Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Harris County Flood Bond - Vote NO!

I know I am going to get some people mad at me, but every word I say here is the TRUTH. We do not need any stinkin' bonds. This is yet another government tax and spend scam. Please hear me out. Early voting started Aug. 8 for the $2.5 billion bond referendum proposed to fund the Harris County Flood Control District projects for flood prevention. Early voting continues through Aug. 21, and election day is Aug. 25. I get it, we need money for infrastructure improvements - no argument at all. First question -Did the state ask and developers to contribute money?? Are they off the hook for overbuilding in many areas??? Second question - based on FACTS - see this website - https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2016/september/rainy-day.php The state’s ESF balance at the close of fiscal 2016 was $9.7 billion. According to a recent study by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), that’s equivalent to about 18 percent of Texas’ annual general revenue expenditures, nearly three times more than a nationwide average of 6.5 percent among states with similar funds. If the 2017 legislative session doesn’t tap the rainy day fund, it should contain about $10.3 billion by the end of fiscal 2017 and $11.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2019. We need $2.5 Billion - we have $10 billion in the BANK!! Texas has the "Rainy day fund." It rained for one solid week, I was here along with all of you. Second question - Why do they insist on taxing us when we have cash in the bank?? HELLO - it's called a RAINY day fund - what do you think a flood is? The argument about matching federal funds is another scam. Those "matching funds' are just more of our tax dollars. Where does the federal gov't get it's money - from us! Are we such sheeple that we just believe everything the politicians tell us and blindly agree to tax us more - the money is already in the BANK - all Texas has to do is spend it now. We don't need any bond issues. A third point - according to the latest federal spending numbers - the feds collected record revenues from taxes - BUT they also continued to run a $683.9 BILLION DEFICIT! We do not have the money - those matching funds are just another excuse for tax and spend policies. They say it won't increase taxes - hmm, not buying it. It will 100% increase LIABILITIES! and federal DEFICIT Spending. We can avoid the whole scam by just saying NO and forcing the governor to spend the money Texans already have in the bank. NO DEBT, NO INTEREST, No future obligations for our children.. Too simple? I want to be the (only??) adult in the room that says we don't have the money - but Texas already does. And it won't cost us a penny!! There are only two kinds of money - Money in the bank - called an asset - and money loaned under debt - called a liability. We are not being wise here - we have assets to use, so why are the politicians wanting more liabilities? easy - They want to keep the "rainy day fund" to fund political PORK projects like business incubators! Enough already! Private business doesn't need government "help". Neither do we Texans.. Vote NO on this bond and force the politicians to spend the money in the bank - for its original purpose.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Are tariffs a good thing? Study history.

On several occassions I have spoken with younger folks from the party and had many discussions about the income tax. Everyone loves to hate it, fair enough. BUT - I get blank stares when I ask what I thought was a simple question - How did the USA get along and pay our bills, fund a military, etc BEFORE the income tax was created - by the 16th Amendment around 1902. Easy - Tariffs were the answer. I was recently interviewed by a conservative group for a possible endorsement - and this question came up. I stated I remember that our founding fathers were big supporters of tariffs, but even I did not know how much until I read this article from Pat Buchanan. From CNS news.com dated 7/23/18. "Patrick Buchanan: Did tariffs make America Great?" https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/did-tariffs-make-america-great The short answer is YES! Please read the article. a few quick points to share: people who wrote or spoke favorably about tariffs: George Washington Alexander Hamilton Henry Clay John Calhoun James Madison Thomas Jefferson John Adams Daniel Webster Abraham lincoln Justin Morrill (Vermont Congressman, author of the Morrill tariffs.) William McKinley (pre-president and author of the McKinley tariffs) he said, "Free trade results in our giving our money ... our manufactures and our markets to other nations. ... It will bring widespread discontent. It will revolutionize our values." His future vice-President Teddy Roosevelt also agreed with him. he said, "Thank God I am not a free trader." Not tired of winning yet? Calvin Coolidge (Fordney - McCumber tariff) Joseph Wharton (steel magnate) These policies worked and caused the USA to grow at a rate unseen in human history - That is what made America great the FIRST 100 years!! Study history or be doomed to repeat it. Note: I am in favor of Tariffs IF we could also eliminate the IRS. That is the best solution. The FIRST 100 years worked well, so why change it? If not, then we need to move toward zero tariffs for all. But that creates a policing problem and if any country cheats there should be severe penalties. Many jobs would be lost before the government reacts.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Math Lesson

