Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Obama's Spending Record Sucks

All these stories recently about how Obama is such a great President because he hasn't increased spending by as much as previous presidents are almost amusing, if it wasn't for the fact that we're spending ourselves into insolvency. Then the counter stories trying to explain the whole thing accurately are so full of opinion (or overexplanation) that they forget to actually lay out the information so it's easily read. So I figured I would list this out pretty clearly using only Bush's last 8 years to prove the Obamaites wrong.

Receipts = Amount taken in in taxes
Outlay = Money budgeted by the government
Deficit = How much over tax intake the budget was
(R) = Republican-controlled Congress
(D) = Democrat-controlled Congress

(R) 2004    R- $1,880B        O- $2,292B        D- $412B
(R) 2005    R- $2,053B        O- $2,479B        D- $427B
(R) 2006    R- $2,407B        O- $2,655B        D- $248B
(D) 2007    R- $2,540B        O- $2,784B        D- $244B
(D) 2008    R- $2,521B        O- $2,930B        D- $410B

In 2009 Obama took control, along with the massive Democrat majority. Since the 2009 budget was already passed I will split it up to show spending between the two presidents.

(D) 2009    R- $2,105B        O- $3,518B        D- $1,413B       

$475B was from TARP, which Obama voted YES on, so he is just as responsible. On top of that in March of 2009 he signed a budget adjustment bill of $410B. Also, the $838B Stimulus was NOT included in the yearly budget.

(D) 2010    R- $2,165B        O- $3,721B        D- $1,556B
(R) 2011    R- $2,567B        O- $3,834B        D- $1,267B
(R) 2012    R- $2,926B        O- $3,755B        D- $828B

That's over $4,000,000,000,000 in deficit spending under Obama's watch in just 4 years, at least it took Bush 8 years to manage his additional spending, and he had a two full on combat situations to pay for, unlike Obama who has only had to do cleanup.

Absolutely amazing how spending went up the second the Democrats ended up in charge isn't it? And then look at 2010, suddenly the deficit spending started going back down once the Republicans stopped Obama from spending like crazy. Bush is certainly just as responsible for the massive increase in 2009, but he spent $410B less than what he gets credit for because the MSM loves to add that extra spending Obama added in to Bush's plate.

In case you're wondering, my info comes straight from the government's own legally required PUBLIC records at the US Government Printing Office.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Law of the Sea Convention

Leon Panetta and General Dempsey are bloody morons. The Law of the Sea convention that they are pushing the Senate to ratify would allow the UN to arbitrarily strip the US of waterways that belong to our country simply by have another nation that dislikes us, or wants access to the resources (hello Cuba), to bring the dispute to the UN. They then make a judgement, that we would be legally required to follow, as to who retains control of the waters. Judgement is determined by a board of shifting board of UN members (as most UN committees are), many of which are openly hostile toward us. Yes, let's just ratify a treaty that gives our enemies yet another way to destroy us.

Monday, May 21, 2012

China On The Move Again

It all started with President Nixon opening up negotiations with the Chinese so the US could place listening posts along their border with Russia during the Cold War, ignoring the mass murder of their own citizens through starvation to rival today's North Korea and the consistent jailing of political opponents of "Communism." In reality China is neither a Communist nation nor a Republic, it's a dictatorship on par with the various Chinese dynasties for the last several millenia, complete with crony politics that are only emulated here in the states (our guys still have a lot to learn) that include gifts to local magistrates to be allowed to conduct business in their regions, etc. Nixon and Kissinger's "achievements" were hailed as a great success. Really it was just because they saw Russia as a bigger threat and the government of China at the time agreed with us on that front. Nobody foresaw China becoming anything greater than it was at the time because it lacked any serious industrial infrastructure.

Then years later came President Bill Clinton with his "Most Favored Nation" trading status, which went against his statements during his presidential bid. It separated the need for China to make advancements in human rights in order to maintain trade with us, and it was even opposed by several in his own party, including Nancy Pelosi of all people. It also had the somewhat unknown effect of removing nearly all tariffs on Chinese goods imported into the U.S. This isn't the case for goods heading the other way, not that we have anything the majority of Chinese people would want to buy anyway, and it removes a rather large source of income that is actually constitutionally available to the federal government without increasing taxes on our own citizens AND makes the prices more competitive in regards to goods manufactured stateside (very few goods manufactured in the U.S. can compete price-wise against goods made in China because of the massive regulations and tax burdens imposed here).

