A Reminder of How the Obama Years Really Were


Obama and Ryan: the architects of the continuing resolutions that skyrocket our taxes

A Study of American Salaries 2013-16 Shows Americans Spend More on Taxes Than Food and Clothing Combined

As revealed by a 30 August 2017 CNSnews article, it seems that our own Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show Americans spend more on taxes than on food and clothing combined.

Americans on average spent more on taxes in 2016 than they did on food and clothing combined, according to data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The same data also shows that in three years—from 2013 to 2016—the average tax bill for Americans increased 41.13 percent.

In 2016, according to BLS, “consumer units” (which include families, financially independent individuals, and people living in a single household who share expenses) spent more on average on federal, state and local taxes ($10,489) than they did on food ($7,203) and clothing ($1,803) combined ($9,006).

The average tax bill for American “consumer units” increased from $7,423 in 2013 to $10,489 in 2016, according to data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The tax-and-spending data was collected as part of the BLS’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, which is conducted for the BLS by the Census Bureau. The survey measures the expenditures and incomes of American consumers.

The survey publishes the itemized expenditures of what it refers to as “consumer units,” which include “all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangements,” or “a person living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in a permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent,” or “two or more persons living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.” The BLS said that a consumer unit generally refers to a family.

In 2016, according to the survey, there were 129,549,000 “consumer units” in the United States. The average before-tax income of an American consumer unit was $74,664 for the year. The consumer unit then paid an average of $10,489 in personal taxes—including $8,367 in federal income taxes, $2,046 in state and local income taxes, and $75 in other taxes.

Three years before that, in 2013, according to the survey, there were 125,670,000 “consumer units” in America. The average before-tax income of these consumer units that year was $63,784. In 2013, consumer units paid an average of $7,432 in taxes—including $5,743 in federal income taxes, $1,629 in state and local income taxes, and $60 in other taxes.

From 2013 to 2016, overall personal taxes climbed from $7,432 to $10,489—an increase of $3,057 or 41.13 percent. Federal income taxes climbed from $5,743 to $8,367—an increase of $2,624 or 45.7%.  State and local income taxes climbed from $1,629 to $2,046—an increase of $417 or 25.6 percent. Other taxes climbed from $60 to $75—an increase of $15 or 25 percent.

(Read more at CNSnews)

Until we can get rid of the continuing resolutions and implement Trump’s plan for tax reform, this will remain the same.

Food Stamp Applications Reach Record Highs in Early 2016

MRCtv reported in a 29 February 2016 article that food stamp applications had reached record highs.

Despite the unemployment rate being at an eight-year low (4.9 percent as of January 2016), the number of people on food stamps remains near an all-time high which was 47,636,000 in 2013.

Why the disparity in the numbers? Well, the unemployment rate does not take into account people who are not in, or have dropped out of, the workforce altogether.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January of this year that approximately 94 million Americans are not participating in the workforce.

But the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been hovering around 46 million participants since 2011. The current figure, as of February 2016, shows average SNAP participation at 45.8 million Americans receiving food stamps in 2015.

(Read more at MRCtv)

For 45.8 million Americans to have to depend on food stamps, the Obama years were not progress.

Under Trump, Food Stamp Applications Fall, Entertainment Spending Rises

According to a 31 August 2017 Washington Post article, Trump’s economy has two strong indicators of improvement.

Forget the soaring stock market. Here’s the real evidence the U.S. economy is getting better: Food stamp usage is down, and spending on entertainment — everything from Netflix to Disney World trips — is up.

The average American household now spends more than $2,900 a year, a record high, on entertainment, according to data released Tuesday by the Labor Department. That’s a good sign the middle class is feeling better about how much money is in their piggy banks.

At the same time, the number of Americans on food stamps is dropping rapidly, according to the latest report from on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an indication the poor are finally seeing some benefits of the recovery too.

Food stamp usage spiked after the Great Recession when many Americans couldn’t find jobs and struggled to eat. Nearly 48 million people relied on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2013, an all-time high. Since then, businesses have gone on a hiring spree. As more people get jobs, they are dropping out of SNAP, which is exactly what is supposed to happen.

There were 41.5 million people on food stamps in May, the latest month that data is available.

“SNAP is a program that is designed to help people get through difficult times when they are not working,” says Robert Doar, a senior fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute and former head of New York City’s public assistance programs, including food stamps, for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “It’s taken a long time, but more people are working now.”

The number of Americans relying on food stamps is still far higher than before the recession, when fewer than 30 million people were on SNAP. But it’s now at the lowest level since 2010, and the decline has been accelerating in recent months. Two million people left the program in the past year alone.

“In almost every state, a smaller share of the population received SNAP in January 2017 than four years earlier,” wrote Brynne Keith-Jennings, a SNAP expert at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in a recent report.

(Read more at Washington Post)

While Trump has brought progress, we need his tax policy to really cement the record.