Math lesson for today: This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the Word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases. A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959. B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive. C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet. E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it. While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans ... It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division. Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number... What does it mean? A. If you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman and child) You each get $516,528 B. Or ... If you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787. C. Or... if you are a family of four... Your family gets $2,066,012. (NOTE – The republicans just voted for a $1.3 TRILLION = 1300 BILLION spending bill.) Washington, D.C. HELLO! Are all your calculators broken? Building Permit Tax CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Federal Income Tax (Fed) Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax) IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Luxury Tax Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Service charge Taxes Social Security Tax Road Usage Tax (Truckers) Sales Taxes Recreational Vehicle Tax School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Tax Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers Compensation Tax (And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes) STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago... And our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt. We had the largest middle class in the world. And Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell “POLITICIANS”? I hope this goes around the USA at least 100 times What the heck has happened to our Country? Lesson – STOP voting for the same people that got us here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My thoughts on immigration

My grandparents came here legally about 110 years ago and I have the Ellis island certificates to prove it. They came her with hopes and dreams like everyone else, but also with a great respect for American values. They very much wanted the American dream. As I have said many times before, we need to look to history for many answers for modern problems. As a logical engineer, I always ask myself and others, “Why not do what has worked in the past? If it worked then, it will probably work now.” In order to be admitted to the USA, they had to do three things. 1. Pass a health check – if you were sick, you were sent back. No one was allowed to be a burden on the taxpayers, 2. Have a USA sponsor who was financially responsible for you. Again, not a burden on the taxpayers, 3. Sign a form stating you would not take any welfare. Yet again, not a burden on the taxpayers. After that you were free to go, best of luck to you. Of course, it went without saying – if you committed a crime you were gone. I cannot believe that if either side of my family, Italian or Irish, had a relative who was a criminal that they would tolerate that behavior. It was hard enough as it was – anyone who did that would tarnish the family name and make it harder for the rest of the Irish or Italian community to get ahead. As newly arrived immigrants, there was much struggle to gain a foothold and achieve legitimacy. No one wanted a bad apple to ruin it for the rest of them. My Italian grandfather apparently had offers to go to work for a certain group of people in New York, you know who they are, and he said no to that offer. It was time to abandon the old ways. He did not want to associate with any criminals, it was more important to assimilate and prosper. They told me there were signs on building that said, “Irish need not apply.” And also signs that read, “Italians need not apply.” Our family had to look out for each other and help each other whenever possible. I could go on and tell you how poor they were and what we had to do to survive, but there were so many others in the same circumstance. My father told me that when my Uncle Pete came over he had a “letter of introduction” to others in the community vouching for his character from a well-off businessman. Some members of my family had to go back and forth a few times before they could establish themselves. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? If they got a job, they paid taxes like everyone else, no big deal. They were glad to be here. If not, you went back, re-grouped, came back and tried again. My Italian grandfather even forbid my grandmother from speaking Italian in the home. He said the children need to learn English and adapt to America as quickly as possible. That was how he hoped they would succeed. They all had to work under the existing system and learn to play by the rules to get ahead. There was no “accommodation” requested or expected. They all wanted to prove that they could succeed just like others before them and they wanted that pride of accomplishment. I could go on, but the parallel to today’s issues is exactly appropriate. We used to have an open system but ZERO welfare. Yes, it was hard but also efficient and it produced an incredible generation as a result. Today’s immigration system is a mess because we combined too many conflicting values into one catch all system. We should separate immigration from welfare and also separate it from temporary worker systems. My only change or minimum addition to the older system would be to add a background check requirement for filtering out criminals and terrorists because of modern problems. I know for a fact that my grandparents would not want anyone in this country who was illegal or a criminal, no matter where they came from. That is what they were leaving behind in the old countries. The rule of law was sacred to them and part of the attraction of the American Dream. It amazes me that even today we cannot have an intelligent conversation about immigration without euphemisms. Either you are legal or not. A young man I met last week commented that “We cannot have different classes of people!”. I replied , “Yes, there are different classes of people, and it is perfectly legal.” Criminals are a different class of people. They are further divided into groups based on offenses – misdemeanor and felony. Have you ever paid extra or been upgraded on an airline seat? What do they call that section?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

