It's an open secret that America's entitlement state is in disarray, and that the United States faces a crushing debt, thanks to programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
But according to Ayn Rand Center fellow Don Watkins, that's not the biggest problem with entitlements. In this 37-minute talk Don explains why no politician of either party has done anything about these massively unfunded entitlements (i.e., $100 Trillion) and explains “What's Really Wrong with Entitlements” and how we can phase them out over a decade or two period.
The Question & Answer session following this talk can be found at:
Published on May 29, 2012 by AynRandInstitute
Last Updated on Sunday, June 17, 2012
It's been a long journey since 2009 when we all gathered for the first tax day tea party -- gathered in the cold rain, fed up, and ready for action! We were ready to take on the world. We rolled with the punches despite being called racists, extremists, astro turf. No one could quell our raised voices! We are the "TEA PARTY!", we shouted. Proud to protect the Constitution! Our unalienable individual rights are at stake! Proud to protect our Individual Liberty!
We watched in horror as policies and legislation was passed: stimulus, QE1 & QE 2, Obamacare, local, state and federal tax increases, bailouts, and subsidies for GE and Solyndra. We watched as gas prices soared to over $4.00 per gallon. We sighed as unions beat us at the polls, and wondered when was it going to stop? We shouted at our legislators, school boards, county commissioners. We have protested the President, Vice-President, Congress, local and state legislatures. We have gotten mad at our individual rights being violated, yet we felt powerless to stop it.
Governments at all levels were out of control. In hopes to try to stay on top of the fast paced world, we formed issue-based committees, discussion groups and government watchdogs. We decided to meet monthly to learn about the big issues, and receive reports on the news of the day hoping that one or two people will decide to become involved and help change the status quo.
And now, we have come to the biggest hurdle in the tea party existence. We have fallen into a routine. Constantly playing catch up; it seems impossible to get in front of the issues. We meet, we talk, we learn, rinse and repeat for the next month -- knowing what has happened and, the possibility of what could happen – yet letting the same group of people do most of the lifting.
How many of you have gone to your friends, families and neighbors to share your knowledge and help them prepare for the coming storm? I know, I know... I am asking you to break the cardinal rule of our politically correct society. You know the one, never talk politics or religion. God forbid we offend anyone. Don't want anyone mad at you... afraid that anyone might find out that you are a -- *gasp* -- conservative, or worse someone that respects the achievements made by the 1%, or worst of all that you are someone who believes that the American dream isn't dead, and will fight fiercely for the right to protect it. The appeal of our nanny state is great. Do you have the power to overcome it?
We must take a candid look into our fears. How afraid are you that the status quo will remain unchanged? Are you really that insecure in your beliefs to not speak out about those beliefs? If you are, then the tea party has failed. Our gathering theme has always been, you are not alone. When you speak there are hundreds of thousands of us figuratively standing right beside you, who hold 'these truths to be self evident'.
It is YOUR job as a tea party member to wake up those around you. To inform as Paul Revere once did that the "Government is Coming"!!!! We can give you the facts, however it's your RESPONSIBILITY to share your knowledge with your friends and family. Now, no one is saying that you need to borrow a horse, run down Main Street screaming at the top of your lungs how your individual liberties and freedoms are being taken away and violated. That would probably earn you a one way ticket to either the funny farm or jail (and no one has the money now-a-days to bail you out).
What we are asking you to do is -- Start a conversation. For example, ask a neighbor, did you know that your school district is wasting your school tax money collecting union dues? Or ask a friend, did you know that freedom of religion and individual rights are being attacked through ObamaCare’s Health and Human Services edict? Hey, how about that “Big Gulp” soda ban in New York? Did you know that they are now looking to extend that ban to pop corn?
Asking simple questions, THAT is how you become a Minuteman activist. Take a minute, ask a question... start a conversation. When you realize that the person you're talking to feels the same way you do- let them know, guess what? You believe the same thing that the tea party does. How about coming to a meeting? We sure could use the help. Don't limit yourselves to inviting them to a monthly meeting. We have committee meetings throughout the month. If someone feels strongly about a 2nd amendment issue, invite them to that committee meeting. The way we change the world is educating one mind at a time.
Can you be a Minuteman activist? Will you help your friends realize their own power? Once people realize that the power comes to those who exercise their rights, and realize it is up to them to defend those rights. They will realize that it's up to them to make the difference.
Start making a difference today!
Last Updated on Sunday, June 17, 2012
It's been over a week since the election in Wisconsin seemingly indicated that voters of every stripe are ready to reward leaders who are willing to tackle the tough issues. And for the past week it has been a study in contrasts, seeing business as usual here in the Keystone State.
On Monday, PA House Bill 1776 was tabled in the State House Finance Committee. This was the legislation that would have ended the use of property tax as a vehicle to fund public schools. It was controversial in that it was a “tax-swap” that looked to other means to finance education. But if it stays bottled up in a committee it doesn't get discussed or amended and it could just die without any consideration at all. We may argue on the different ways school funding may be handled, but the idea of abolishing a tax that makes every property owner literally a paying tenant of the government sounded like a principled move to many.
Catching bits and pieces of local politicians on the TV was no better. Legislators of both parties giving speeches as to why Harrisburg should retain it's control of liqueur stores. Another one in her home district pontificating on the importance of parks. Teachers rally in Harrisburg, again. Like I said, business as usual. Pennsylvania is not Wisconsin.
What was Wisconsin supposed to mean? How does it apply here? There the state has enacted labor reform laws that have empowered the local governments when it comes time to bargain with the unions. This has given those local governments the ability to avoid the cutbacks in services they would have otherwise had to. Too often our local boroughs and school districts are hampered by the dictates of the state. They end up cutting services or school programs because, the way the state regulations are written, that is their only option. Currently there is a PA House Bill (HB 1369) to end teacher's strikes in Pennsylvania. Is your representative a co-sponsor? Will it also be tabled in committee?
The fact that Wisconsin's reforms are bearing fruit and earning the support of voters should be a lesson for every politician willing to learn. It is up to us to to push the issues and point out these lessons and make sure the politicians know the very real consequences of not learning them. A comfortable politician is like the leopard that can't change his spots, the office holder already has his own inclinations and personality. If he hasn't moved yet it's because he needs an incentive to overcome his own personal political inertia. We need to give them reasons to move...
Diogenes, the legendary cynic, was known for carrying a lit lantern in the daytime giving the excuse that he was, “looking for an honest man.” Sometimes it seems the Tea Party movement is in just as futile a search, “looking for the principled politician.” What it really needs to do is shine that lantern into the eyes of the current establishment and wake them from their slumber. We see what works, what effective office holders can do. We must demand as much from our own.
Last Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012
Separation of Church and State – Part Two
The Declaration Caused the Constitution
One might argue that all of these references to the Creator are only contained in the Declaration of Independence and not once is God referred to in the Constitution. This is true, but to think one can separate the Declaration from the subsequently drafted Constitution is not to understand the causative and essential relationship between the two documents. The Declaration presents the fundamental principles upon which the architecture and operation of our constitutional republic are founded. The Declaration first pronounced the right of a people to demand and form a political union and to structure that union so that their unalienable rights would be protected from threats both foreign and domestic and to facilitate the free exercise of these freedoms to best promote the general welfare.
