Ronald Reagan said, “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.” I support a constitutional amendment limiting federal spending to 20 percent of our nation’s economy, except for certain conditions such as a war. It's time to create a framework for this and future Congresses to live within our means.
EVERYTHING Brian Aitken was or had worked for was wiped away one winter afternoon after his mother called the police on him.
Separated from his wife, the entrepreneur and media consultant, now 27, had moved back home to New Jersey from Colorado toward the end of 2008 to be closer to their young son.
In between jobs, his well-oiled life was running ragged, and on Jan. 2, 2009, when his ex canceled his visit with their son, he became distraught, muttered something to his mother, and left his parents' home in Mount Laurel, N.J.
"He said something that scared her, things that a guy will only say to his mom, like . . . 'Life's not worth living anymore,' " said Larry Aitken, Brian's father.
Sue Aitken, a trained social worker, decided to play it safe and called police, but she hung up before the 9-1-1 dispatcher could answer. Police traced the call and showed up anyway, and found two handguns in the trunk of Brian's car. And now Brian, her middle child, a graduate student with no prior criminal record, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for weapons charges.
This is the kind of thing that will keep parents from every asking the state for help via 9-1-1. I feel for the mother who was trying to help, and instead unintentionally got her son in a world of hurt.
The Free Brian Aitken page on Facebook--designed to get Gov. Christie to grant him clemency (or a full pardon). http://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Brian-Aitken/159490174062865
"Airplane!" is often cited as many things -- one of the funniest movies of the '80s, a landmark in the spoof genre, the movie that launched the comedy career of the late Leslie Nielsen -- but it's not often recognized for its ability to foresee the future in oddly specific ways. For instance, we found ten ways that "Airplane!" predicted the current TSA regulations and subsequent outcry over its perceived invasion of civil liberties. Really! Take a look at its foretelling, and by all means, if you haven't seen "Airplane!" lately, do yourself a favor. And vote for your favorite prediction!
The Senate is set to consider whether to repeal the new requirement that businesses notify the Internal Revenue Service of purchases over $600.
Starting in 2012, businesses will be required to issue 1099 tax forms not only to contracted workers (as they already do) but also to any individual or corporation from which they buy more than $600 in goods or services in a year.
Be sure to click over and read the rest. I've been racking my brain (but not digging through my books) to remember where I'd read about this very phenomenon. Now I remember--it was my political psychology course in grad school.
Once again, the Coyote tears his hair, mind you, not like the Baron of Münchhausen, who can "pull himself up by his own bootstraps," or "by his own hair," as the German idiom has it:
“How much is sustainability worth?” asks Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Nigel Jaquiss. “Try $65 million in public money.” That’s how much taxpayers will be spending on a $72 million “green” building in downtown Portland. At $462 a square foot, it will be “perhaps the most expensive office space ever built in Portland.”
The director of the Oregon Environmental Council defends the building as something that can “leverage long-term outcomes,” whatever that means. But she would defend it, since the state is promising OEC, 1000 Friends of Oregon, and other left-wing environmental groups office space in the building at low rents that are guaranteed to stay fixed for decades.
Although the public is paying for most of the building, “tenants will be expected to share a commitment to help advance Oregon’s leadership in sustainable development, collaborate with fellow tenants, and pursue OSC’s standards for energy and water use.” Apparently, people who don’t share those “commitments” won’t be welcome, even if their taxes helped pay for the building and even if they are willing to pay more for office space than the greenies.
Sustainability supposedly bills itself as being about using a reduced amount of resources. But this goal is already accomplished by pricing signals, as they signal the relative scarcity of resources we might want to employ. By definition, then, building the most expensive office space ever means that they are more resources (or a mix of scarcer resources) per square foot than any other previous construction project. How in heavens name is this “sustainable?”
I will leave the answer [...] to the reader, but here is a hint: Those advocating projects like this tend to treat human labor as free, to be deployed like Egyptian slaves to the whim of the state planner, either via taxation or more directly through demands for free labor (e.g. in recycling programs).
Rep. Mike Pence (IN) spoke today at the Detroit Economic Club on the state of the economy, making headlines from the AP to National Journal and more. The speech, entitled, "Restoring American Exceptionalism: A Vision for Economic Growth and Prosperity," covered an agenda of five issues including sound monetary policy, tax relief and reform, access to American energy, regulatory reform and trade. Here's a tidbit of the Pence's inspiring conclusion:
“The problem with our economy today is that, after years of runaway spending and growth of government under both political parties, America is on that wall between West and East. No longer the vibrant free market that built cities like Detroit but not yet overtaken by the policies that have engulfed Europe in a sea of debt and mediocrity.
“To restore American economic exceptionalism, we have to decide that we believe in it again and turn and pursue a free market economy again with all our hearts.
“We have to choose. Ronald Reagan said it best:
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream--the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.
“I choose the West. I choose limited government and freedom. I choose the free market, personal responsibility and equality of opportunity. I choose fiscal restraint, sound money, a flat tax, regulatory reform, American energy, expanded trade and a return to traditional values.
“In a word, I choose a boundless American future built on the timeless ideals of the American people. I believe the American people are ready for this choice and await men and women who will lead us back to that future, back to the West, back to American exceptionalism. Here’s to that future. Our best days are yet to come. Thank you.”
Mr Hart, who runs Corriente Advisors from Fort Worth Texas, has told potential investors in a presentation that China is in the "late stages of an enormous credit bubble".
"Complacency among market participants regarding China is eerily similar to the complacency exhibited prior to the United States sub-prime crisis and European sovereign debt crisis."
In the presentation, which amounts to a devastating attack on the prevailing belief that China is an engine for growth, the financier argues that "inappropriately low interest rates and an artificially suppressed exchange rate" have created dangerous bubbles in sectors including: