The Virtual Vitamin

A Daily Dose of Insight and Common Sense

National Debt is Un-American

It is depraved for a generation to deprive the next without leaving at least a clean slate. A generation should strive to leave the nation better than they received it. It is reprehensible that we are spending the taxes and revenue of the youth and even the unborn. Simply put, our National Debt is “Taxation without Representation”. Those under 18 and those not yet conceived do not have a vote or a voice. They will be enslaved with the responsibility of paying back the burden we are currently stacking up, or pass it down to their children. Every dime spent on the interest robs the country of better roads, schools, and personal savings, and leaves a poorer quality of life for the future. Some are willing to step up and defend their own rights, but few the rights of others. We are now at 12.9 trillion and counting. It is wrong to use our children’s future as collateral.

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April 30, 2010 Posted by | on Government, on Politics, on Taxes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Place Your Bets

Some play the lottery, others hit the casinos, but most bet on Wall Street.  Where does Wall Street like to gamble?  On politicians.  In today’s political culture filled with back room deals and bought favors, when corporations make campaign donations it is more of a bet than an endorsement or support for a candidate.  Most of Wall Street plays both sides hoping for a return on their investment.  A larger contribution simply indicates who they think will win, not particularly whose current policies would be in their best interest.  The goal is to leverage an “I’m on your side” mentality so that those firms will have a seat at the table when future legislation is written.  It is a wager that the winner will give them a voice, and money continues to talk.  The Democrats who in recent elections were favored to win and favored by corporate and union donations, now oppose the Supreme Court’s easing of those donation restrictions.  Why?  The left knows that the pendulum is swinging toward the right again and fears the floodgates when the money starts flowing.  The center-right grassroots current that is rippling across the country will be backed by a wave of funding to wash the majority out of the Capitol.  Betting will open soon for the November election.  Will the current majority be betting on the money in the air or the feet on the ground?  Should the people wager on Washington or Wall Street?

April 28, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liberty Being Devoured

Any possible good intentions of socialism soon transform.  It is about power; government grows naturally if not kept at bay.  Before long the werewolf emerges.  Private sector entities are now being plucked from the herd at an alarming rate:  banks, car companies, the health care industry, and others.  If they aren’t down yet, they are bleeding out.  The free-market is slowly being devoured.  Free speech and other constitutional rights are being nibbled away at.  Many who realize what is happening are trying to shepherd us out of this mess only to be attacked.  There are so many still blindly following like sheep.  The current administration refuses to see, or is leading us down the path to destruction.  Many ask why they don’t see the demise of that destination.  It is because a wolf in sheep’s clothing deceives himself by pulling the wool over his own eyes.

April 27, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics, on Society | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-distribution Causes Regression

We are a middle class, middle-income family who works hard and volunteers often.  We are fortunate to be a one income family and spend generous time with our children.  In today’s economy we must consider what steps we would take if something were to happen, if the blue-collar job that supports us were no longer there.  It was disheartening to discover that the life we work so hard to provide would still exist.  Nothing would really change if our income were cut in half.  Our quality of life would remain even if our work ethic diminished, if we simply didn’t care about who was contributing to our well-being, if we let the state take of us.  We would be receiving tax credits instead of paying into the system.  Our medical expenses would be handled for us, instead of the $150 a month required for our employer based plan, along with the $400 a month we contribute to our personal Health Savings Account.  We would qualify for subsidized housing and not have a mortgage payment due every month, food stamps putting dinner on the table, and low-income priced services to reduce our utility bills.  Later in our lives, the government would pay for our children to go to college, senior assistance programs, and if we relied on Social Security we could stop paying into that 401k and afford to buy that 60” flat screen.  What incentives are left?  Self-respect, self-esteem, and personal pride remain, but they are fading fast in our entitlement society.  No wonder the middle class is diminishing.  Quality of life depends more on how you think, than what you make.

April 26, 2010 Posted by | on Family, on Government, on Life, on Society, on Taxes | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Leadership is Being Outsourced

The current era of the career politician has led to corruption and massive government spending.  People have become complacent, content to let others make decisions for them.  We are too comfortable, caught up in our own lives, to take the lead when it is necessary.  It is now necessary.  The taboo of political and religious conversation must be overcome.  It affects us much more than the weather.  We must re-examine our own opinions, party affiliations, and representation, and mark our ballots accordingly.  The government, “by the people”, has been shipped off to Wall Street, lobbyists, and political greed.  Groups like the Tea Parties and the 9-12 Project are just trying to bring those jobs home.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | on Government, on Life, on Politics, on Society | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will it Continue to Burn?

