate that they spend about $20,000 each year subject to that tax so out goes another $1,400.00.  And, they live in a state with an income tax – most Americans do, 41 of the states have income taxes.  Their state charges them 3% of their federal “adjusted gross income” which is about $50,000 so another $1,500.00 is gone.

Let’s do a quick tally of where our “middle American family” stands after the needs of the “public servants” have been met from their paycheck proceeds:

Gross Earnings                                                                 $72,000.00


            Social security/Medicare                $ 4,100.00

            Federal Tax                                       4,320.00

            Property Tax                                      6,000.00

            State/local Sales Tax                         1,400.00

            State Income Tax                               1,500.00

                        Sub total                               17,320.00

                              Left over, so far                                   54,680.00                                        

Now, we are not quite done yet but we are already at 24% of our private sector working typical American family earnings are going to governments – one way or another; one place or another.  Over seventeen thousand dollars is levied on them by many different government agencies and those costs keep rising regardless of whether the family is able to earn more.

This family has to pay for its own health care insurance; not entirely but they make a significant contribution each month to its cost unlike most “public servants.”  Each month they pay $450.00 or a total of $5,400.00 for the year.  And as you may be thinking, there are many other forms of government fees and taxes they pay – on their electric, telephone, natural gas and cable TV bills.  They also pay a big tax at the gasoline pump each week.  And, less we forget, they pay license fees for their car and they need to pay other local fees for the bikes, the dog and even the parking meter when they run into the doctor’s office.  Whew!  It adds up to about $950.00 each year.

So, let’s recap.  The family wages start out at $72,000.00 and can be recalculated down to $54,680.00 (see above) after social security, federal tax, property tax, state sales and income tax.  Then they pay for health insurance and other hidden fees and taxes and they end up with $48,330.00.  33% of their earnings go out before they can even address their own issues.  ONE THIRD OF WHAT THEY EARNThey may want their kids to go to good schools, not the ones run by the local teachers union; they may want to contribute to their church; maybe even take a vacation – not to some foreign destination but just to the state park.  First though, they have to pay their mortgage and they have to buy different forms of insurance and they have to pay for their utilities and many other necessities. Their grocery bill rises almost weekly because of the runaway inflation that the high paid, ride around in limousines with all sorts of security, bureaucrats tell them does not exist.  On top of that, this family used to make a few hundred dollars on their savings account and they used to be able to teach their kids to save because the savings would grow with interest payments each quarter.  No more.  No more interest for either them or their kids.

America is destroying its middle class in a way unheard of or unseen in its 236 year history.  It is taking money from regular people and wasting it on record levels of government employees earning record levels of salary and benefits and receiving pension payments earlier and at levels our privately employed family cannot even imagine much less comprehend.  The other consequence of this spending - there's no money for roads and schools and other needed public services.  Money has been spent on bureaucrats instead of products and services.

You can tax the rich, tax everything they make, and you still will not have enough money to pay all the government employees and all their generous benefit programs and all their bureaucratic activities.  So, don’t tell TheFundamentals that you are going to offer relief to regular Americans by taxing the rich.  The only relief for regular folk, working people will come through significant cuts in spending on government employees and programs.  Until then, the times will be very taxing for those of us in the middle.