Tribute to Ronald Reagan.

There is a very good reason hardcore Democrats, like myself back in the 60s and 70s, switched allegiance to the Republican party after Ronald Reagan came onto the seen. Following the failed presidency of the Peanut Farmer (although as a peanut farmer he was the only non-lawyer Democrat to get on the presidential ticket since I’ve been keeping track) it was a good time to look at what Ronald Reagan was doing. Mind you, the Democrat Party was making a case that Reagan literally was demented and unfit to be President (sound familiar – the Dems are good with words but only have a very old and limited playbook). However, sadly for the Dems, anyone watching realized that our abysmal economy not only revived, but flourished. The Cold War, which had terrified people of my generation for decades, ended because of Reagan policies. It is true, he was never able to get his “Star Wars anti-ICBM Program” fully funded, but today everyone is asking “Why weren’t our politicians smart enough to follow through with his plan” – as Kim Jung-Un is loading a nuclear weapon onto one of his ICBMs and threatening to blow up an American city or two.

With all that said, possibly the main reason so many Democrats switched to Republican is that he was “The Great Communicator.” These quotes allow one to see why that appellation was rightly applied to him.

Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.

Ronald Reagan

Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: ‘We win, they lose.’ (Mr. Trump is far from this eloquent, but his message to ISIS is the same.)

Ronald Reagan

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help. (Big Government is Bad Government. It’s axiomatic.)

Ronald Reagan

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.

Ronald Reagan

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong. (Reagan rebuilt our military and now Mr. Trump wants to do the same. Too bad “tweets” aren’t as effective as President Reagan before a microphone.)

Ronald Reagan

I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the  U.S.  Congress. (Think about the Obamacare “repeal and replace” going through Congress at this time – and the Republicans hold majorities in both houses – a luxury Mr. Reagan never had.)

Ronald Reagan

The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.

Ronald Reagan

Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Ronald Reagan

The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program. (The War on Poverty, which started in the late 1960s, is still spending trillions – $21 trillion to date – and we have more “poor” than when we started. There are at least 92 federal programs designed to help lower-income Americans. For instance, there are dozens of education and job-training programs, 17 different food-aid programs, and over 20 housing programs.)

Ronald Reagan

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.

Ronald Reagan

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. (OMG! Truer words were never spoken!)

Ronald Reagan

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book. (Hillary has two books coming!)

Ronald Reagan

No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

Ronald Reagan

During his life though, Reagan downplayed the designation of “The Great Communicator.” In his farewell address, in typical humble fashion, he redirected the praise:

In all of that time I won a nickname, ‘The Great Communicator.’ But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation — from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in principles that have guided us for two centuries.

They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

And thanks to JP for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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Comey testimony in cartoon form.

If one actually listened to the testimony instead of the left-wing media, it was a big snooze.

The only “smoking gun” was the revelation by Comey that the left-wing media is usually wrong, gets “bad leaked intelligence,” but is never in doubt.

Be careful when you get before a “microphone” – people may find out who the “biggest leaker” is.

I’d say this last one sums it up!

And, by the by, Comey showed how “disloyal” a person he truly is yesterday. Who wouldn’t fire a jerk like that if you could see through his facade.

Roy Filly

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Hola from California!

I have posted many times that I am not against immigration and I am definitely not opposed to people of hispanic origin legally immigrating to our nation. I am against illegal immigration.  Nearly 3,000,000 illegal immigrants live in California (about 1/4 of all the illegal immigrants in our nation). They are mostly from nations that are located south of the American border. This helps to explain some of the differences you will note on this map below (map was compiled by Ancestry Blog).

And thanks to PK for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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Thank God! They’re not all nuts!

If you are reading The Rugged Individualist I am certain you are appalled by the anti-free-speech movement on college campuses called “safe spaces.” While many colleges are providing these “spaces” for their students I had not yet seen what the students actually think of this nonsense. Are they all goose-stepping to the commands of left-wing professors?

Fortunately, a recent poll shows that there is some hope for the workings of the minds of college students. A majority of students do not endorse safe spaces on campuses, according to this recently released study.