God Bless Texas

Finally I got a metric I can understand - what is the % of our government spending vs GDP?

You can get these numbers for the federal spending, but we also need to know what the overall percentage is for state spending, and it seems Texas is doing reasonably well overall. Now, before you get too excited, remember one of my favorite sayings, "It's not hard to beat zero!". If you compare any state to California, they look really good.

But having said that, here's the rest of the story and the NUMBER: 17.3% Don't ever forget this as we go forward to hold politicians accountable!

From the National review

Low-Tax Texas Creates Most New Jobs

More than half of the net new jobs created in the United States during a recent 12-month period were created in Texas — due to economic practices that are a “model of restraint” the federal government could emulate, according to National Review Online.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 214,000 net new jobs were created from August 2009 to August 2010, and 119,000 of them were created in Texas.

“What does Austin know that Washington doesn’t?” writes National Review Editor Rich Lowry. “At its simplest: Don’t overtax and [over]-spend, keep regulations to a minimum, avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot, and display an enormous neon sign saying, ‘Open for Business.’”

A report from the Texas Policy Foundation disclosed that Texas saw a decline of 2.3 percent from its peak employment, compared to 8.7 percent in California and 5.7 nationwide.

California nearly canceled out Texas’ jobs gain by losing 112,000 jobs, and its unemployment rate is above 12 percent, while the rate in Texas stands at 8.3 percent.

Texas has no state income tax, and is among the 10 lowest-tax states in the nation. It’s a right-to-work state that enacted serious tort reform during the last decade.

“Texas is a model of government restraint. In 2008, state and local expenditures were 25.5 percent of GDP in California, 22.8 percent in the U.S., and 17.3 percent in Texas,” Lowry observes.

He concludes: “In Texas in recent decades, the watchwords have been prudence and stability in the course of nurturing a pro-business environment, while California has undergone a self-immolation that President Barack Obama wants to replay nationally.”

Will government allow the private sector to thrive, Lowry wonders, or stifle growth with “its hyperactivity and favoritism for anti-business interests?”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Obamacare vs. Grandma

Dear Friends:
Please join me in wishing my grandmother a Happy Birthday! Tomorrow she turns 102 years old!

Recently she was in the garden pruning a tree and fell and broke her hip. Well of course she was taken to the hospital and the doctors had a very difficult time deciding what to do. As a family we agreed she should have a chance and elected to have a hip operation so that she could recuperate and return home to her normal life.

Well, needless to say, this was not a simple choice. The doctors were split about her treatment options. The other choice (if you could call it that) was to have a medically induced coma and let her live out her last days "pain-free". Well, all I can say is that we chose to give her a fighting chance. When you are 102 your life is totally in God's hands.

She had her operation and the doctors were amazed, her heart was in excellent condition, she is as strong as a horse. She is almost fully recuperated now and should be back home shortly, living in the home she has lived in for the better part of 60 years. She walks with a cane, but still insists on doing her own chores.

Of course, had we been in the next calendar year when Obamacare takes over, my guess is she would not have survived. Some federal bureaucrat would have refused her treatment because she is statistically too old. Well, Mr. Bureaucrat, Mr. Obama, that "statistic" is my Grandma. Don't mess with Grandma.

Now for the rest of the story......