Christians should not take part in illegality


Christians should not clandestinely break laws

Admittedly, it is my firm conviction that nobody should be shackled with the Johnson Amendment.  However, if we are to scrub this law from the books, then we must follow Dr. M.L. King’s example.  Break it openly, suffer the results, and point out how it violates the Constitution and natural law. Therefore, I could hardly contain my disappointment in fellow Christians who (though probably well-meaning and wanting to extend special help to those in need) stooped to Satan’s methods when purporting to work for God’s church.

Mack:
(in car)
So, prayerfully, you’ll go in and just hit straight Democratic ticket.
 
Mack:
(at table)
He could possibly make the check to you. You cash the check and just bring the cash … Yeah, yeah
 
Reporter: So we would want to keep all this on the DL (down low) then? We wouldn’t want … This isn’t something that we could, we would, do press or …
 
Johnson: Absolutely not.

We’ve got people to get on school buses and go to Indianapolis and the state houses and we just need you to show up. They didn’t even know what they were going down there for, all they know is the pastor asked them.
 

Mack: It really comes back to anything this city, or in this area in Gary, Hammond, and Chicago and the church. It’s going to be the driving force for anything that happens. We put politicians in office.
 
Narrator: Our journalists met Reverend Marlon Mack of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Gary, Indiana on the night of the state’s primary election in May. He was attending a victory for local Democrats.
 
Reporter: Getting the, you know, the bodies from point A to point B, from the pews to the polls.
 
Mack: We make our vans available, we do voter registrations in our churches. Get people ready so we make our vans  available to take people to polling places. We have training people to help people fill out absentee ballots.  All of those types of things within our churches …

It really does sort-of depend on what community you’re in.  You’re going to see that more in economically marginalized communities or minority communities, where basically the church is all they have.
 

Narrator: We posed as political consultants and Reverend Mack was more than happy to tell us about his political influence.  We scheduled a meeting with Reverend Mack and a friend of his (Reverend Marion Jackson) to see what they would be up to on election day.
 
Johnson: We’ve got people to get on school buses and go to Indianapolis and the state houses and we just need you to show up. They didn’t even know what they were going down there for, all they know is the pastor asked them. We support Bayh. We actually do support him. I’ve been on him for years. I’ve known him and I know he’s a good man. Some other things he’s done since he’s been in office. So nobody has to persuade us to vote for him. The thing is, I keep repeating this: “Get out people to the polls.” If we get out people to the polls, they know who to vote for. It’s not going to be: “Oh, who do I vote for” because we’re going to tell them who to vote for. We will. We won’t get up and just announce it, but everybody knows. Like everybody in my church, they know who I’m voting for, they know who my candidate is and most church congregations take the pastor’s lead.
 
Reporter: So it’s also a matter of the door itself … who you guys let. So it’s not technically an endorsement but the fact that they say, okay, the pastor. And that not a 501C (violation).
 
Johnson: Well, it’s an endorsement.
 
Narrator: IRS code provides that 501 (c) 3 organizations cannot “Participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of/in opposition to any candidate for public office.”  Pastors and church staff should not be using church resources to engage in political campaigns.
 
Reporter: So, how do you plan to get people to the polls then this year, as of right now?
 
Mack: I mean bottom line is, hey, we need you to do this.
 
Johnson: We mobilize people. We go pick our people up.
 
Mack: Yeah, we need you to go. We need you to do this. We know we aren’t supposed to tell you who to vote for, but we’ll tell you why you should vote for this person and why it matters.
 
Johnson: My thing is this, when I make my announcement, we had church yesterday, what I do is tell people who I am going to vote for. I say, “I’m voting for Hillary Clinton” and that’s automatically telling my congregation to vote for Hillary Clinton.
 
Narrator: Reverend Mack and Reverend Johnson told us many times that they were sure their community would follow their lead at the polls as long as they had the funds.
 
Mack: We have church vans. We have churches that make their vans available.
 
Reporter: Sp you can use money for gas?
 
Mack: That’s right. And pay drivers.
 
Johnson: The drivers and then if they wanted to stop and get …
 
Mack: They have to feed a few people.
 
Reporter: So the drivers aren’t volunteers?
 
Johnson: They are volunteers …
 
Reporter: But you can get more if you had bus drivers?  You pay them, you get more?
 
Johnson: See, we’re still working with an impoverished area. If I tell a guy, “I need you to drive all day,” he’ll say “Well, pastor, look.  I can give you a couple of hours, but I need to do something else, you know. I’m trying to make it.” But if I tell them I can have you drive all day and this is what I’m going to be able to give you for driving all day. And plus I’ll give you something to eat.
 
