For what it’s worth.
Maybe the new editors at the WSJ can reinstitute some truth controls. There’s a glaring error in this story:
The Social Security program’s costs will exceed its income this year for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits.
This is three years sooner than expected a year ago, partly due to lower economic growth projections, according to the latest annual report the trustees of Social Security and Medicare released Tuesday. The program’s income comes from tax revenue and interest from its trust fund.
The trust fund will be depleted in 2034 and Social Security will no longer be able to pay its full scheduled benefits unless Congress takes action to shore up the program’s finances. Without any changes, recipients then would receive only about three-quarters of their scheduled benefits from incoming tax revenues.
The report also said that Medicare’s hospital insurance fund would be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than anticipated in last year’s report. Absent changes, the program then would be able to handle 91% of costs.
The nation’s aging population is boosting the costs of Social Security and Medicare, while revenue gains lag due to slower growth in the economy and the labor force.
Where, exactly, is this $3 Trillion reserve fund, this “lockbox,” located? My guess would be in that D.C. museum with the Constitution, the dinos, and other things that don’t exist.
The “reserves” are but an accounting trick which, simply put, is just more debt for you and your kids to enjoy in the future.
There is probably some hidden truth in the story if one knows what to look for. Those dates in the late 20’s and early 30’s. Something else will probably fail around that time.
Somewhat fitting with this being graduation season. Yesterday’s TPC piece on schooling, part one of two:
The top ten schools in several categories are front and center in the USN report. There is other good performance outside the upper extreme, such as one school I found in a large Floridian city: 96% graduation rate; 64.4% college readiness; 84% AP participation with 69% success; and 71% reading and 66% math proficiency.
That school ranks 29th among all Florida schools and 343rd in the nation. However, this “best” school still graduates 96% of students when 29% are not reading at the level and 34% have trouble with arithmetic. It makes one wonder. It should make one suspicious.
Then, there are the “worst” schools. I skewered them recently in a related article. Please pardon any caustic effect therein. The worst offender districts spend more money than the average while delivering single-digit proficiency results. I think it’s safe to say “fraud” again.
The situation, the fraud is much worse than just poor test results. The whole basis and structure of the public schools in this country is so out of touch with American values that placing children in many or most of our schools is tantamount to child abuse. Seriously. The American model, in many states, is built on the fraud and historic bigotry of Blaine Amendment meddling. A beginning based on hating Catholics. Then, segregation and the hampering of black achievement. Next, integration, both of students and of plans to lower expectations and results. No free thinking citizens produced, just barely competent and obedient worker drone units. That was then. Now, the schools have become prisons.
I’ve been to more than a few schools recently. And I’ve been in more jails and prisons (on professional business…) than the average. There really is little difference. To convert a prison into a school, just add some desks. To make a school into a literal prison, just add bars to the windows. Beyond the physical similarities, there is congruence in the treatment of the inmates. And, in many places, the students literally have fewer rights, less freedom that prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. Click here, read, and think about the application of these principles to your child’s school: Basic Rules and Protocols. In addition to suspicious, you should now be getting angry.
Yesterday I rang a bell about Marvin Goodfriend (who, it turns out, is not a good friend) and his scheme to rob and enslave you. He’s pushing a cashless society, among other things.
I then recalled a link from the old FP News site about rebellion against the same in Sweden. The Swedes.
It’s interesting that I just today ran a piece at FP about Sweden’s sudden call to vigilance about possible war and civil unrest.
Other countries in Europe are quietly doing the same thing even as Americans gain more weight and more tattoos.
These things are all interrelated, thanks to the never-ending gifts of globalism. Ready or not, war and financial crisis are coming to the West. Stefan Molyneux and Peter Schiff discussed part of that and more yesterday:
Watch that, all of it. They discuss the coming crash, the debt, the stupidity, the end of retirement, immigration (both ways), and the near-certainty of full-fledged socialism in America. If you’re on your game, then you can answer the riddle as to why those evil men like GoodFIEND want negative interest rates, even in a time when central banksters are saying things are great and rates should rise a bit. If not, then I suggest maybe another highly respected web log might be more to your liking. Maybe not to read but just one with a bunch of cat pictures. Cats with tattoos. Obese cats with tattoos…
Today Stefan talked to Joseph M. Humire about that socialist disaster in Venezuela (watch that). If you’ve been following along at FP the past year or so, then you know that’s a pet subject and a microcosm of what American’s can look forward to. Turns out there is more to that tragedy than even I knew.