Federal housing regulations poured out the gasoline and made the financial markets flammable.  96% of home mortgages are now backed by the federal government.  With extremely low-interest rates and government refinance programs, risky paper is being pulled out the markets and moved to Uncle Sam’s back pocket.  His pants are now on fire and he is accusing Wall Street of arson; his new wardrobe to be purchased by the tax payers.  The proposed reforms contain no oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who continue to play with matches.  The current bill punishes those that didn’t start the fire.  When mixing government and the markets, the compound is combustible.  A new bureaucracy does little to protect investors or tax payers.  Just look at the failed oversight by the SEC.  The laws are already on the books, and bureaucrats, to be polite, had “other priorities”.  The American people were failed by a government agency that didn’t do its job; another tax payer funded entity is the last thing needed.  Burn me once, shame on you…

April 24, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tea Party Myth:

The original Boston Tea Party was the culmination of “No Tax without Representation.” The media and those uninvolved in the movement today place an assumed emphasis on the word “tax.”  The vast majority of the movement has no problem with paying taxes; they only want “representation.”  The colonists rallied against the tyranny of the English government.  They simply wanted a voice for their service to the crown.  The Tea Partiers of today feel that the current leaders of this country don’t hear their voices, share their values, or even value the opinions of those they represent.  They work for the people, not big business, special interests, or their own pocket books.  The movement began under President Bush with the passage of TARP, and yet it is slandered for being racist and anti-Obama.  Tea Partiers assemble on tax day to remind the government of whose money they are spending.  But they are patriots that also meet as often as the 4th of July, September 12th, December 16th, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, at city halls, state capitols, and local parks.  They have local barbeques, picnics, and book clubs.  They are sincere.  No membership applications or dues required – simply show up.  You are likely to see some people you know, make some new friends, and learn more about making your voice heard.  Those at rallies are educated, informed, and involved in their communities.  They are grandparents, veterans, mothers, small businessmen, blue-collar workers, and people you see at church on Sunday.  A typical Tea Party line-up:  the Pledge, Star Spangled Banner, and a prayer for our leaders and our military; they are urged to call their representatives, run for office, get educated about the political system and legislation, register to vote, and take part in the process that affects their lives and future generations.  The threads that hold the grassroots gatherings together are issue and policy based.  They are concerns about the national debt, rising deficits, unemployment, fading liberties, and growing government.  If liberty, freedom of speech, and equal representation, are un-American, then what has America become?

April 23, 2010 Posted by | on Government, on Politics, on Society, on Taxes | , , , , | Leave a comment

The 70,000 Page Curtain

The enormous shroud of the U.S. tax code hides an agenda and upholds congressional abuse of power.  The tax law resembles a fat man wearing a beach tourist shirt printed with the image of a tan, thin, figure in a swimsuit.  We put up with the charade because we all know what’s really underneath and no one wants to see that.  The real need is for a diet, but Congress doesn’t have the will power.  It does have the power to throw its weight around hoping you will simply look the other way.  Tax provisions use write-offs and credits as financial carrots on strings, dangling dollars in front of businesses and tax-payers, hoping they can be bought, bribed, or swayed into following their agenda.  When Americans look up and see where we are being led, we are prodded from behind to keep moving.  Penalties, fines, and harsher regulations, are used to keep us in line.  The current destination: social justice, the green agenda, and increased federal power.  The Flat Tax or Fair Tax options won’t be considered without a dramatic increase in accountability.  The current system’s complexity conceals the man behind the curtain.  Look up and see who is pulling the strings.

April 22, 2010 Posted by | on Government, on Politics, on Society, on Taxes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Government Conditions that Bred the Disease

Rising health care costs plague the economy and personal finances.  Government regulations and unions helped build the employer based system that leaves out small businesses and individuals.  Programs such as Medicare and Medicaid promote government dependency and allow for fraud and waste.  Federal laws prohibit interstate commerce of the health insurance industry which increases administrative costs, limits competition, and also limits care across state lines.  The procedure based system, rather than patient centered, is encouraged by the cost precedents set by Medicare reimbursement.  Federal and state legislators side with lawyers preventing laws against frivolous suits or amount caps on civil claims.  Malpractice insurance costs now tie the hands of doctors, limit the medical field, and further the use of defensive medicine.  Physicians can no longer be family doctors and financially survive in the health industry.  The recent health care reform legislation only targets a few symptoms and causes the problem to spread.   Higher insurance premiums, doctor shortages, more strings attached to American businesses, mandates, and a stronger dependency on government, are just some of the side-effects caused by these new laws.  These costs will infect even more of family budgets and the American economy.  Costs will continue to rise unless we find a cure.

What free market treatment is needed?  50 doses of medical tort reform:  states should protect the health of their health systems by passing state based legislation.  A simple out-of-state patient surgery: removing the blockage of commerce, allowing consumers more options to purchase health insurance.  A prescription for Health Savings Accounts: allow them to be filled by employers and individuals, to be used for the purchase of health insurance (not currently permitted), health care costs, and prescription medications.  This encourages personal responsibility, breaks out of the employer-based system, suppresses the over use of medicine, incentivizes younger and healthier individuals to purchase insurance, creates a personal safety net for medical expenses, and makes all Americans equal under the medical provisions of the tax code.  The problem has been diagnosed, let’s treat it, and be on our way to remission.

April 21, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government | , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Government Throws the Wrench

Ouch!  When government messes with the machine of capitalism it interferes with the natural laws of economics.  The markets will never run smoothly when the ground is shaking.  The instability caused by over-regulating the so-called free market system, is the number one road block to economic growth and job creation.  “Who wants to play the game, when the rules are still being written?”  Those in power when they can’t win, simply change the rules.  With federal bailouts, health care overhauls, possible cap-and-trade, and more financial oversight, the government is throwing the entire toolbox at the system.  A Supreme Court ruling that would limit federal power and restrain the use of the commerce clause would put a firm foundation back under businesses that hold this country together.  The government needs to look at the blueprints that allowed for highest production, get out of the way, and let America work.

April 20, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment