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Thursday, March 22, 2012

silver bullion

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Monday, July 25, 2011

A Conservative triple play

A Conservative triple play

That last time Washington D. C. saw a triple play was in 1968 when Ron Hansen managed the feat against the Cleveland Indians in a game in which the Senators lost to the Indians by a score of 10 to one. Now the Republicans are staring at an opportunity to complete their own version of a triple play that could box President Obama into a corner that offers no easy way out.

The Republicans completed the first out against the President by passing the “Cut, Cap and Balance” legislation that many Americans long for. Even though the bill was defeated in the Democrat controlled Senate it should not be looked at as a loss for the Republicans. Speaker Boehner can now stand before the American public and tell them the GOP is trying to put America on the path to fiscal responsibility by balancing the budget and reducing the deficit but they are being undermined by the Democrats in Congress.

President Obama and Secretary Geithner have repeatedly threatened the nation’s veterans, the elderly and the sick by telling them he cannot guarantee them their checks will be mailed come August third. The President is also making our creditors nervous by continuously repeating that our country could default on our obligations to them even though he knows that our Constitution requires the government to pay our debt before any other bills are paid. The GOP should move quickly to pass legislation that stipulates our debt will be paid and checks will go out to Social Security recipients and military personnel.

By passing this legislation the Republicans would force the Democrats to pass it in the Senate or face a constituency of “mad as hell” elderly voters and military personnel. The President would then be forced to sign the law into effect or forever be known as the cruel, uncaring President. Either way the Democrats play it, the Republicans will be able to honestly tell the American public they are acting in their best interest. Out number two for the President.

The debate concerning the raising of the country’s debt ceiling has dominated the headlines for the past several weeks. House Republicans should stand firm in their opposition to any increase in debt. A denial of increased indebtedness to the President would result in a budget that is automatically balanced. The government would be forced to spend only revenues that are collected. This would force the President to make difficult choices about which agencies and social programs would be curtailed or altogether eliminated. Let the President explain his decisions to an American public that would increasingly see the situation as one that was created by the President himself. Out number three.

Conservatives would see refusal of a debt ceiling increase as an opportunity to shrink or even eliminate agencies and programs they have long felt were unnecessary. Organizations such as the Department of Energy, the Education Department or the EPA could be defunded and sent the way of the dodo bird.

Liberals would view the President as being too weak to negotiate with Congressional Republicans well enough to keep alive their social “give away” programs they call safety nets. Democrats look at the President and see the man that cost them ability to influence voters with taxpayer money.

With three outs against him, odds are the President would not be voted back into the Whitehouse in 2012. Any day without this man as President would be a good day for America.

Carl Goodson lives in Lake Jackson, TX. Carl can be contacted at www.conservativecarl@gmail.com.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Put a fence along the border!

In Arizona they march and they protest. Every night the major networks news program hosts speak of their outrage. They are, of course, the people who oppose Arizona’s new illegal immigration law. Even though they are organized and make a lot of noise, recent polling suggests the protestors are really a small number of people. In fact 60% of all voters favor a law that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal alien (1).

Maybe one reason so many people support this law is the fact that each year over 130,000 sex crimes are committed by illegal aliens in our country. Over 82,000 of these crimes are committed by illegal aliens that have been deported and then re-entered our country illegally (2). This is an outrage.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) our Federal and Local governments will spend over $61 billion in 2010 providing social services to illegal immigrants. The cost to provide these services in 2020 is expected to rise to $106 billion (3). This for sure is an outrage.

Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa has released statistics that he says show illegal aliens are responsible for 4,380 murders and 4,745 drunken driving fatalities each year. Representative King’s statistics are disputed by many groups but the point he has made is that even one American citizen being killed by an illegal alien is definitely an outrage.

Many people would like to see all 20 million illegal aliens in our country (4) rounded up and given a one way ticket back to the country from which they came. I am a conservative and I have always believed we have to take some form of action but I know any action has always been impossible to implement as there are only about 17,000 border patrol agents (5) and approximately15, 000 Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents (6). This is just not enough agents to get the job done.

