The Working Poor that Conservatives Don’t See, Hear or Smell

I’ve written about my old friend before—the tea party worshiping, neo-conservative loving, born-again Christian who won’t give up. He keeps sending me e-mails that supports his freaky, far-out thinking.

Today he sent me two e-mails that I remember. I’ve pretty much forgotten the others—what I think of as mostly humorous filler.

I’m starting with the e-mail that alleged: “Rosie O’Donnell gets ISIS tattoo for ‘freedom fighters’.”  This one came from a site that calls itself The People’s Cube.  According to Wiki, The People’s Cube is a U.S. based satirical conservative website that was launched April 1, 2005, as a sequel to Communists for Kerry.

Since this e-mail came from my old, long-time friend, the Far-Right Cement Wall, I immediately went to Snopes and then Urban Legends. There was nothing on the Urban Legends website, but I hit pay dirt with Snopes.

Snopes reported that what The Peoples Cube published about Rosie O’Donnell was FALSE. “That article was widely circulated via social media, with many readers mistaking it for a genuine news report.”

Are far right extremist conservatives really that gullible and stupid? Don’t answer that question, because I don’t think most extremists—left or right—bother to fact check anything.

Here’s one sentence from the other e-mail from my friend, the Far-Right Concrete Wall—I’d share the entire e-mail, but I think it is too long and pretty much repeats the same crap.

“Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money? What’s interesting is the first group ‘worked for’ their money, but the second didn’t.”

My response: More crap thinking for fools who are easy to fool. Do you actually believe this crap? I hope not.

THAT CLAIM WAS WRONG!

Studies show that 49% of all SNAP (food stamps) participants are children (age 18 or younger), with almost two-thirds (66%) of SNAP children living in single-parent households. In total, 76% of SNAP benefits go towards households with children, 16% go to households with disabled person, and 9% go to households with senior citizens.

Stigma associated with the SNAP program has led to several common misconceptions about how the program works and who receives the benefits. For instance, many Americans believe that the majority of SNAP benefits go towards people who could be working. In fact, more than half of SNAP recipients are children or the elderly. For the remaining working-age individuals, many of them are currently employed (THEY ARE CALLED THE WORKING POOR WHO WORK FOR POVERTY WAGES FOR COMPANIES LIKE Walmart or the fast food industry). At least forty percent of all SNAP beneficiaries live in a household with earnings. In fact, the majority of SNAP households do not receive cash welfare benefits (around 10% receive cash welfare), with increasing numbers of SNAP beneficiaries obtaining their primary source of income from employment.

Food stamps (SNAP) is just one welfare program. Another welfare program is Housing Choice Vouchers.

The fact sheet for this program says, “The housing choice voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

“A large Majority of Housing Voucher Recipients Work, are Elderly, or Have Disabilities. Elderly or disabled households make up nearly half (49 percent) of all voucher households, a significant increase over the past decade. This increase, which stemmed largely from a jump in the number of voucher households headed by a non-elderly person with disabilities, may have been driven substantially by restrictions on the types of households that can receive newly authorized vouchers.

“Three-fourths (75%) of the voucher households that are not elderly or disabled either work or participate in other programs that have work requirements. Most of these households worked in 2010 or had worked recently, despite the high unemployment last year. Nearly half of the remaining households in this group include a pre-school child or a child or other adult who is disabled and may need care.”

In fact, my wife rented an apartment she once owned to a woman and her daughter who were eligible for this voucher. The woman worked two jobs—one full time at Costco that started at $11.50 an hour (the average pay at Costco is $21 an hour) and is considered one of the highest starting wages for this industry—but several years ago Wall Street criticized Costco for paying their employees too much, because, if Costco paid poverty wages like Walmart, then the Costco’s stock might have been higher due to higher profits so the already wealthy shareholders could increase their wealth even higher (I read the Op-Ed piece that criticized Costco).

This woman, the renter, also worked a part time job, but still earned—with two jobs—poverty wages.  She couldn’t afford a car, so she walked to the nearest bus stop and took buses to work for both jobs.

Starting pay at Walmart is $9 an hour (before this month, April, starting pay was less), and the average is $12.94. Forbes reported, “Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing …”

“Walmart told analysts last year that the company has captured 18 percent of the SNAP market,” it reads. “Using that figure, we estimate that the company accounted for $13.5 billion out of $76 billion in food stamp sales in 2013.”