Then in June 2011 the Treasury department gave China a direct line on U.S. Treasuries that allowed them to bypass Wall Street primary retailers, something required of nearly every other foreign buyer, including Japan, a country that is actually an ally of ours (and still required to pay import tariffs btw). This shields their purchases from statistics that Wall Street uses to price the various bonds and sell at higher prices, thus allowing our government to get a better deal on debt sold to foreign bond purchasers (and reducing the influence said purchasers may have on our government). If anyone misses the national security threat there, they are blind, or they are purposely selling us out.

In August the Chinese deployed their first aircraft carrier. They had purchased it from Russia, disassembled and reverse engineered it, then put back together so they could make their own later. It's eerily similar to how Japan was buying up all of our scrap metal years before WWII and then used that metal to build aircraft carriers they then used to attack Pearl Harbor. Armament buildup is a precursor to increased aggression, and China has a pretty poor record of respecting the opinions of their own people, let alone other nations. Case in point coming along in September when they started harassing a number of Vietnamese ships in Vietnamese waters while claiming that territory belong the China.

Then a short break from China building up their military for them to get final approval from the Fed to purchase a U.S. bank. The bank in question was China's ICBC (Industrial & Commercial Bank of China), however China has already shown in the past that the government has overall control of all activities that occur in their country. The fact that many of their larger computer companies are basically reserve units for China's cybermilitia shows that "private" company or not, anyone with eyes knows who is really calling the shots.

Then, earlier this month China lays a more serious claim to an island within the territorial waters of the Philippines (the islands are about 100 miles off the coast of the PI, while 500 miles from China). They proceeded to blame the increased aggression on the Philippine government, and then threatened them with military force if they didn't give in. These are the people our government is ceding control of the Pacific to by downsizing the U.S. Navy and refusing to approve replacement vessels for ships in serious need of decommission (ones like the USS Essex, which I was stationed on for 4 years, and always had serious problems like this recent event).

Then just this morning it was announced that a Chinese firm has bought out AMC to form world's largest theater chain in the world. Sure, that doesn't seem so bad right? I mean it's just the movie industry, and they've been pissing everyone off lately anyway... The only problem is that such a large theater chain means they now have an even larger source of income coming to them from foreign shores. More foreign money that is siphoned right into the hands of the Chinese government.

People who don't believe China is a serious threat need to go back and look at China's own history. They are very patient people, but when they think they have enough to win, they will go out to conquer other regions. They will bluff and bully others into giving in to save their resources for now (and gain the resources of the bullied in the process), but eventually they will use that rather large military to get what they want. As a nation we cannot afford to keep denying what is right in front of us. The above events don't seem like much when viewed individually, but even more recent history closer to our shores shows what can happen when a nation decides to press another by using the purse rather than the cannon. Anyone remember Spain's downfall through British and French mercantilism? Their fall from prominence wasn't all brought about by violence...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Drones Over US Skies (Update)

There was an article pointed out to me by Suburban Banshee about 3 agencies being required to cooperate. Apparently they put in some updates to UAV use in the states included in this year's NDAA. They are minor however, additions to the NDAA from 2009, and don't really contain any cause for alarm even though the DOD is involved (they already were).

So I went through the new NDAA for 2013 (search "sec. 1074" and pick the second one), and then backtracked through the 2009 NDAA (lookup "sec. 1036" and pick the third one) that it referenced. From what I could tell the only real changes it made is that the military needs to get off their butt and pay more attention to their certification of pilots and updating licenses for flight areas with the FAA. They've always been required to apply for authorization to fly UAVs within NAS (National Air Space), so you won't see them flying around spying on people. Legally they aren't allowed to do so in the first place with any intel collection method, and any information they gain on US citizens during the performance of their duties must be reported to local/federal law enforcement if it's determined to be illegal activity. It also must be deleted/destroyed within 90 days (might be 60, been awhile since I dealt with that stuff directly).