If the legislatures in all 50 states had the fortitude that Arizona’s legislature has displayed every state would have a statute that mirrors Federal law as Arizona’s does. This would bring 800,000 general law enforcement officers employed by local, county and state governments (7) into the illegal immigrant fracas. Surely 800,000 officers could, in a short a period of time probably, apprehend and deport the 20 million people that are in our country illegally.

There is no doubt though that deportation alone is not enough. In September 2009 the U.S. Border patrol reported that there are 1,300 miles of Southern border not under effective control (8). There must be a deterrent to prevent people crossing the Southern Border illegally and I believe the best way to accomplish this would be to have a true wall along the border. Not just any wall will do though. It should be a wall 20 feet high and topped with chain link fencing. That chain link fencing should be charged with a gazillion volts of electricity and all the appropriate warning signs places on it. If someone did try to climb that fence it wouldn’t take long for word to get around that it is not a good idea to try and enter the United States illegally.

Yes there are small groups of people expressing their outrage concerning a law that most Americans agree with and these people are garnering some attention from the major networks. I only wish there was a network that would report the outrage I feel when I think of people who are in our country illegally and are receiving my tax dollars and committing crimes.





(1)www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/58_favor_welcoming_immigration_policy
(2) www.usillegalaliens.com/impacts_of_illegal_immigration_sex_crimes.html
(3) www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16723&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1007
(4) Robert Justich and Betty Ng “The Underground Labor Force is rising to the surface” Bear Sterne, January 3, 2005
(5) www.cnsnews.com/news/article/54514
(6) http://wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement

(7) www.allcountries.org/uscensus/354_general_purpose_law_enforcement_agencies_number.html
(8) www.cnsnews.com/news/article/54514

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tax Freedom Day

I have a friend that attended the anti-tax rallies that took place on April 15th. This friend is active in the local Tea Party movement and taxes are his favorite issue. Naturally like many of the tea partiers he believes Americans are overtaxed and there is a need for a reduction in services provided by Federal, State and Local governments. I believe my friend’s favorite day each year is “Tax Freedom Day” as determined by the think tank group at the Tax Foundation.

According to Tax Foundation this year’s Tax Freedom Day was April 9th, the 99th day of 2010 (1). This is the date that Tax Foundation claims all Americans will have paid enough taxes to pay for governments spending for the year. If President Obama’s $1.3 trillion dollar deficit is to be included in this calculation the actual Tax Freedom Day would really be May 17th, the 137th day of the year (2).

I wonder on what date Tax Freedom Day would be if the national debt were included in the Tax Foundation’s calculations. Currently the United States’ national debt is almost $13 trillion (3). $13 trillion represents almost 90% of our country’s Gross Domestic Product. In other words it would take 90% of everything made by everyone in the entire country for one year to pay off the national debt. My crude calculations would make October 26th, the 329th day of the year, Tax Freedom Day.

President Obama has formed a commission that is tasked with the difficult if not impossible goal of reducing the national debt and deficits. The President has promised there is no program that is sacred and everything in government will be considered with regard to saving money. This will be a very difficult objective for the commission as our nations unfunded liabilities are projected to be over $108 trillion. This is such a large number I’ll bet the calculators at the Tax Foundation will crash and burn trying to figure out when Tax Freedom Day will be.

Nearly all of this unfunded liability comes originates with programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. There are only two ways to keep these programs; either reduce benefits or raise taxes. These programs are extremely popular among voters and it will be interesting to learn which of the two choices, or a combination of both, will politicians make. It is evident that Americans are comfortable with their social programs and will not want to give them up. Personally I believe that in future years every American will be paying higher taxes.

I am sure many of the Tea Partiers like my friend have not even considered when Tax Freedom Day really is. One thing is certain though and that is Tax Freedom Day is not April 9th or May 17th or even October 26th.

My tax hating Tea Party friend will surely be saddened when he realizes that there probably never will be a Tax Freedom Day in the United States.

Carl D. Goodson
Clute, TX

Carl D. Goodson is the author of “Letters to the editor: What is your government doing to you?”