I was going to make a video about all this but what you see here is probably as close to a synthesis as I’ll come for now.
Solutions? Well, you had that lovely election the other day so everything should be fine, right? You took my advice and wisely elected Ron Paul President in 2008, remember? Or not. Schiff is probably right. Barring some great 27-D chess move by the Trump, the suffering masses will be penalized with even more of the same insanity that created these deep problems in the first place.
I have other real solutions (two really) which I will hold tight for the time being. Three predictions as well.
PS: another great column at TPC is coming along any hour now. That, then, here.
For freedom. For his customers. For his employees and their families.
Newman, of J.C. Newman cigars, seeks the exemption of premium cigars from FDA meddling:
But Newman and his industry now have a second chance under a new administration that touts itself as anti-regulation and pro-business.
The FDA has announced it is willing to reconsider the 2016 decision. It began accepting public input in March on whether premium cigars should be exempt from oversight. The comment period runs through June 25.
In Tampa, known as Cigar City for its history as an epicenter for the industry, this is welcome news for those who roll premium cigars. They claim the governance could financially hurt or even put them out of business.
“Over regulation can harm small business,” said Newman, who employs 135 at his Ybor factory, the last in a city that once hosted dozens. The company has been in business for 123 years.
Those interested in helping the fight can do so at the Federal Register, right now. Make a comment, make your voice heard. Here’s mine:
Dear Public Servants:
The FDA (which I cannot find in the U.S. Constitution) has no legitimate business regulating premium cigars. Nor is any regulation, outside that of the free market, needed. The FDA knows well that casual, daily cigar smoking poses no risk of increased health problems. See: Article: FDA STUDY: CANCER RISKS NEARLY NIL FOR 1-2 CIGARS PER DAY, http://www.heartland.org, AUGUST 25, 2016, Dr. Brad Rodu (https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/fda-study-cancer-risks-nearly-nil-for-1-2-cigars-per-day); Study: Systematic review of cigar smoking and all cause and smoking related mortality, Cindy M. Chang, et al, 2015 (https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-015-1617-5)(a comprehensive, multi-decade medical review of amalgamated study sources).
All regulation of the cigar industry is misguided, a waste of resources, and a dire threat to the well-being of those U.S. citizens employed in the cigar industry along with their dependent families, to say nothing of the millions of sensible American adults who happily enjoy cigars and freedom. Such regulation represents a real violation of associated liberty interests of the free people (interests which are found in the Constitution).
Accordingly, please abolish all FDA regulations concerning premium cigars and tobacco. Also, I suggest restitution be paid by the U.S. Treasury to all cigar companies previously affected by such existing regulation.
Kindly leave well enough alone.
The other side of this issue, the heavy-handed, anti-freedom, SJW side, which vaguely resembles the proponent side of gun control communism, relies on outright, known falsehoods:
On that point, Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, noted in a statement that the agency has already weighed in.
“The FDA rightly rejected the option of exempting premium cigars,” Myers said, “finding all cigars increase the risk of disease, are potentially addictive and produce secondhand smoke that can cause disease to non-users.”
I’ve been in a lot of cigar shops over many years. I’ve never seen a single child smoke a cigar. I do, however, follow the facts, which conclusively demonstrate that cigars pose no additional health risks whatsoever. In fact, time was when cigars were recommended by doctors as curative treatment for a variety of ailments – even for the children. That’s how Teddy Roosevelt beat asthma.
Thank you, Mr. Newman.
Save Cigar City! Save freedom!
Tampa Bay Times/ Scott Keeler.
In pushing forward the vast right-wing conspiracy, the Russians seemingly lost their minds. They stooped as low as common tax evasion and something about a beach house. That doesn’t buy many votes. And federal judge T.S. Ellis doesn’t seem to be buying the
government’s special counsel’s deep state’s charging authority.
Mueller’s team says its authorities are laid out in documents including the August 2017 scope memo – and that some powers are actually secret because they involve ongoing investigations and national security matters that cannot be publicly disclosed.
Ellis seemed amused and not persuaded.
He summed up the argument of the Special Counsel’s Office as, “We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.”
He referenced the common exclamation from NFL announcers, saying: “C’mon man!”
Judges change their minds but sometimes, some very few times, the tree is poisoned and charges are dismissed. There’s the old saying: “When the judge reverts to sports talk, the case is over.” Putin knew that all along.
The Department of Homeland Security sparked concerns among media circles after news spread that the agency was creating an online database to monitor journalists, bloggers, social media influencers and others.