Mack: Even that could possibly work because just in case we do need to get people to our church before they go to the polls, load up on them. We may have something inside the church that we can say, now listen, when you go to the polls … This is what’s at stake, this is what we need to do. We need to make sure that this person has our best interest at heart. This person supports this and that doesn’t help us. And, you know, and just have doughnuts and coffee, even if it’s just that.
 
Johnson: Pizza, chicken, it’s like a rally, it’s a campaign rally before you go out. It’s really like a full fledged campaign rally in individual churches.
 
Reporter: So people … they’re hungry, they can’t spend a day, they need to go out and get resources and food for themselves.
 
Johnson: But if you have some of that stuff for them they aren’t going anywhere. They going to do exactly what you direct them to do.
 
Narrator: They were hoping that our journalists would connect them with a donor to fund their “get out the vote” efforts. And there was a very specific way they wanted the donation to be made.
 
Johnson: It’s got to be passed confidential through the pastor.
 
Reporter: So let me understand just from the, how it would happen transactionally.
 
Mack: He could possibly make the check to you. You cash the check and just bring the cash. Or he could make the check to a particular church and then it works out as a charitable donation, mainly because it looks like he just gave a donation to the church. … But if he writes it to the church, then it’s just a donation to the church.
 
Reporter: Because then there might be a, oh you got a check, how did you spend the money? It would have to make sure it went to the church.
 
Johnson: Yeah, there would be a paper trail.  The simplest way would be, so you don’t have to worry about anyone of that, he would make the check to you guys. You guys would cash it and give it to us as a charitable donation to the church.
 
Reporter: And that could be anonymous.
 
Johnson: Right, anonymous. A charitable donation will never get you into any trouble either and it won’t get us in any trouble. Let’s say some Republican decides he wants to find out and then we’ve got this check trail.
 
Mack: He writes a check to the church, okay, why is he writing a check to a church in Gary, Indiana? As opposed to just giving, writing a check to you guys whom he has a professional relationship, which could simply be consulting fees.
 
Reporter: So we would want to keep all this on the DL (Down Low) then? We wouldn’t want …
 
Mack: Yeah, yeah.
 
Reporter: This isn’t something that we could, we would do press or …
 
Johnson: Absolutely not.
 
Narrator: And what was wrong about the payments being made public?
 
Johnson: See, then you open us up with, let me tell you what happens if you do that, … Then some Republicans come araound, we would have to do the same thing, because we would be seen as being biased towards the Democratic Party. So this eliminates that, you wouldn’t put us in a position where we would have to work with people like Trump. Or some other people that we don’t really support, our people don’t support them. But we would have to just go through the motions, like we did with you guys.
 
Mack: I mean literally, we can have twenty vans roll up.
 
Johnson: And you see all these vans rolling to the polls. With the name of the church and the pastor’s name on the side. And they know that the pastor’s providing that. They know who they’re voting for. They know who they’re supporting.
 
Narrator: It’s Election Day and we decided to send some journalists to Gary, Indiana to see if we could be told who to vote for.
 
Reporter: Are you Reverend Mack?
 
Mack: Yeah.
 
Reporter: Oh, hi. My dad is from Georgia and he’s actually voting for Trump that’s why I’ve been so on the fence about it.
 
Mack: Why?
 
Reporter: He says that he likes his business experience and that he says what he means all the time I guess, I don’t know.
 
Mack: That’s not always a good thing. If someone’s impulsive and they act on their feelings. For Christ’s sake this guy’s gonna have the nuclear launch codes – he’s gonna wake up “screw Iran!” and starts a war. That’s not always a good thing. We need leadership who does have the courage to stand for their convictions but also has the self-control to think beyond their immediate actions.
 
Reporter: So should I just vote straight ticket Democrat?
 
Mack: That would be nice … you’re heading to the polls and don’t really have a lot of information to deal with issues … that would be probably the best bet. So, prayerfully, you’ll go in and just hit straight Democratic ticket.
 
Narrator: I guess you wouldn’t want anyone making a mistake and voting for the person of their own choice
 

Who Would You Rather Trust: Someone Who Planned for Possibilities or Two Who Just Failed?


Three Experienced Huge Monetary Problems, But Only One Planned for Problems

One Who Planned for a Possible Loss: Donald Trump

If you regularly peruse the New York Times for truthful and useful information, you might want to dig through thr fluff and find the sample first chapter of The Art of the Comeback posted to the New York Times Book section in 1997. There, Donald Trump not only spelled out the circumstances under which he lost approximately $1 billion, but also explained how he kept solvent through the ordeal.

“Essentially, I placed a big bet. ‘Look,’ I said. ‘I can tie you guys up for years–in court proceedings, bankruptcy filings, and the other legal maneuvers I’m good at–when forced. But I’m willing to do something else.’ I told them that if they gave me a $65 million line of credit, used only to keep my valuable assets and good business going, I’d agree to end any thought of legal skirmishes. My side of the deal looked like this: First, the banks would float me $65 million to keep my head above water. Second, no single bank could lay claim against me for five years (until June 30, 1995). Third, all interest and principal on loans would be deferred until that time. It was a win-win situation for all. I was able to buy some time in hopes that the casino or the real estate markets would rebound. And the banks were able to collateralize their unsecured debt and consolidate the rest.