(1) www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday/
(2) Ibid.
(3) www.usdebtclock.org

Sunday, April 25, 2010

practicing socialism

Anyone that watches Fox News knows that opinion show host Sean Hannity does not hide the fact that he considers President Obama to be a committed Socialist. Any liberal guest that appears on his show is asked if they follow the Karl Marx axiom of “To each according to his needs; from each according to his abilities”. Hannity makes it crystal clear he believes our President is a devout believer of this. In fact Hannity has asked the question so often it made me wonder if this country is indeed on the path to Socialism.

One of the basic concepts of socialism is everyone will contribute to a pool of finite resources that are then doled out to each individual equally. Much like Socialist societies, businesses also have a finite amount of resources that are designated to pay employee wages. Just as citizens living in a Socialist society contribute to the collective by paying extraordinarily high income taxes, workers in our society contribute to the corporation through their labor.

Generally speaking, labor unions demand their members be treated equally with regards to pay and benefits. In this manner unions depress the wages of very productive workers and increase the wages of less productive or incompetent workers. This is detrimental to the business in that overall productivity is not as great as it would be if the less productive workers were replaced. For sure an atmosphere of mediocrity is fostered in such an environment.

Another basic premise of Socialist societies is that the elderly will have their needs provided to them by the younger workers. The United Auto Workers Union practices this belief with the provisions in their contracts that provide for life time wages and health care to be paid for by the Detroit automobile manufacturers.

It is widely acknowledged that these “legacy” cost were a major contributor to the fiscal problems the American auto manufacturers have experienced in the last several years. It is unrealistic to believe these corporations can provide for every need of these former employees while they are no longer providing a benefit to the corporation.

The UAW claims they have made major concessions to the auto companies that will result in less benefits for retirees but these concessions apply only to newly hired people. Anyone employed before these negotiations took place will still receive the benefits agreed to in previous contracts regardless of the effect these agreements have on the company‘s bottom line.

Without a doubt some blame must be placed on the executive officers of these companies that agreed to these contracts but we should understand the executives were held hostage by a labor force that considered only one interest; that of it’s members. Management could not endure work stoppages that would produce a reduction in the number of cars produced and thereby cost these companies a vital share of the auto market.

In the past 16 months we have seen the government take control of two car companies and several lending and investment institutions. Most recently we have witnessed the government take the first steps toward a single payer health care industry. Many Americans consider these government involvements in private business to be acts of a Socialist society.

Conservatives like Sean Hannity will always argue with Liberals about whether President Obama is a Socialist or not but one thing is certain, it didn’t take me very long to realize one of the oldest and most prominent groups that practices socialism is labor unions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A State of Mind

In the last 15 months we have witnessed the government takeover of two car companies, the nation’s health care insurance industry and several banks after former President Bush in a non-conservative move declared them too big to fail. Since when has any company in America been too big to fail? The politicians in Washington have seen fit to become the sole provider of loans for college students and have decided they alone, not the free market, should determine the salaries of top officials in publicly traded companies.

Now Representative Wexler of California is subpoenaing executives of several large corporations because they have taken a charge against their records because of the recently passed health care reform. It seems that the Congressman is upset these companies are tainting the public’s perception of the new program. Never mind these companies are required by law to declare this new expense to shareholders.

Now Senator Schumer has asked a court to prevent an airline from charging $45 for carry on luggage. This thought process has become the norm for the Democrats in Congress. The free market should determine if this airline has made a wise business decision. They, as all businesses should, either sink or swim based on their decision.

null

Monday, April 12, 2010

open registration

How can the President and his Democrat cronies expect to retain control of Congress when recent polling shows that the majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction? The answer is in the legislation that is currently being written by Sen. Chuck Shumer and Congressman Barney Frank.This legislation is known as "open registration". Open registration will allow the government to register to vote anyone and everyone that receives social assistance of any kind. Estimates of the number of adult illegal immigrants in the United States range from ten and one-half million to 17 million. Most if not all of these illegal immigrants receive some type of assistance ranging from free lunch programs for their kids to welfare to food stamps to WIC and Medicaid. All of these illegals will now be registered to vote and will have a say in determining who our next President will be.

Open registration will also override some states laws that prohibit convicted felons and mentally disturbed people from voting. This legislation will place the burden of proving these people are not qualified to vote on the government instead of making these people prove they deserve the right and the privilege of voting.