[Source: New Poll Shows What College Students Really Think About Safe Spaces, by Katrina Willis]

Sixty-two percent of students did not agree with or felt indifferent to safe spaces, according to a poll of 1,659 current college students taken by LendEDU, a student loan consolidation and refinancing organization. Of those surveyed, 37 percent agreed that safe spaces “are completely out of touch with reality” and 25 percent said they were indifferent. Thirty-six percent said they felt safe spaces are “absolutely necessary.” The poll asked students to respond to the question, “Do you agree with college campuses establishing safe spaces?” (Always good to check the actual question that was asked. The language in the question influences polling answers.)

While it is true that the phrase “safe space” has multiple definitions, I believe the question, as posed in the poll, is reasonably straightforward and does not lead more to one choice than another. When used to describe campus life and culture, it usually means protection from emotional discomfort, according to the Harvard Political Review.

It is heartening to think that slightly more students believe “that safe spaces are completely out of touch with reality”  than believe “they are absolutely necessary.”

Roy Filly

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Politics in cartoon form.

The hubris of man extends to the notion that we can actually change the climate.

Hillary has been on “the stump” telling everyone “it’s not my fault!”

This one is not so funny – because the truth hurts.

The left has had a problem for as long as I have been watching them – short term memory loss.

 

Roy Filly

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You can learn a lot from graphs.

Some Millennials are likely to be alive in 3 different centuries – the 20th, 21st and 22nd. Living to be 100 sounds “good,” but affording it might be a challenge.

Who can forget the Crash of 2008, the so-called Financial Crisis. The experts tell us it was because of too much debt – ergo, it is also commonly referred to as the Debt Crisis. Sadly, household debt has surpassed 2008 levels. However, housing debt is still about $1 trillion below 2008 – the 2008 crash is also often referred to as the Housing Crash.

Who believes that 46 million individuals (14.5% of the total population) in the wealthiest nation on Earth – indeed, the wealthiest nation that there ever was – must have food provided for them from the government?

FYI.

As well, compared to other nations (particularly China) our emissions are going down and far below what was projected. My personal assessment is that CO2 is not a pollutant, but, rather, the staff of life. Nonetheless, in or out of the Paris Accord, the USA appears to be leading the way. We’re already back to 1995 levels.

Roy Filly

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Get ready for the “Debt Ceiling” debate: Part II.

Part I of this missive raised some questions. Let’s see if I can answer some of my own questions to your satisfaction. Please note that I first posted this several years ago and have updated the numbers in the text but the graphs are a bit outdated. This failure, however, does not impact the message.

Factor 1: How long have you been spending more than you have? The Statutory Debt Limit, as stated above, was conceived to limit spending. It became Law in 1938.

The graph shows that our government seemed to do pretty well until 1970, the first 194 years of the Republic. Since then debt has skyrocketed. The “debt ceiling” was raised 70 times through 2010 (an average of 1.4 times per year). It was “suspended” in 2012. During all of those years the federal government has been controlled by a single party – either Republican or Democrat – or by both parties simultaneously. It’s pretty difficult to tell were the transitions of power occurred, I am sure you will agree (the possible exception being the Gingrich Congress of the mid 90s). The problem is that once you start going into debt and realize “hey, I am getting away with this” then it is Katie bar the door! The “blue” line is the debt ceiling. It is a joke. Where does the word “ceiling” fit into this graph? By what perversion of a definition can an American taxpayer consider this a “Statutory Debt Limit?”

Factor 2: How much longer do you plan on spending more than you have? Government spending, unless sharply curtailed, is on a roller coaster of increasing debt. That means that our interest payments on the debt will inexorably increase, as well. Today, the interest is no paltry sum ($257 billion), but by 2020 it is slated to rise to nearly $1 trillion. Cicero! It is time to roll over in your grave!

Factor 3: How much more than you have did you already spend? That answer is simple. The current national debt is $19.9 trillion. As noted above, there is no “debt limit.” It was suspended three times under President Obama (most recently suspended by the “Bipartisan Budget Act” on Nov. 2, 2015). That bill states that there will be no legal limit on the amount of money the federal government could borrow until March 15, 2017 (footnote). Oops, it’s June 2017, so we passed the deadline already.