This was the biggest bet of my life, and boy, did it pay off! Had I tried to make this deal six months later, it would have been impossible. The banks were becoming more and more illiquid–there’s no way they would have been able to allow any more money to go out. They were as tight as I was then. Timing, once again, was everything.

By 1993 I began to feel more like Chavez than like Taylor. My personal debt of $975 million had been reduced to $115 million, and I had two years to finish cleaning it up. There was no way to deny that things were going really great. Piece by piece, deal by deal, a beautiful picture was beginning to emerge. What my people and I had already achieved was astonishing.”

Considering how many real estate moguls were ruined during the 1990’s, the moves Trump made to remain solvent did involve a strong degree of savvy.  Therefore, in response to Hillary’s mocking taunt (“What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a single year?”), it seems that it’s the kind of genius who uses leverage that ties the fates of potential foes together for their mutual gain.  It’s the kind of genius that keeps people employed (as opposed to the Obama/Clinton model in place since 2009).

The Genius Who Lost $6 Billion from the State Department

Governmental entities like the Department of State may not be expected to turn a profit; however, they are normally expected to give a full accounting of how they spend the taxpayer’s money. That is, unless you are an unaccountable Democrat named Hillary Clinton, you are expected to keep detailed records.  In a 13 April 2013 Washington Post article, the lack of bookkeeping details found by the Inspector General of the State Department came to light.  It is not necessarily true that Hillary embezzled $6 billion, but it is true that nobody knows what happened to the money:

“The April 3 news article ‘State Department’s IG issues rare alert‘ reported on the management alert issued recently by my office. In the alert, we identified State Department contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located. The Post stated, ‘The State Department’s inspector general has warned the department that $6 billion in contracting money over the past six years cannot be properly accounted for . . . . ‘ “

Admittedly, this accounting oversight requires that Hillary would be required to put two and two together — which may be well above her pay grade. Remember, it was Hillary who, when asked about her wiping a server, responded “Like with a rag?”

Nonetheless, neither Hillary’s $6 billion dollar loss of taxpayer funds nor Hillary’s inability to bring 200,000 promised jobs to New York as senator seem to stop Hillary’s faithful from chortling in response to her hypocritical hyperbole (refer to the video below for her recriminations).

NY Times Accused Donald Trump of Tax Indiscretion Despite Five Problems with Their Story

On 1 October 2016 the New York Times claimed to cite confidential sources as they tried to accuse Donald
Trump of nefariously taking legal income tax deductions.  The problems with this accusation include:

  1. Writing off losses from income tax is a legal protection we are all afforded.  It is legal.
     
  2. The New York Times took advantage of the same protection and will likely do so again this year.  According to a United States Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10K discussed in a 4 October 2016 Townhall article, the New York Times was all too willing to take a $3.6 million refund in 2014.
     
  3. The New York Times piece (for all of its bravado) was nothing but speculation.  As pointed out by a 3 October 2016 article in the Last Refuge:

    “The New York Times has published part of the tax returns of a private citizen in an effort to score political points for a candidate they endorse, Hillary Clinton.  That should be the real headline people pause and think about.

    The front pages of the tax returns themselves are essentially a non-issue, representing the 1995 gross business loss incurred by candidate Donald Trump who operates a massive conglomeration of business entities.

    The anti-Trump political angle is easily identifiable within the extensive article use of: “could have”, “might be”, “may have”, phrases used throughout the woven narrative.  Journalistic “narratives” are rarely based on facts.”

  4. Hillary Clinton used this provision of income tax law to write off losses. According to a 4 October 2016 article in Townhall:

    (G)etting back to returns and the Clinton campaign’s attack on Trump, it appears that Hillary may have utilized a similar “scheme” by declaring a capital gains loss to avoid paying more in taxes. The financial blog Zero Hedge has more from her 2015 return, where she declared a $699,540 loss.”

  5. You did not have to cite a confidential source.  Donald Trump wrote about the loss in the first chapter of The Art of the Comeback that he posted to the New York Times Book section in 1997.