I then challenged my old friend, the Far-Right Cement Wall, to PLEASE POINT OUT the U.S. Welfare Programs that pay able bodied adults not to work, and prove it. He hasn’t replied yet. He seldom does. What he does is wait for me to call him a fool, and then he accuses me of calling him names, because—according to him—this is what Liberals do when they are wrong and have nothing better to say.

Maybe he should ask The People’s Cube for help to manufacture some fake satirical evidence that other fools like him will believe without thinking.

In conclusion, some mental food for thought. Think by Numbers.org reports that the “Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs”. How much more: “About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.”

 _______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His fourth novel is The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

 Book Cover and Blurb to use in promotions

Lloyd Lofthouse also worked as a maître d’ in a nightclub called the Red Onion for a few years. A romantic at heart, in his award winning novels, he tests true love in difficult situations and the challenges of keeping that love alive. My Splendid Concubine, his first novel, is an epic love story that teaches acceptance and respect for other people and their cultures. Running with the Enemy, his second novel is a love story that will either cost the characters their lives or will complete each other’s hearts. Lloyd Lofthouse lives with his family in California’s San Francisco Bay area.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Does anyone ever question what political party in the United States does the best job dealing with poverty and why?

In this post, we are going to examine the top ten in each category—highest versus lowest rates of poverty. Each state gets three points. One point for each governor’s party and one point for the majority of the state senate and one point for the majority of the state house or general assembly. When I stared to research this topic, I had no idea what the results would be.

Top Ten States with the HIGHEST rates of poverty

#1 Mississippi 20.1% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state and only 5.3% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#2 Louisiana 18.3% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state and only 4.6% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#3 New Mexico 17.9% – GOP governor and State House (the State Senate majority is Democratic), and only 7.2% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#4 Alabama 15.9% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state and only 9.8% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#5 Texas 16.2% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state and only 4.5% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#6 Arkansas 15.9% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state and only 5.9% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#7 Oklahoma 15.6% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state and only 6.6% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#8 West Virginia 15.4% – Democratic governor but GOP State Legislature and only 13.8% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#9 Arizona 15.2% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state and only 8.8% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#10. South Carolina 15% –  GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is a Right to Work state and only 3.9% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

RESULTS: 93.3% of state governments for the TOP ten worst states for POVERTY in America are led by the Republican Party, and eight of these ten states are Right to Work states. A “right-to-work” law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.


Workers in Right to Work states earn about $5,300 a year less, have less health care with higher poverty rates and work related deaths are 51% higher because unions can’t speak up about worker safety.

Top Ten States with the LOWEST rates of poverty

#1 New Hampshire 5.6% – Democratic governor and GOP majority in both houses of the state Legislature, and only 10.6% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#2 New Jersey 6.8% – GOP governor with a Democratic majority in the both houses of the state legislature, and only 18.3% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#3 Vermont 7.6% – Democratic governor with a Democratic majority in both houses of the state legislature, and only 10.4 % of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#4 Minnesota 8.1% – Democratic governor with a Democratic majority in the State Senate and a GOP majority in the State House, and only 16.1% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#5 Hawaii 8.6% – Democratic governor with a Democratic majority in both houses of the state legislature, and only 24.3% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#6 Virginia 9.1% – Democratic governor and GOP majority in both houses of the state Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state with only 4.1% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#7 Utah 9.2% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state with only 5.8% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#8 Delaware 9.2% – Democratic governor with a Democratic majority in both houses of the state legislature, and only 13.4% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

#9 Nebraska 9.5% – GOP governor and State Legislature, and it is called a Right to Work state with only 8.3% of the work force belongs to a labor union—Right to Work means anti-union.

#10 Connecticut 9.7% – Democratic governor with a Democratic majority in both houses of the state legislature, and only 16.9% of the work force belongs to a labor union.

RESULTS: 60% of the state governments for the TOP ten best states with the lowest POVERTY rates in America are led by the Democratic Party, and only three of these states are Right To Work states—this means that seven of the top ten states with the lowest poverty rates allow labor unions to negotiate for union workers.