Also it requires the SecDef to work with the Administrator of the FAA to find better ways to go about certifying and approving licenses between the two agencies given how much the DoD needs to use NAS for training purposes. From another pair of people I talked to on the Air Force side (their opinions do not represent the opinions of the Air Force, nor should they be construed as an attempt to set policy, or be considered an official statement by any means) I know they are wishing they could transport the UAVs by actually flying them from base to base instead of having to tear them apart, package them, ship them, then reassemble them due to the fact that they fly in the same altitude sets as most private planes.

There are additonal provisions directing the two agencies and NASA to collaborate "scientific and technical personnel and sharing resources" to "advance an enduring relationship of research capability to advance the access of unmanned aircraft systems of the Department of Defense to the National Airspace System" and "to conduct research and seek solutions to challenges associated with the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System." Not anything to be worried about, they still have to go through the FAA for permission, the DOD, FAA, and NASA are just being told to find a faster way to get it done between the agencies.

The SecDef is also required to submit annual reports to the congressional defense committees on all collaboration efforts.

I really despise how Congress writes bills and then references old bills instead of putting everything in one package with a supercede note at the end like the military does, by the way. Of course, that would make every bill as long as the AHCA (Obamacare) and people would actually be able to pay more attention to what they're doing up there...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

Call, mail, or email your senator and House representatives to repeal this stupid law. It is destroying the ability of Americans to work overseas, and will probably majorly affect the ability to even invest in overseas ventures. Seems like a great idea on paper, what with forcing American companies not to outsource, but nobody on the Hill seems to have used their brain to realize these companies and their CEOs/owners will just leave the country altogether to do business elsewhere. You think there is a country in the world that wouldn't want Microsoft (as an example) to be hosted in their country completely? The tax law requires foreign banks to comply by disclosing all deposits and earnings by American citizens or else they will not be able to do business with any American banks. So rather than deal with the hassle and massive cost increase (some are suggesting an entire team to deal with the law) they are just ditching American customers, and denying new ones.

I agree with the premise of the law, to deal with Americans who hide their cash in offshore accounts to avoid taxes on money made in America. If the money is made in another country, it should fall under the tax laws for that country. If they want to bring it back here to the states for use, then you can tax it, but that tax should be about 5% and definitely no more than 10%. Let's be honest though, even with all of the supposed tax evasion going on (which they can't prove or there would be actual court cases) the people they're accusing still pay a ridiculous percentage of total yearly taxes. They are not the problem, the problem is with the lower 40% or so that not only effectively pays no taxes, but the ones that recieve back more money in their tax return than they even paid in! I only marginally mind people effectively not paying taxes, what I do mind is when they get back more than they put in.

It's mildly amusing how they are all about disclosure of private company and individual's money, but not so much with government employees (you know, those people like Hillary Clinton who get all the inside info about what bills are coming down the pipe so they can make millions off the stock market while the rest of us would go to jail). This bill being a specific example. Rather party line vote for that one too, nearly all the Dems voted against having high lvl executive branch members be required to publically disclose their earnings while the Repubs voted for it. Private disclosure to the government is alright, but government disclosure to the public is such a bad thing, right?

Monday, May 7, 2012

DoD Budget Cuts

Hey, here's an idea, instead of reducing military funding for technology upgrades and the number of troops, how about we cut out a ton of civilian positions instead? Oh right, we can't! Why is that? Because you can't fire DoD civilians without a mountain of paperwork thanks to all-powerful (or nearly so) public sector unions. Thanks JFK, thanks. It's easy to boot people out of the military, just wait until their enlistment is up in a couple of years at the worst.

DoD civilians have a tendency to stick around until they die, or FINALLY retire, and their paychecks are many times larger than their military equivalents. Wouldn't it make more sense to just keep active duty personnel than to pay someone twice as much as a civilian? Not only would it cost less, but it would prevent a stagnation of ideas due to people who have been there for 30+ years refusing to change their ways regardless how well they work (or don't work).

DoD Budget "Casualties"

The Washington Times doesn't even mention why until the very end of the article, where people are paying less attention. That should have been one of the first sentences, but we wouldn't want to anger those unions now would we?