Populist Trump’s Meandering on Conservative Issues


Trump has Spoken Consistently Conservative ( but Only when it Matches his Populist Views) since the Campaign Started

However, on non-Populist Issues, Not So Much

The following list of departures from common conservative principles suggest that Trump will likely stray on:

  1. Men in girls’ bathrooms — As the newest detail on the possible divide between  Trump and conservatives, the transgender issue offers a glimpse at any non-conservative tendencies Trump might harbor.
  2. Abortion — Although Trump started with a definite pro-choice view, changes preceding a 2011 interview with CBN seem to have put him on the pro-life side (to a degree).
  3. Second Amendment — When he wrote his book in 2000 (The America We Deserve), Trump completely supported Clinton’s ban on assault weapons. Since then, Trump has gained a respect for the Second Amendment (at least in speeches).
  4. Freedom of Religion
    • A 7 December 2015 American Conservative article suggests that Trump’s ban on non-American Muslims entering the country as a form of religious discrimination.  However, this suggestion flies in the face of the fact that the Alien Enemies Act (1798) allows the deportation of certain types of people in order to protect the American public.  Not only was the Alien Enemies Act written by the same individuals who wrote the Constitution, this still-active law has never been found to be in conflict the constitution.
    • An 18 January 2016 Religious News Service article pointed out Trump’s claim at Liberty University that he would protect Christians.
    • Conversely, Mr. Trump has exhibited a capability to at least verbalize the repression of religious freedom when the person using that freedom stands against him.  On 3 May 2016, Fox News conducted a phone interview with Trump during which the reporter played a clip of Rafael Cruz encouraging a group of Christians to vote for his son, Ted Cruz.  During that interview, Donald Trump said “I think it is a disgrace he is allowed to do it” (that is, Trump stood against Rafael Cruz being able speak his mind regarding Ted Cruz in a religious setting).  This statement was likewise documented by the Daily Wire, Bloomberg Politics, USA Today, Business Insider, the Hill, and other notable publications.
  5. Obamacare — Although Trump seems to know that the American people want to get rid of Obamacare, his reaction seems to be inserting even more governmental interference.
    • As far back as 2000, Trump pushed his support for a universal healthcare system. That support was noted and mentioned in a 18 April 2011 Business Insider article.
    • In a 17 July 2015 Newsmax article, Trump validated the need for getting rid of Obamacare, but still expressed support for “healthcare for everybody.” Specifically, he said “So I’m very liberal when it comes to healthcare. I believe in universal healthcare.”
       
      Obamacare only subsidizes the people who do not have insurance.  Still, it has caused the failure of certain insurance companies and numerous hospitals.  Since socializing such a small part of the US system has resulted in these failures, does socializing the whole system seem like the best idea?  Likewise, since Britain has experienced such cost overruns and long waits, does this seem the way to go?
       
    • A 3 February 2016 Newsmax article suggests that Trump’s and Sanders’ healthcare alternative plans are nearly identical.
       
    • A 29 February 2016 Breitbart article, Trump voiced support for the portion of Obamacare that forced religious organizations to deny their conscience or pay millions in fines:

      “During Thursday’s CNN Townhall event, when pressed by moderator Anderson Cooper on the ‘benefits’ of the ObamaCare mandate, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said, ‘Well, I like the mandate.’ He then went on to blast ObamaCare as a ‘disaster’ and President Obama as a liar.

      Trump made clear that he is not for single payer healthcare and wants to allow private insurers to compete across state lines. Trump is, however, in favor of taking care ‘of those who cannot take care of themselves.’ We do not want ‘people dying on the streets,’ Trump said.”

  6. High Taxes — Considering that Republicans abandoned President George H. W. Bush in his bid for a 2nd term due to his abandoning his “no new taxes” pledge, Trump seems to be taking a decidedly anti-conservative/pro-Democrat path:
    • A 22 September 2015 Washington Post article points to the Club for Growth’s quote of Trump saying, “I know people making a tremendous amount of money and paying virtually no taxes, and I think it’s unfair.” To me, this seems a lot like the class warfare tactics used since President Johnson started leading the Democrats.
    • Of the #1 killer of family farms and family businesses, a 28 September 2015 Politico article quoted Trump as saying, “A lot of families go through hell over the death tax.” However, no solution was offered to this ongoing crisis of governmental confiscation of family businesses.
    •  While Trump was working to seem conservative to the Southern voters, he is quoted in an Anderson Independent Mail article dated 15 February 2016 as saying of his abandoned plan to lower taxes: “We will bring a lot of additional companies in because our tax rates are going way down.”
    • In a 10 March 2016 article by WJLA, Trump acknowledged one reason that he should seek lower taxes when he said “They don’t like seeing bad trade deals, they don’t like seeing higher taxes, they don’t like seeing a loss of their jobs.”
    • In a Reuters article dated 7 May 2016, Trump backed off his promise lower taxes on all people and announced a tax hike on the rich when he said, “I am willing to pay more, and you know what, the wealthy are willing to pay more.” This sounds a lot like Obama’s “Warren Buffet tax” that would have done more to rising stars than to those already beyond the stratosphere.
       