Infographic on National Debt by President

How about the federal national debt? I’ll bet most Americans think that President Obama is responsible for that $18 Trillion debt and blame him. But if you look closely at the chart, you will quickly discover that of the last 12 presidents starting with Truman in 1945, three presidents are responsible for about half of that debt—they are Reagan and the two Bushes and these three presidents left Obama with a mess: two wars, the greatest financial recession since the Great Depression, the lowest tax rate in decades and the highest federal spending.

After reading this post, what is your conclusion about labor unions, Right-to-Work states/laws and the two major political parties when it comes to poverty and the federal national debt?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

An example of a Financial World run by Milton Friedman Economic Thinking by looking at the Hunger Games

In Milton Friedman’s world, profits are god—more important than an end to poverty, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To Milton Friedman thinking, the only way to end poverty is for the top 1% to earn more than the bottom 99%, and to see that those earnings for the 1% continue to increase while the net worth of the 99% continues to shrink.

And here’s a perfect example of how this thinking works: The Hunger Games franchise.

The latest Hunger Games film, Mockingjay  – Part 1,  came out on November 21, and the next day, Saturday, I read a major media financial news piece about  how this film was a loser, because it didn’t earn more money its first weekend than the previous Hunger Games film, Catching Fire.  Before I reached the end of this piece, it mentioned how the stock prices had dropped for the production company behind the film due to this horrible opening. IMDb.com

Now for a dose of reality—production costs for all three films compared to the total box office to the date of this post:

The Hunger Games cost $78 million to produce, but total global box office earnings reached $692.3 million its first 168 days.

Did this film lose money, and what was the profit margin?

Catching Fire cost $130 million, but total global box office earnings reached $864.9 million in its first 133 days

Did this film lose money, and what was the profit margin?

Mockingjay – Part 1 cost $125 million, but total global box office earnings reached $480 million in 10 days.

Did this film lose money, and what was the profit margin?

Does Mockingjay – Part 1 look like a loser to you? It does to anyone who worships at the altar of Milton Friedman, because profits must always show an improvement over the last quarter. There is no room for DOWN. There is only room for UP.


To Milton Freedom, Greed is god, but what does the Bible say about Greed?

That is what Milton Friedman economic thinking looks like—if you worship at Milton Friedman’s altar of GREED, you worship wealth acquisition anyway you can get it even if those methods cause the extinction of homo sapiens by destroying the earth’s environment.

For instance, the Tea Party movement, funded by the devout Catholic, professed libertarian Koch brothers, is not interested in facts, truth or reality. The Tea Party was born on a platform of lower taxes and less spending ONLY after Obama—an African-American—was elected president, who is, surprise, surprise, a Milton Friedman neo-liberal.

No one who follows the Tea Party movement blindly will mention, discuss or admit that three GOP presidents since 1945, are responsible for 62% of the federal National Debt of $17.9 Trillion: Presidents Reagan and the two Bushes, and it was Reagan who ushered in the era of Milton Friedman economics that is a major force behind the corporate war on the public schools in the United States.

There have been 12 presidents since 1945 starting with Truman.

The federal National Debt this morning hit about $17.9 Trillion, and $10.64 Trillion of that debt came from those three GOP presidents thanks to Milton Friedman’s insane theory of greed-based economics.

By the way, the Koch brothers are also funding the propaganda campaign to deny that Global Warming is caused by carbon emissions. Guess what the foundation of their great wealth is based on?

oil

And don’t expect anyone who worships at Milton Friedman’s altar of greed to mention the country that reduced global poverty  by 90 percent in the last 30 years—Communist China.


Milton Friedman thinking leads to Disaster Capitalism

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The ignorance of tea party conservatives is so outrageous it’s scary

Some guy or gal named Axelrod (probably a guy but you can’t tell on the Internet) demonstrated his ignorance of the tea party movement and its claim that it only wants a smaller federal government. Axelrod revealed a truly frightening fact—that there are many really ignorant people in America who are allowed to vote. (Yahoo.com)

Axelrod claimed that the basic tenets of the Tea Party were to reduce taxes, limit the size of government and hold people responsible for their actions. Okay, but there are a lot of facts conservatives ignore that the tea party movement might be the 21st century’s racist Nazi party or Ku Klux Klan. Read on to discover why I dare say this.

Where were the tea party people when President Ray-gun (do you remember President Reagan’s Star Wars weapons program? Probably not) added $2.6 Trillion to the national debt during his stay in the White House. That’s $4.7 Trillion in today’s dollars.