Word got out after Bloomberg Government surfaced a job posting from DHS seeking a contractor for a “media monitoring services” project. The job entails creating a searchable database that has the ability to track about 290,000 news sources, both foreign and domestic, according to the DHS’s statement of work.
The contractor will help DHS monitor “traditional news sources as well as social media, identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event,” the job description reads.
“Services shall provide media comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers.”
I’m not sure where this “highly respected web log” would fall on a list of 290,000 outlets. No lower than 291,305 I should think.
An astute member of the media brought this to my attention, seeking my opinion. And … as worrying as this might be I just can’t bring myself to worry about it. There’s already terrific monitoring going on – from the feds and elsewhere.
I suppose it would be an honor to be considered an “influencer” – right up until the time they link the list to the drone system or something.
One, giving the old Constitution an honest read, finds something about a right of and to the free press but nothing about government authority to monitor the same. That’s the real rebranding.
Of note though, DHS’s press secretary tweeted:
Which is basically what they said in the 90’s about Echelon and Carnivore (post initial denials, of course). That means the hype is true and should be worrisome. Still can’t worry here and no once else will likely even notice.
Down in Cigar-Land people seem to tire of Daniel Ortega, again:
Mr Ortega has offered talks but protest leaders have refused, saying police violence must stop first.
Government buildings have been damaged or set on fire, and troops have been deployed in several cities.
Students from Polytechnic University in Managua have barricaded their campus. At least 100 people have been injured.
Pope Francis has called for an end to the violence and for differences to “be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility.”
One human rights group reported that the death toll was more than 25.
Ortega got his political start as a student protester. Full circle. The funding, or lack thereof, for government pensions is and/or will be a sore point from Managua to Paris to Hartford.
No word whether this has reached Esteli or Jalapa. Leave the leaves out of this, please.
Y’all stay safe.
Increased “contributions” and decreased benefits. Americans take note. AFP/BBC.
Happy Tax Day Eve!
As you prepare to make those last minute payments to Mordor, please consider what the money, some of it, is spent on:
On April 12, even US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that the US government does not have any evidence that sarin or chlorine was used, that he was still looking for evidence.
Syria, finding the claims to be lies and the sources tainted, requested that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) immediately come to Syria to investigate the claims. Accordingly, the OPCW agreed to send a team—the visas for which Syria granted immediately—which arrived in Damascus on April 14.
President Trump, instead of waiting for an investigation to confirm his ‘evidence,’ chose the very night before this investigative team would arrive in Syria to inspect the allegations, to bomb Syria. The timing of the attacks is more than just a little timely. And the bombings were illegal.
This is the same OPCW that lately took the Russian chemical out of the alleged Russian chemical poison attack in London.
Ah, heck with “facts.”
Quick recap: Assad used Tower 7 yellow cake, in a surprise attack, to sink the Maine in the Gulf of Tonkin, in violation of unarmed neutrality (NO weapons on board), necessitating income tax withholding only until the Taliban are defeated at Charleston Harbor. That’s the truth! Your taxes: pay them.
Sharpening the double-edged sword:
The Zuck is on the Hill, facing off against a panel of Senatorial Congress Critters:
Some of the toughest questioning so far comes from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who pushes Zuckerberg on whether Facebook is a monopoly.
When asked straight up whether Facebook has a monopoly, Zuckerberg responds “It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me.” The response is met with some gentle laughter.
Graham stays on him, also asking about European regulations and if those rules are right.
“I think they get things right,” Zuckerberg responds, followed by a few more light chuckles.
Chuckles aside, ask yourself this: “When has government regulation ever worked out all that well?” And I’m talking from a freedom of action perspective.
As big, bad, intrusive, and even dangerous as Facebook may be, I’m not aware of them, or any other Social, ever putting a gun to anyone’s head to compel usage, payment, or actions. I could be wrong; I would have asked about it had I been there…
The same cannot be said for government, any government. They have been known to point and click with guns and worse weapons. The State is force. Period.
Facebook, and all the socials, already fall under one form or existing regulation or another. There’s a reason Zuck is being so polite and helpful seeming today. He knows that, with 55 million or 80 million privacy violations, Facebook could be FTC fined out of existence. It won’t be but it could be.
Rather, I see a bunch of Uniparty animals chomping at the bit to further intrude into the internet – for our good and safety and all of course. Is that really what we need?
I assume the answer from most Americans is a big, blank, unconcerned, drooling stare.
UPDATE: A few things:
Zuck it up. Drudge.