  7. Immigration — To the many of us who hold obeying the law in high regard, the immigration debate figures centrally in any consideration of Trump. 
    • Beginning some time around a 29 June 2015 article in the Hill, Trump has been recorded as saying “As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now.” This demonstrates that Mr. Trump certainly understands our angst regarding the issue.
    • Throughout his campaign, Trump has emphasized the need for legal immigration that works to the benefit of both American workers and American companies.  Likewise, he has hammered the need for the protection of Americans from terrorists and foreign criminals in America.
    • However, just as the LA Times has refused to release the tape of Obama and Rashid Khalidi, the New York Times has refused to release a tape that certain NY Times board members suggest will show Trump’s deportation-of-illegal-immigrants claim to be nothing but campaign rhetoric.

While Trump may show a tendency to stray from conservative orthodoxy, this is no sin.  Nonetheless, those of us who are concerned about the above topics will need to find a way of advancing them.  Therefore, in light of Hillary’s record regarding transgenderism, abortion, the Second Amendment, Freedom of Religion, healthcare, taxes, and immigration, we need to support someone who seems likely to support our positions.  Right now, that means getting behind Trump.  Later, it likely means lighting a fire under Trump when he strays from the topics we must support.

Why Get Behind Trump?

My reasons for supporting Trump currently seem somewhat disjointed, but boil down to the following:

  • Defend the weak — Just as Christ selflessly sacrificed himself for our sins, we are called to protect the weak (such as girls) from predators (such as men pretending to be transgender).

    Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3-4 NIV)

  • Choose life — Although the Constitution puts the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press in the First Amendment (and all the rights following the First depend on these), the truly first right is the right to life.

    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a NIV)

  • Choose to not steal — By using the government to forcibly take money from one group to give to me does not align with my view of justice.

    Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit. (Exodus 23:2-3 NIV)

  • Defend the defenseless — When ISIS has pledged to use Obama’s lax immigration policy to bring terrorism to our shores, we must set the nation’s course to avoid another term of Obama’s reckless immigration policy.

    Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:17 NIV)

America Burns, Obama Whines


This photo of the Georgetown University Summit
comes from Patum Peperium.

America Works More and Gets Less

Tax Revenues Hit Record in First 5 Months of Fiscal Year 2014; 5-Month Deficit Still $377B

According to CNS news, record tax revenues are being extracted:

Inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $1,891,601,000,000 for the first seven months of the fiscal year this April, but the federal government still ran a $282,766,000,000 deficit during that time, according to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement.

In response to the observation “Fed is a big-time, unhedged speculator in $1.7 trillion long-term mortgage securities” and the question “Will the Fed be as transparent as the Swiss?” I posted:

 

 Obama, The Race Riot President

Over Obama’s yet incomplete two terms in office, there have been a number of race-centered incidents and race riots.  In contradiction to his anointed title of “the first post-racial President,” Obama has been at the center of:

  1. Oscar Grant Riots in Oakland, CA — On 1 January 2010, Bay-Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle shot train rider Oscar Grant in the back as he lay face down on the train platform. Mehserle, who resigned from the force a week after the shooting, claimed that the shooting was accidental. On 8 July 2010, Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. On 4 November 2010, he was sentenced to two years in jail. There were riots just after the killing and after the sentence was pronounced on Mehserle.

    Although the looting and attacks on a police officer could likely not have been prevented; however, the 100+ arrests and vandalism might have been lessened if (in the age of groups like “Occupy Wall Street”) the police had anticipated outside agitators.  The effect of outside agitators was only noted in retrospect when 9 July 2010 article in The Guardian observed:

    “The Oakland police chief, Anthony Batts, told a press conference: ‘This city is not the wild, wild west. This city will not tolerate this activity.’ He blamed anarchists coming from outside Oakland. ‘We started taking a number of rocks and bottles. We then made a dispersal order.'”

  2. Trayvon Martin Riots — Although the killing of Trayvon Martin occurred in Florida, the riots associated with Martin occurred in California, the nation’s capital, and the Northeast.

    After George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in his shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin, local rioters in Los Angeles began “stomping cars and breaking windows.” A television reporter and cameraman were assaulted by a crowd of criminals. Looters attempted to break into a Los Angeles Walmart. About 150 criminals took part in the riot. In San Bernardino, eleven protesters were arrested after throwing bricks at passing cars.

    A white man was robbed by three black men in Washington, D.C., and was allegedly told by his assailants, “This is for Trayvon Martin.”

    In Baltimore, a Hispanic man was allegedly chased by a mob of black youths shouting, “This is for Trayvon.” President Obama said regarding Trayvon Martin during the ongoing investigation, “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Obama’s Department of Justice even headed to Sanford, Florida, to pursue an investigation against Zimmerman.

    According to an 11 July 2013 article in Front Page:

    The Obama administration deployed government-paid community organizers to Sanford, Florida after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin last year in order to foment racial tensions, newly released government documents show.

    The news came as the Obama administration publicly pretended to be concerned at the prospect of ugly race riots breaking out across America in the increasingly likely event that defendant George Zimmerman will be acquitted in the case. Race riots benefit the Left, and in particular the Democratic Party, by riling up its staunchest voting bloc.