How much does each and every American currently owe? Well, currently every man, woman, and child in America owes $61,305 as their share of the national debt. As the average US family size is 3.14 people, the average family owes $192,500. A friend and blog reader suggested I use “seconds” to illustrate the magnitude of what we currently owe. One Trillion Seconds = 31,710 Years, 269 Days, 1 Hour, 46 Minutes, 40 Seconds. Therefore, if we paid the US debt at the rate of one dollar every second, 24 hours per day – no holidays – we would be all paid up in just under 631,000 years. Of course that is not accurate because it doesn’t include the interest on the debt that currently stands at $257 billion per year. Therefore, over the course of the 631,000 years (if we do not borrow any more money and interest rates do not rise) we accumulate 160 million billion dollars in interest debt. That is 16 with 19 zeros after it – $160,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 160 quintillion dollars. Of course, even that ridiculous number is not remotely accurate because, as the graph above shows, our interest payments quintuple in the next decade. This arithmetic progression results in numbers that are impossible to grasp (and, by the way, impossible to pay back in current dollars). Therefore, get ready for the most dastardly tax of all – inflation!

Will America face “catastrophic damage to the economy” if Congress fails to increase the debt limit. In 1995 Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling. You remember the Great Depression of 1996, don’t you? No? Of course not. Why? Because there was no calamity that followed. Instead the Treasury took several measures to deal with the situation.

As noted in Part I, both political parties are culpable. Raising the debt ceiling is always voted for by the party in power and voted against by the party out of power. Historically, the party in power always wants to increase spending. As a result, lawmakers in power—regardless of party affiliation—overwhelmingly vote to increase the debt limit. The charts below come from the blog of the Urban Institute economist Donald Marron. They show which party voted to raise the debt ceiling in the Senate and in the House from 2002 to 2010. It reveals that overspending is a bipartisan disease.

As Marron explains: “When Republicans held both the Senate and the White House (2003, 2004, 2006), they provided virtually all the yea votes, while almost all Democrats voted no. When the Democrats were in power (2009, 2010), the roles reversed: the Democrats provided all but one of the yea votes, while Republicans voted no. Only when government was divided—with a Democratic Senate and a Republican president (2002, 2007)—has the vote to lift the debt limit been bipartisan.”

Factor 4: How crucial (existential) are these excess spending needs? You are welcome to peruse the list of current government expenditures in my blog post entitled Recent headlines: The chickens are coming home to roost. The existential question is not the necessity of the innumerable ridiculous expenditures undertaken by our Federal government, but the existential reality of our failure as a Nation unless we stop this outlandish spending.

It is my opinion based on the above that the “debt ceiling” has no effect on deficit spending. We are fooling ourselves if we believe otherwise.

Roy Filly

Footnote: That law included a section entitled “Temporary Extension of Public Debt Limit.” It said that the law imposing a limit on the federal debt “shall not apply for the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on ”

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Get ready for the “Debt Ceiling” debate: Part I.

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

Cicero (Stated in the Roman Senate, 55 BC)

Ceiling: An upper limit, especially as set by regulation.

Webster’s Dictionary

Americans are about to watch Congress argue about raising the “debt ceiling.” If ever there was an oxymoron it is the so-called “debt ceiling.” Allow me to begin with my recommendation: We need to eliminate the “debt ceiling.” It only causes trouble and gains nothing. Do not mistake me. I would love to have a true debt ceiling, but we don’t and we won’t. If we want to reduce the size of government, its massive expenditures and it growing debt, arguing about the debt ceiling strikes me as an ineffective and dangerous avenue of attack.

Cicero was the greatest rhetorician in history. Apparently, rhetoric alone does not work. The Romans overspent, much to their chagrin, and the Congress of the United States of America has learned nothing from Roman history, or apparently the history of innumerable other countries that spent themselves into oblivion. Let me now ask a rhetorical question: How much longer can we continue to spend money that we do not have?

The answer to my rhetorical question depends on several factors. Factor 1: How long have you been spending more than you have? Factor 2: How much longer do you plan on spending more than you have? Factor 3: How much more than you have did you already spend? Factor 4: How crucial (existential) are these excess spending needs? I am no economist. I am just a man on a budget. However, it is very easy to formulate these questions. The answers, unfortunately, are laughable when one examines the track record of the Congress of the United States of America (more on the “answers” to these questions in Part II).