Where were the tea party people when President G. H. W. Bush added $1.4 trillion more to that exploding national debt? In today’s dollars that’s $2.26 Trillion

Where were the tea party people when G. W. Bush was president? You know, Bush #2, who started two wars—and Iraq was based on lies of WMDs. This Bush added $6.64 Trillion to the National Debt equal to $7.06 Trillion in today’s dollars.

And when we look at annualized growth in real per capita government spending:

Nixon and Ford’s growth rate was 2.8%
Ray-gun was 2.6%
Bush # 1 was 2.1%
Bush #2 tied with Ray-gun

How do the Democrats compare?

Carter 2.2%
Clinton 0.75%
Obama 1.3%

Now let’s look at the size of federal government by how many people work for it (not counting the military):

Under Carter federal employment shrunk by 8,000 civilian employees.

But by the end of President Ray-gun’s era, there were 3.133 million federal employees—an increase of 238,000.

Under President G. H. W. Bush, federal employment shrunk by 30,000 but was still a net gain over Carter.

And under President Clinton—drum roll please—the federal government shrunk by another 280,000.

Then comes Bush #2 and the federal government added 380,000 civilian employees for a total of 2.756 million.

How about Obama, who is the target of the tea party movement claiming its goal is to reduce the size of government? According to the New York Times on January 11, 2014, federal employment was at a 47-year low at 2.723 million [under President Obama].

In fact, those who claim to be Reagan small government conservatives—the tea party people and their supporters—who blame Democrats for growing government are either lying to the American people or are themselves willfully ignorant. Then again, they could just be closet racists refusing to admit the truth.

For a more informed answer, let’s look closer at the roots of the tea party movement:

The “History of the Tea Party Movement” by Beth Rowan says, the movement had its start in February 2009. President Obama was sworn into office on January 20, 2009.

What’s interesting is that there is no way in God’s green Earth that Obama could have been responsible for the 2009 budget and its $1.4 Trillion deficit because that budget was voted into law by Congress on October 1st, 2008 (as dictated by law) while G. W. Bush was still president. Obama’s 1st Budget wouldn’t be voted on until later in 2009 around October first.

Yet, the tea party movement blamed Obama for 2009 anyway.

You see, every president’s first year in office operates off a budget created by the previous president and passed by a previous Congress.

In addition, the president’s budget request is just a proposal. Congress then reviews the request and passes its own appropriations bills; only after the president signs these bills does the country have a budget for the new fiscal year.

The only rational and logical answer is that the tea party movement is controlled by bigots and racists who mask what they really think behind the claim that they just want the federal government to be smaller.

Hey, tea party people, wake up, the federal government is smaller than it’s been in 47 years.

In 2013, a study published in the journal Tobacco Control concluded that organizations within the movement were connected with non-profit organizations that the tobacco industry and other corporate interests worked with and provided funding for, including “Citizens for a Sound Economy” (founded by the Koch brothers. Others have argued that the Koch brothers were essential in fostering the movement with an agenda to promote corporate profit at the expense of the public good.)

Why is it that every time we look too closely at those who deny global warming; claim public education is failing, and the people who don’t like President Obama, the Koch brothers keep showing up? For sure, these billionaire brothers who inherited their wealth aren’t patriots because they appear to be subverting the democratic process. The traitor Benedict Arnold doesn’t even compare to these two.

Does today’s tea party conservatism in America equal racism and bigotry?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Some guy or gal names Axelrod (probably a guy but you can’t tell on the Internet) demonstrated his ignorance of the tea party movement and its claim that it only wants a smaller federal government. Axelrod revealed a truly frightening fact—that there are many really ignorant people in America who are allowed to vote. (Yahoo.com)

Axelrod claimed that the basic tenets of the Tea Party were to reduce taxes, limit the size of government and hold people responsible for their actions. Okay, but there are a lot of facts conservatives ignore that the tea party movement might be the 21st century’s racist Nazi party or Ku Klux Klan. Read on to discover why I dare say this.

Where were the tea party people when President Ray-gun (do you remember President Reagan’s Star Wars weapons program? Probably not.) added $2.6 Trillion to the national debt during his stay in the White House. That’s $4.7 Trillion in today’s dollars.