    The Community Relations Service (CRS), a small office within the U.S. Department of Justice, sent taxpayer-funded political agitators to Sanford after 17-year-old Martin was killed Feb. 26, 2012, during a physical confrontation with community crime watch volunteer George Zimmerman. For a month and a half after Martin’s death, local police declined to press charges against Zimmerman because they believed the criminal case against him was weak.

    This story was corroborated by articles in Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller.
     

  3. Manuel Diaz Riots in Anaheim, CA —  According to an article in the Orange County Register, Diaz was talking to a man in a vehicle and another person in an alley. When he saw police officers, he ran.  Officers chased Diaz, who ran into the courtyard of an apartment complex. Officer Bennallack shot as Diaz began to turn toward him while concealing his hands.  Diaz was shot in the buttocks and head.

    Four nights after the death of Diaz, some 500 protesters clashed with police in Anaheim, California on Tuesday during the fourth night of demonstrations following the shooting death of an unarmed man. Violence broke out after protesters demonstrated outside a meeting at city hall to discuss Diaz’s shooting. Police prevented people from attending the meeting when it became too crowded, before issuing a dispersal order at about 9pm. According to a 25 July 2012 article in The Guardian:

    Fires broke out as the evening progressed, while officers with shotguns guarded shops after protesters smashed the windows of at least six stores. A witness told Reuters that protesters had thrown chairs through the windows of a Starbucks.

    Anaheim police spokesman Sergeant Bob Dunn said 20 adults and four minors were arrested. He said a police officer, two members of the media and some protesters were injured, but no one was taken to hospital.

  4. Kimini Gray Riots —  According to a 14 March 2013 US News article:

    New York City police arrested at least 46 people late Wednesday during a third night of angry protests following the shooting death of 16-year-old Kimani Gray.

    Gray was reportedly shot dead Saturday by two plainclothes police officers. The police pursued Gray after he broke away from a group of young people as they approached. According to the NYPD, the teen pointed a .38-caliber revolver at the officers and was warned to “freeze” before he was shot. A loaded gun was recovered at the scene, police say.

    On Monday night, after a vigil for Gray, violence and looting occurred in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Church Farm Market was ransacked by a mob that stole money and destroyed produce. At U Farm Land, CBS New York reports, “more produce was thrown and $1,000 from the register and flowers were taken.”

  5. Michael Brown Riots in Ferguson, MO —  (Hat-tip to the Washington Post and CNN) Before noon on 9 August 2014, Michael Brown strong-arm robs cigars from a convenience store and attacks the manager. A minute after noon, Officer Darren Wilson encounters Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson as they were walking down the middle of the street. Officer Wilson recognizes that Brown and Johnson match the descriptions of suspects in a robbery. Wilson backs up the squad car and blocks them. A fight begins where Brown and Wilson struggle through the car window and Wilson’s gun fires. Brown and Johnson flee. Wilson pursues Brown. Brown stops and faces Wilson. Fearing for his life, Wilson fires a total of 12 bullets. However, as pointed out by the Washington Post:

    Perhaps the reason for this disinterest in the ballistics report, autopsies and other similar information is that for at least some of Brown’s supporters the facts are, apparently, largely irrelevant because Brown is a metaphorical “symbol” of injustice regardless of what actually happened. A related reason may be that working through this information is time-consuming — and thus beyond the capacity of many commentators.

    Because Brown has become a symbol, the Obama administration latched on to that symbology by taking the actions of (hat tip for most of this to The Root):

    In addition to the federally-paid community organizers Obama sent, a 19 August 2014 article in the Christian Science Monitor documented a number of independent organizations went to Ferguson, including:

    • Unaffiliated outside protesters with New York, Chicago, Detroit, Illinois, and Texas home addresses
    • Revolution Club of Chicago
    • New Black Panther Party
    • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    • Organization for Black Struggle

     

  6. Eric Garner Riots in New York, NY — According to a 22 July 2014 article in Time, Garner argued with the officers on 17 July 2014 about his being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. To subdue Garner, one officer used what appeared to be a chokehold (a technique banned by the NYPD). Several others helped drag him to the ground. Garner, who had a history of health problems, died soon after.
     
    According to an article in the IJ Review, the protests at New York differed significantly from those in Ferguson for several reasons. Among those reasons, the fact that the New York Police Department sent representatives to Ferguson with the specific task of learning more about these so-called “professional protesters.”
     
  7. Freddie Gray Riots in Baltimore, MD — From the arrest of Freddie Gray to his death to the subsequent riots, this whole mess has shown the incompetence of the systems set up by policy-makers in the Democrat Party.