The first time she broke her (other) hip, some 20 plus years ago, the doctors said the exact same thing. Had we chosen the painkiller only option, she would have lost over 20 years of life because of this decision. When she was in the nursing home last time she was ornery, couldn't stand it. She had to get out because she said there were too many old people there! She got out about 2 weeks ahead of schedule, all the nurses were amazed.

I am glad we DO NOT currently allow some stranger to make these decisions for us, not even doctors. I would not want that kind of authority over someone else, even my family member; it is not our decision to make. We must keep the rights of the individual to decide these things for themselves.

This has taught me a few valuable lessons.
1. No matter what our age or status, our lives are ALWAYS in God's hands.
2. We should not make choices for others about when it is their "time to go".
3. Obamacare would have certainly killed Grandma, any doubters?
4. You have to stand up for personal freedom for any and all people, regardless of race, color , creed or AGE!

Now I ask all of you to decide - take a stand. Are you for Obamacare and against Grandma? Yes or No, simple. No fence sitters or "moderates" allowed, no explanations needed.

If you choose the moderate option, let me tell you what I believe will happen. The Obamacare people will run over you like a steamroller, and you will have given them implicit approval to be the victim. Someday this WILL happen to you or your family member, it is only a matter of time. Not IF, but WHEN.

Please help me understand, exactly - for my grandmother - What HOPE and CHANGE does she have to look forward to?

God Bless Grandma!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Katy ISD bonds, more money for what?

This is from the website:
Tea Party To School Board: We Have Questions About Planned Bond Issue

By: John Pape on Fri, Aug 6, 2010


In a statement released yesterday, the Katy Tea Party Patriots announced the formation of an education awareness team to explore issues associated with Katy ISD’s anticipated November bond election.

In July, the Katy ISD Bond Referendum Task Force formally recommended $459,791,092 bond package to the school board.

Trustees have not yet voted to call the bond election; however, it is widely expected they will schedule the vote for November.

In the statement, the Tea Party Patriots stressed the organization is not taking a stance on the bond issue at this time, but believes “it is important that we start asking some important questions surrounding the proposed bond.”

Education awareness team member and former school board candidate Henry Dibrell initiated the process by issuing a list of questions entitled “10 Things to Ask Yourself Before Voting on the KISD Bond Referendum.”

Those questions included:

- Do you trust the people who will be in charge of spending the money if it is approved?

- Who will make the final decisions about how bond money is spent?

- How much debt does Katy ISD have at present?

- If nothing is done, how much will your taxes go down?

- How were the proceeds of earlier bond money spent; and was there any left over funding? How much?

- What is the status of “left over” funds today? Spent on what? Saved for future use?

- When will these bonds be paid off and at what total cost to the taxpayer?

- If Katy ISD does not issue new bonds what is the impact on our tax rate?

- Are the costs in line with what is reasonable and necessary?

- Who gets to decide how left over bond money is spent? Do you trust them with that task?

The bond package recommended by the task force is made up of the following:

- $282,127,231 in new facilities

- $98,843,953 in comprehensive renovations of existing facilities

- $1,763,626 in expansion of existing facilities

- $18,868,761 in component replacements in existing facilities

- $35,400,245 in technology improvements

- $22,787,275 in “other” expenditures, including portable buildings, buses and bond costs

Tea Party leaders said the group plans on issuing additional awareness information on the bond issue in the upcoming weeks.

Additionally, the Tea Party has announced a change in its regular meeting location. Beginning Aug. 12 at 7 p.m., the group will hold its bi-monthly meetings at the Grayson Lakes Community Center.

My comments are simple, I am a simple guy...

I would like to know a simple answer to a simple question – what percentage of all KISD employees are teachers vs the total employment?
I have yet to get this answer from board members. My gut feeling tells me there are perhaps 50% non-teaching employees when I personally think the number ratio should be more like 80/20 or 90/10 (teachers vs. non-teachers).

I bet we could do without a bond issue if we streamlined some administrative positions, why is it they always fire teachers first instead of bloated overhead management staff? When I was in school we had ONE principal per school, now there are 3-5 per school – why?