Whatever happened to registering to vote and showing a photo identification at the voting poll. The Democrats now believe they have found a way to add 20 to 30 million voters to their core voting base.Almost 50% of Americans pay no taxes and in fact receive some type of benefit from the government and will not vote out the politicians that provide these benefits, adding these previously ineligible voters to the rolls will give the Democrats a majority that will be extremely difficult for conservatives to overcome.

Dictatorships are born this way. Shrewd leaders know that a populace that is dependent on the government will not change or overthrow the government that provides their existence.

Carl D. Goodson

Saturday, April 3, 2010

When I awoke this morning I noticed the crawler that was creeping across the bottom of the news cast was touting the Presidents plan to expand the area of offshore waters that are open for the exploration of oil.

Critics of the expansion of drilling claim that it would take at least five to ten years for increased drilling activity to impact the price of oil. While I know this is true I also know the sooner we get started the sooner more Americans will find well paying jobs. The oil and gas industry is directly responsible for 9.2 million jobs (1) and the expansion of the industry to its full potential could easily create another nine million jobs.

Environmentalist worry that drilling will cause pollution of the oceans but the fact is that natural oil seeps on the ocean floor account for 60% of all oil in North American waters while releases from oil platforms account for only about one percent of the oil in these same waters (2).

I have been employed in the offshore oil and gas industry for most of my adult life so when I heard this announcement I was cautiously optimistic concerning the long term economic benefits this act would provide our nation. With our unemployment rate continually hovering near 10% coupled with the fact that our economy loses over three hundred billion dollars per year to foreign oil companies and governments would seem to indicate the expansion of drilling activity in offshore waters would be a common sense proposition. Results of some of the most recent polling demonstrate that the majority of Americans support offshore drilling by a 72% to 28% margin while 59% of Americans believe drilling should be allowed of the coast of California and the New England states (3).

While I am enjoying dinner this evening and watching the nightly news I am disappointed to discover the President is opening only a small portion of our country’s available oil rich outer continental shelf. He is leaving off limits the oil rich waters of the Pacific Ocean and the near coastal waters of the State of Florida.

This action is a decision that has angered both the Republican Party and the President’s anti-drilling Liberal base and places the President in the middle of an argument that has persisted for years between pro-drilling factions and anti-drilling environmental protection groups. True conservatives in the Republican Party believe this action does not go far enough, that it is still places too many oil rich lands off limits. Environmental groups that supported Mr. Obama’s Presidential campaign sees this action as a stab in the back because the promises he made to emphasize “green” renewable sources of energy and curtail oil drilling seem to have been abandoned.

When I was growing up my father taught me the middle of an argument was never a good place to be, that you would catch heck from both sides. The President obviously was not taught this. The President has once again managed to simultaneously anger conservative opposition groups and his liberal base of supporters.

There is a wives tale that says cats have nine lives. One has to wonder how many political “lives” this President has remaining.

Carl Goodson lives in Clute, a suburb of Houston TX and is the author of “Letters to the editor: What is your government doing to you?”

(1) www.energytomorrow.org/Industry_Jobs.aspx
(2) http://books.nap.edu/html/oil_in_the_sea/reportbrief.pdf
(3) www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/offshore_drilling/72_support_offshore_drilling_59_favor_it_california_and_new_england

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Third party payer

Once again there is talk in Washington that the public option may be a component of President Obama’s health care plan. The President has repeatedly stated his desire for a single payer or “universal”, health care system in the United States and has spent much of the past week demonizing insurance companies.

Liberals and Conservatives are constantly debating the proposed health care plan with each side holding firmly to their beliefs. Liberals believe that only the government has the size or the power needed to provide equal health care for all and the greedy insurance companies need to be regulated out of existence. Conservatives believe the capitalist system with it’s free markets are the responsible and correct way to proceed.

Liberals will recite tales of the horror insurance companies have inflicted upon families or they will numb you with statistics detailing how many Americans have been forced to declare bankruptcy because of the lack of coverage some 30 million people face every day. Liberals will shock you with tales of people that are forced to wear their dead sister’s dentures because they cannot afford to buy their own and then try to convince you the government has all the answers to all problems.