Where were the tea party people when President G. H. W. Bush added $1.4 trillion more to that exploding national debt? In today’s dollars that’s $2.26 Trillion

Where were the tea party people when G. W. Bush was president? You know, Bush #2, who started two wars—and Iraq was based on lies of WMD. This Bush added $6.64 Trillion to the National Debt equal to $7.06 Trillion in today’s dollars.

And when we look at annualized growth in real per capita government spending:

Nixon and Ford’s growth rate was 2.8%
Ray-gun was 2.6%
Bush # 1 was 2.1%
Bush #2 tied with Ray-gun

How do the Democrats compare?

Carter 2.2%
Clinton 0.75%
Obama 1.3%

Now let’s look at the size of federal government by how many people work for it (not counting the military):

Under Carter federal employment shrunk by 8,000 civilian employees.

But by the end of President Ray-gun’s era, there were 3.133 million federal employees—an increase of 238,000.

Under President G. H. W. Bush, federal employment shrunk by 30,000 but was still a net gain over Carter.

And under President Clinton—drum roll please—the federal government shrunk by another 280,000.

Then comes Bush #2 and the federal government added 380,000 civilian employees for a total of 2.756 million.

How about Obama, who is the target of the tea party movement claiming its goal is to reduce the size of government? According to the New York Times on January 11, 2014 (that’s today), federal employment was at a 47-year low at 2.723 million [under President Obama].

In fact, those who claim to be Reagan small government conservatives—the tea party people and their supporters—who blame Democrats for growing government are either lying to the American people or are themselves willfully ignorant. Then again, they could just be closet racists refusing to admit the truth.

For a more informed answer, let’s look closer at the roots of the tea party movement:

The “History of the Tea Party Movement” by Beth Rowan says, the movement had its start in February 2009. President Obama was sworn into office on January 20, 2009.

What’s interesting is that there is no way in God’s green Earth that Obama could have been responsible for the 2009 budget and its $1.4 Trillion deficit because that budget was voted into law by Congress on October 1st, 2008 (as dictated by law) while G. W. Bush was still president. Obama’s 1st Budget wouldn’t be voted on until later in 2009 around October first.

Yet, the tea party movement blamed Obama for 2009 anyway.

You see, every president’s first year in office operates off a budget created by the previous president and passed by a previous Congress.

In addition, the president’s budget request is just a proposal. Congress then reviews the request and passes its own appropriations bills; only after the president signs these bills does the country have a budget for the new fiscal year.

The only rational and logical answer is that the tea party movement is controlled by bigots and racists who mask what they really think behind the claim that they just want the federal government to be smaller.

Hey, tea party people, wake up, the federal government is smaller than it’s been in 47 years.

In 2013, a study published in the journal Tobacco Control concluded that organizations within the movement were connected with non-profit organizations that the tobacco industry and other corporate interests worked with and provided funding for, including “Citizens for a Sound Economy” (founded by the Koch brothers. Others have argued that the Koch brothers were essential in fostering the movement with an agenda to promote corporate profit at the expense of the public good.)

Why is it that every time we look too closely at those who deny global warming; claim public education is failing, and the people who don’t like President Obama, the Koch brothers keep showing up? For sure, these billionaire brothers who inherited their wealth aren’t patriots because they appear to be subverting the democratic process. The traitor Benedict Arnold doesn’t even compare to these two.

Does today’s tea party conservatism in America equal racism and bigotry?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Obama’s loss/profit Bail-Out balance sheet

Forbes reported that the U.S. Treasury sold all of the remaining shares of General Motors common stock ending four-and-a-half years of government ownership. Taxpayers loaned GM $50.1 billion but only got $39 billion back.

It didn’t take long before tea party people and other Obama critics started shouting from the rooftops what a horrible president Obama is because of the $11 billion dollar loss. No mention is made of the 2.6 million jobs that were saved and the $105 billion in potential lost taxes. You have to visit Washington Examiner.com for that news.

Forbes does mention that the Treasury Department has recovered a total of $432.7 billion on all investments under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) compared to the $421.8 billion it paid out to banks resulting in an $11 billion profit—erasing the loss from the GM loan.

In fact, tea party conservatives and the GOP will never tell you about April 19, 2009, when the Obama administration came up with an outlined plan to convert the TARP bank bailouts into an equity share to protect the taxpayers’ money. And there will be no mention that the American Bankers Association (ABA) lobbied Congress to cancel the warrants owned by taxpayers, calling them an “onerous exit fee”.