Separation of Powers
Actually, the first attempt at satisfying the dictates of the Declaration was the Articles of Confederation. They were found to be unsatisfactory. Ten years later that document was replaced by the present Constitution. Both documents were designed to address the list of grievances put forth in the Declaration, and both documents gave as their authority the philosophical principles enunciated therein. The Declaration made clear that only God had the omnipotence and omniscience to exercise all necessary governing powers, i.e., the executive, legislative and judicial. God executed the creation of the world, He legislated the laws of nature and of Nature’s God, and “He remains the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions”. The founding fathers believed that only an infinite being could exercise all three powers justly. Man, with his imperfect nature, is too vulnerable to corruption should he be given such power. The British monarch at that time was the real and painful example of this conclusion. It was this belief that prompted them to separate these three powers, executive, legislative, and judicial, into three equal parts so that any two functions might act to control the excesses of the one. They recognized that even a collaboration of any two of these functions would put us back on the road to tyranny. Periodic elections allow Americans the opportunity to correct any errant course taken by the Executive or Legislative branches, but the Judicial branch with its relative permanent appointments could present a protracted threat should it become dominated by judges who chose not to limit their decisions to the strict interpretation of the Constitution. At present, too many of our judges have taken it upon themselves not to honor the law of the land as written and instead to impose their own judgment on a host of critical issues. With the increasing collaboration of the Executive and Judicial branches, we are well on our way to losing our God-given freedoms.
The Threatening Storm
This current movement to dismantle our basic political hierarchy, which is,
the Creator > the People > the Government
by constructing an inviolable barrier between the Creator and the government is really intended to remove the authority of the Supreme Being, and consequently, the citizen, and to pit the government, empowered by the use of force, against the virtually defenseless citizen. The current attempts to negate the “Right to Bear Arms” would certainly make any citizen resistance impotent. The citizen’s ultimate defense is to keep the Declaration politically relevant and to maintain the integrity of the Constitution. This requires a morally upright and informed electorate but more importantly, it demands the courage of enough citizens to speak out against those not faithful to our founding principles and to actively support those movements that strengthen these principles. We follow the Greatest Generation. Let us not be known as the Last Generation.
Please contact your US Senators ASAP by phone, email and/or fax, regarding the following.
The Utility MACT rule will expand the already vast powers given to the EPA by the Clean Air Act, increasing red tape and imposing billions in new costs on the economy.
EPA’s Utility MACT rule (up for a vote very soon, possibly by Monday 6/11/12) is purportedly designed to reduce mercury emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants, BUT even the EPA admits this will have almost no health or environmental benefits. The real goal is to shut down coal plants across the country and fulfill the President’s promise that “if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can—it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”
There’s a lot at stake. Unless the Senate acts, power plants that produce enough energy to light 15 million American households will be forced into early retirement. More than a million U.S. jobs will be destroyed in the coming years. Electricity bills will increase by an average of 12% nationwide and by as much as 24% in coal-heavy regions.
Enough is enough when it comes to absurd Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations!
What can be done to stop the Utility MACT?
Support S.J Res. 37 (introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe) which, if passed, will overturn this awful EPA Utility MACT rule (an unnecessary and costly regulation).
Without the Senate on board, there’s no chance to stop the EPA.
Please call your Senator right now and ask them to support S.J Res. 37
Senator Bob Casey
393 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6324
Toll Free: (866) 802-2833
Fax: (202) 228-0604
contact Casey online click below
Senator Pat Toomey
502 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4254
Fax: (202) 228-0284
online, click below
The information above was received from the Lehighton 912 Project and Americans for Prosperity (please see the discussion board for more on this subject):
The Quote of the Day
What this week's election in Wisconsin...
"...has demonstrated is that voters will ultimately reward politicians for showing political courage on the big issues if they have the resolve to see their policies implemented and watch them succeed."
Quote (above) from The Washington Examiner - The problems in Wisconsin are not all that different than the one's here in Pennsylvania. We have a staggering debt load fueled by unrealistic public sector salaries, benefits, and pensions that have outstripped their counterparts in the private sector. Employers in "the real world" have long ago had to reign in salaries, have employees share in paying increases in benefit premiums, and switch over to defined contribution pensions in order to stay competitive. We are waiting for the political courage we are seeing deployed elsewhere in the country...
General Meetings - 1st Friday of every month Charles Chrin Community Center (Directions/Map-Link) 4100 Green Pond Road Palmer,PA 18045 7pm to 9pm-(doors open at 6:30PM)-Open to the Public
Our next general meeting will be on Friday, July 12th 2013 / Our guest speaker will be Simon Campbell
Please take the time to read our Open Letter to all Congressmen and Senators