Conservatives will warn of the control government will have over ordinary Americans. They will speak of the cost of the plan which they claim will be much higher than the cost forecast by the Presidents administration. Conservatives will swear that free market principles such as portability, tort reform and health savings accounts are the type of reform needed.

The truth is there is almost no difference between a single payer system and the system currently in place except the single payer makes individual participation mandatory while the current system depends upon voluntary participation. A single payer system would collect premiums in the form of taxes and then reimburse health care providers. Since 50% of Americans pay no taxes they will be subsidized by those working Americans that do pay taxes, making this a wholly socialistic plan. Insurance companies act as a single payer system in that they collect premiums from individuals and reimburse health care providers but they also keep a percentage as profit.

As long as there are third parties such as insurance companies or a government paying the health care tab in America there are no real free market forces at work. A true free market would be a market in which each individual would be responsible for his or her health care. Free market forces known as supply and demand would determine the cost of health care.

Humans rights come from a creator not a government and in America health care has always been considered a commodity, not a right. To make health care a right instead of a commodity would shift the responsibility for one persons decisions onto another person thereby infringing upon that persons right to not care about anyone else.

Just remember, any right the government provides can also be taken away.

Carl D. Goodson
Clute, TX 77531

Carl is the author of the book “Letters to the editor: What is your government doing to you?”

www.carldgoodson.com

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The right to work?

While campaigning for the Presidency Senator Barak Obama promised organized labor he would make enacting the Employee Free Choice Act (card-check) legislation, which would eliminate the secret ballot to unionize a work place, one of his priorities if he was elected. After more than one year in office the President has not acted upon his promise. Leaders of organized labor are becoming concerned about the lack of progress and union members are beginning to voice their disapproval.

Many people feel the card-check legislation would undermine legislation passed in right-to-work states. Many Americans live in states that are known as forced union states where there are no right to work laws and therefore they are required to join a union if they land a job at a unionized work site. Most people feel forcing someone to join a union as a condition of employment is un-American. Currently there are only 22 states that have right-to-work laws and most of these states are in the south.

Organized labor opposes right-to-work laws because they say workers can be “free riders” by choosing not to join a union thereby denying the union the fees that members pay. The reality is that three out of every four employees covered by union contracts opt to join the union and pay dues (1). Union officials argue that wages and benefits are higher in unionized states and that fewer occupational injuries occur in unionized settings. The truth is that in almost every measurable category statistics show citizens that reside in states with a right-to-work law fare better economically than citizens in states that have no right-to-work legislation.

During what President Obama calls the worst economic crisis of our time, right-to-work states had job growth at .1% while forced union states lost .3% of their jobs (2). A telling statistic concerns construction job growth; in the last five years of available data construction jobs in right-to -work states have grown at a rate of 10.6% compared to 1.8% in forced union states (3).

Union officials claim that wages are 6.5% lower in right-to-work states than forced union states (4) but that difference disappears when local cost of living is accounted for (5). Workers in right-to-work states enjoy a faster growth rate in real disposable income, 15.8% versus 9.1%, than workers in forced union states and they have a higher disposable income at $34,878 versus $32,811 (6). There are only seven residents per 1,000 that receive welfare in right-to-work states as opposed to forced union states where the rate is more than doubled at 16 in every 1,000 (7).

While it is true the rate of fatal injuries is higher in right-to-work states as a group, three of the four states with the highest rate of fatal injuries are forced union states, with Wyoming being the exception (8).

The Employee Free Choice Act is being debated in both houses of Congress and enjoys broad support among Democrats but is opposed by conservative Republicans. Contrary to the statements made by union supporters, enacting “card-check” will undermine right-to-work laws. It is a fact enacting “card-check” will lower the standard of living for every one in all right to work states.

Carl Goodson is the author of “Letters to the editor; What is your government doing to you?”

(1) www.mackinac.org/9180
(2) www.mackinac.org/10515
(3) Ibid.
(4) www.wslc.org/legis/ri-work.htm
(5)www.mackinac.org/9180
(6) www.nilrr.org/files/NILRR%20FACT%20SHEET%20RTW%20States%20Benefit%202009.pdf
(7) Ibid.
(8) www.mackinac.org/9180