Congress indeed has a mechanism to instigate a reconsideration of its spending habits when our budget deficits are out of control. It is called the debt ceiling. Once total outstanding federal debt reaches the limit, the Treasury Department is no longer authorized to issue new debt.

(What I am about to write comes almost exclusively from Veronique de Rugy’s (senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University) excellent article in Reason.com, The Truth About the Debt Ceiling. I suggest you read her article in its entirety. Additional information was provided by the Heritage Foundation.)

As the name implies, the Statutory Debt Limit, or the debt ceiling, was designed and implemented to control government spending. How’s that working out for the average American whose debt it truly is? That answer is the easiest of all to answer. It isn’t!

One can bet that during the debate one or another expert will testify before Congress that unless the debt ceiling is raised the “full faith and credit of the United States” would be “called into question” and there would be “catastrophic damage to the economy.”  How can I know that, ask you? Because, answer I, it has been said in every debate on this issue. However, if a “no” vote is disallowed, then why do we have Representatives? Why did Congress even bother to make the debt limit “statutory?”

The difference between private enterprise and government is stark in the extreme. Businesses must constantly “reform” or die. Government rarely reforms and simply adds to the tax burden or the debt burden. The virtuous cycle of business is enforced by competition. Competition in government is between parties, the two that rotate power both spend. While I am a Republican, their past performance is far from exemplary!

As opposed to the rubric that must be followed by a business if it wishes to survive and prosper, the Federal government has a diametrically opposite rubric. Its vicious cycle of spending is allowed by competition’s absence. Spending is the mark of governmental success. Increased spending means more power for politicians, more prestige for bureaucrats, and more programs for politically-selected recipients. Less spending lowers all three groups’ status.

For the most part the party in office votes to increase the debt ceiling and the opposition party decries the action. Here is a history of how political parties voted when the debt ceiling needed to be raised:

The other argument from those that wish to raise the debt limit is that “it was Congress that voted for the expenditures that brought our national debt to its current crushing level. Now they want to argue about paying for those appropriations.” Sadly, it is a reasonable argument. (If you are looking at the Republican Congress of 1997 – 2002 do not be fooled. The Treasury was awash with revenue from the Dot.Com Bubble.)

Roy Filly

 

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Politics in cartoon form.

I believe in a free press. It’s in the Constitution. However, it is so sad that the “press” imposed it’s own restriction of freedom upon itself. They do not allow themselves to write anything that does not criticize our President.

The disturbing aspect about the cartoon below is that it is precisely ACCURATE!

If Trump survives and succeeds it will be against the greatest odds I have witnessed for a politician in my lifetime.

Why doesn’t the Democrat Party understand this?

Roy Filly

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Political correctness has gone “covfefe!”

If you have been wondering what “covfefe” means you won’t find the answer here. (Personally, I believe the President put that nonsensical word into a tweet purposely. He knew the crazy left wing media would go through all sorts of machinations to “decode” the word and find “the hidden meaning” and, when they couldn’t, flip out over it. I bet he pee’d his pants laughing as they fell for his ploy. But I am using it to get your attention because you are going to pee yourself laughing at this!)

What you will find here are the worst examples of political correctness in my experience. I checked each of these. These are not examples of internet jokes. Indeed, I wish these were jokes. We could just laugh at the idiocy and move on. But alas, this is how the liberal mind works!

In Seattle, police can no longer use the term “suspect.” Instead, they have to write “community member” in their reports.

If you think that is bad, the following is worseWashington’s Department of Corrections (DOC) no longer calls prisoners “inmates”; they call them “students!” Previously, the DOC made the transition from calling these convicted criminals “inmates” to “offenders.” But alas, even the innocuous term “offender” was offensive. “The term ‘offender’ does have a negative connotation and significantly impacts a broad group of people and communities,” Acting DOC Secretary Dick Morgan wrote in an internal department memo. Therefore, if you have been tried and convicted of a crime, and sent to jail, you are a “student.”

The phase-out of the word “offender” began in November of last year and could be replaced with “student,” or worse still, “patient.” After nearly 50 years in medicine as a physician and teacher I am appalled that someone thinks of criminals as “students” or “patients.”

And thanks to JP for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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