In addition, under President G. W. Bush management of TARP, a December 22, 2008 Associated Press article stated, “The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government TARP money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what’s the plan for the rest?

None of the banks provided specific answers… Some banks said they simply didn’t know where the money was going.

But—this is what’s interesting—according to the Pew Research Center, “Almost half of Americans—47%—incorrectly think President Obama is responsible for the bank bailout known as TARP.

Who is responsible for the incorrect opinions of half of America? The answer is simple: the conservative media machine that works 24-7 reporting cherry-picked facts to manipulate public opinion. Both sides do it but the evidence suggests that the GOP does it better. A defense against this would be to look for facts and avoid opinions—if you know the difference.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 3 of 3

Back to the question that I asked in Part 1—why has it been so easy for the GOP to fool so many adult Americans into believing that President Obama is responsible for the growth of the national debt since he took the oath of office?

I think it has to do with adult literacy skills where one cannot understand what he or she reads, and those adults turn to some other source for information—for example—Fox News; Rush Limbaugh; Sean Hannity; Glenn Beck and others just like them who spew misinformation cherry-picked from facts that mislead fools.

In the United States, 43% of adults read at the most basic level and only 4% read at the highest level of literacy. … [the 43%] is a class of adults who, although not meeting criteria for functional illiteracy, face reduced job opportunities and life prospects due to inadequate literacy levels relative to the requirements of contemporary society.

And these people are eligible to vote. In fact, ten of the eleven poorest states in the US voted for McCain, the Republican candidate for president in 2008. In addition, the top 15 most educated states voted for Obama while 82% of the least educated states voted for McCain. Source: DailyKos.com


Bill Maher: most Americans are Dumb and Uneducated

My conclusion: if your literacy skills are so low you have no idea of how to find the facts to check what your favorite conservative claims is the truth as he or she cherry- picks the facts, then you are easy to fool.

And if you are among the 4% who read at the highest levels and you believe that President Obama is one-hundred percent responsible for the increase in the National Debt since he took the oath of office, then you are lazy because the facts are there—from primary sources—for anyone who wants to spend the time to discover them just like I did for this series of posts.

If you have read this far and want to learn more, you may want to read about discretionary spending versus mandatory spending at Keeping America Great.org. And if you read this short explanation, you may notice that the word “President” doesn’t appear anywhere. But the word “Congress” does—over and over.

Here’s my first recommendation for spending cuts: cut the Department of Defense by 50% and stop fighting wars with countries that never attacked America. Vietnam never attacked America. Iraq never attacked America.  And it could be argued that Afghanistan never attacked America. The attack on 9/11in New York was caused by al Qaeda who was operating out of Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled that country.

Al Qaeda is made up of terrorists who are scattered across many countries but rule none. They are hunted criminals, killers and outlaws and the Taliban were removed from power in Afghanistan during the war and now are no different than al Qaeda.

Do we really need to spend $700 billion annually to fight these terrorist gangs who have no country?

Abraham Lincoln was right. There will always be some people who will be fooled all of the time.

After reading all three of the posts in this series, if you still believe Obama is responsible for the increase in the National Debt while he has been in office, prove it by showing us where he increased discretionary spending without approval of the Congress.

Return to I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 2 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 2 of 3

If you read Part 1, then you might understand that the annual federal budget is a complicated process and no President or Congress can be held responsible for all of the Mandatory and Discretionary spending. By that, I mean, can we blame President Obama for Social Security; Medicare; the VA, the Department of Defense [formed in August 1949], etc.?

Have you ever asked what would happen if the President and Congress had to cut discretionary spending and stop borrowing money to fund government, what would have to go? Mandatory spending cannot be cut because it is funded with specific taxes. For example, Social Security cannot use other taxes to fund that program. Social Security has to be funded by the Social Security tax but Congress has used this tax to fund other departments and programs. To understand this better, I suggest you read Social Security and Medicare’s impact on the national budget = ZERO!

To—hopefully—give you a better idea, I found this information at The Heritage Foundation: In 2012, there was $2.501 trillion in total revenues; Mandatory Spending was $2.073 trillion, and Discretionary Spending was $1.313 trillion.

If the government was not allowed to borrow, that would leave $428 billion to fund Discretionary Spending, and then $885 Billion would have to be cut—for example— from the Department of Defense’s [DOD]; the VA’s Discretionary budget; the Department of Transportation’s budget; the Administration of Justice’s [the courts] budget, etc.

I’m sure criminals would love to see Justice cut.

Now, who decides how to divide up those cuts and how many millions of people might see their retirement incomes shrink so drastically that they wouldn’t have enough money to feed themselves in addition to paying the electric bill and the rent. Soon the homeless population would explode like a nuclear bomb.

How would our military defend America and fight its endless wars?  How would the VA take care of veterans who were wounded in combat and the health care of retired military? How would the Food and Drug Administration make sure the food was safer to eat?


National Debt and Deficit Explained

Oh, and if you think all it would take is cut welfare from the budget and make those so-called deadbeats work [most people on welfare work long-hours at low-paying jobs and the rest are too old to work; are children, or are disabled], the budget for Food Stamps and other Nutrition programs for the elderly and disabled cost $114.9 billion in 2012 and that is not even close to the $885 billion that would have to be cut to balance the budget and stop deficit spending. Housing assistance, another form of welfare costs only $40 billion. Even with that gone, we’re still a long way from cutting $885 billion from the budget.

Maybe the United States could cut Farm Subsidies that are usually paid to wealthy corporate farmers, but that’s only $12.5 billion [this program cost $24.4 billion in 2002 so it has already been cut in half].

We could also cut unemployment benefits even though America’s workers and employers paid unemployment taxes to fund that government insurance program. That would cut $107 billion, but then there would be no unemployment benefits when a citizen lost his or her job. Without money, they would soon be homeless and starving along with the elderly, children and disabled who lost their food stamps and welfare support.

I think this must be repeated as often as possible: Entitlement programs like Unemployment, Social Security and Medicare all have their own special tax revenue source to fund them and that was and still is being paid for by working Americans.

So, who do you want to cut out of the budget? Remember, the cuts you propose must add up to almost $900 billion, and if we did away with Social Security and Medicare then the taxes that fund those entitlement programs would vanish too leading to even deeper cuts.

If you still don’t get it, maybe this will help: if we call Social Security Paul, and the discretionary slice of the budget Mary, then Congress has been legally stealing from Paul to pay Mary for a very long time but Paul can’t steal from Mary because the law that manages Social Security doesn’t allow that to happen.

For some fool to think that President Obama is personally responsible for the trillions of dollars that have been added to the National Debt while he has lived in the White House, Obama would have had to launch new spending programs and add more departments and agencies to the government that increased spending but he would still need the approval of the Congress. The only program we’ve heard the GOP complain about is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better known as ObamaCare—a program that has not increased the national debt one penny so far and may never increase it.

It has been estimated that ObamaCare will cost the federal government $1.36 trillion dollars by 2023. That means, ObamaCare—as it is popularly known—will cost an average of $136 billion annually to fund according to the Congressional Budget Office. But due to the methods/sources used to fund the program, it has been estimated that ObamaCare will reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion over the 2012 – 2021 period. To discover how, click on the following link and scroll down to read How Do We Pay for ObamaCare Costs?

The only way President Obama may be held responsible for the increase in the National Debt is if he increased spending but according to Tax Policy Center.org, Obama has cut spending by 1.4% while he has been in office.

In comparison, G. W. Bush increased spending 4.5%.


What They Won’t Tell You about the National Debt

In fact, Bush’s 1st annual budget [2002] increased the deficit by $157.8 billion; the 2nd [2003] annual budget by $377.6 billion; 3rd [2004] by $412.7 billion; 4th [2005] by $318.3 billion; 5th [2006] $248.2 billion; 6th [2007] $160.7 billion; 7th [2008] $260.7 billion, and the 8th [2009—Yes, Obama was president but it was the last budget President Bush proposed to Congress] led to a deficit of $1.4127 Trillion. To explain, the first year a president is in office, he or she runs the country with a budget left over from the previous president and it’s too late to do over because the Congress already approved it.

By comparison, Obama’s 1st annual budget in 2010—the first budget Obama proposed to Congress—had a deficit of $1.2935 Trillion—$119.2 billion less than Bush’s last budget; 2nd [2011] $1.2996 trillion, and 3rd [2012] of $1.087 Trillion—all lower than Bush’s last budget.  Source: Tax Policy Center.org

Continued on November 16, 2013 in I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”