    First, Gray was arrested on 12 April 2015 for having a switchblade knife, that he surrendered without the use of force, that he was able to talk and walk before getting into the police van, and that he was not restrained with a seat belt in the van.  Because Gray lived in an area known for drug deals, it seems almost incomprehensible that the nanny-state would not allow him to posses some form of self-protection.  Obviously, from the number of shootings and stabbings that have occurred in Baltimore since his death, the presumption that disarming everyone will somehow protect them needs to be reconsidered.

    Second, since the Baltimore system involves the actions of at least six officers to arrest one man, it might be that there is so much duplication of effort built into the system that things like putting a seat belt on a suspect get overlooked.

    Third, it seems that the prosecutor seems to have given more attention to placating the masses when holding her press conference.  Specifically:

    I need to express my publicly sympathies of the loved ones of Freddie Gray. I had the opportunity to meet with Gray’s family to discuss some of the details of the case and the procedural steps going forward. I assured his family that no one is above the law and that I would pursue justice on their behalf.

    To the thousands of city residents, community organizers and faith leaders and political leaders that chose to march peacefully throughout Baltimore. I commend your courage to stand for justice. I also commend the brave men and women both in uniform and out who have stepped up Monday Night to protect our community from those who wish to destroy it.

    As the city’s chief deputy prosecutor I’ve been sworn to uphold justice and to treat every individual within the jurisdiction of the Baltimore city equally and fairly under the law. I take this oath seriously and I want the public to know my administration is committed to creating a fair and equitable justice system for all. No matter what your occupation, your age, your race, your color or your creed. It is my job to examine and investigate the evidence of each case and apply those facts to the elements of a crime in order to make a determination as to whether individuals should be prosecuted. This is a tremendous responsibility, but one I saw and accepted when the citizens of Baltimore city elected me as the state’s attorney and it is precisely what I did in the case of Freddie Gray.

    While I am committed to transparency, what I have revealed here today is now a matter of public record. However, the evidence we have collected and continue to collect cannot ethically be released to the public and I strongly condemn anyone in law enforcement with access to trial evidence who has leaked information prior resolution of this case. You are only damaging our ability to conduct a fair and impartial process for all parties involved.

    I hope that as we move forward with this case everyone will respect due process and refrain from doing anything that would jeopardize our ability to seek justice.

    To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”

    To those that are angry, hurt or have their own experiences of injustice at the hands of police officers I urge you to channel that energy peacefully as we prosecute this case I have heard your calls for ‘No justice, no peace,’ however your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.

    Thankfully, a full review of her press conference text (available through the New York Post) demonstrates a leaning toward detail. Nonetheless, some reports her activism in this realm might require her to recuse herself from the case to avoid casting a shadow on the results.

Obama Whines

On 12 May 2015, the President joined academic elites at Georgetown University for the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty.  Therefore, what does he do? As a product of private schools and with both of his children in private schools, does he seek to make the benefits of competition in the education arena available to all Americans?  No.  He complains and blames.

Obama Blames the Rich for Using Better Schools

At 1:02:43 in the video at the bottom of this blog (and at the bottom of the President’s class warfare attempts), Obama starts to blame the self-segregation of the rich as they try to build better lives for themselves and their families:

“We don’t dispute that the free market is the greatest producer of wealth in history — it has lifted billions of people out of poverty.  We believe in property rights, rule of law, so forth.  But there has always been trends in the market in which concentrations of wealth can lead to some being left behind.  And what’s happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better — more skilled, more educated, luckier, having greater advantages — are withdrawing from sort of the commons — kids start going to private schools; kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks.  An anti-government ideology then disinvests from those common goods and those things that draw us together.  And that, in part, contributes to the fact that there’s less opportunity for our kids, all of our kids.

Now, that’s not inevitable.  A free market is perfectly compatible with also us making investment in good public schools, public universities; investments in public parks; investments in a whole bunch — public infrastructure that grows our economy and spreads it around.  But that’s, in part, what’s been under attack for the last 30 years.  And so, in some ways, rather than soften the edges of the market, we’ve turbocharged it.  And we have not been willing, I think, to make some of those common investments so that everybody can play a part in getting opportunity.”

Despite His Friendly Press, Obama Complains About Media Scrutiny

Not content to follow the example of Harry Truman, Obama not only overlooks the job-killing effects of his signature legislation and years of quantitative easing — that is, printing money to distribute through the stock market, (at 1:11:17) he tries to distract the audience by directing them to look at the media portraying the poor as leeches:

“But part of it has also been — there’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been, who are you mad at, if you’re struggling; if you’re working, but you don’t seem to be getting ahead.  And over the last 40 years, sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top, or to be mad at folks at the bottom.  And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leaches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction.”

Obama Singles Out Fox News

Finally, (at 1:12:12) he pins the blame for this portrayal of the poor on his favorite whipping boy:

“And, look, it’s still being propagated.  I mean, I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu — they will find folks who make me mad.  I don’t know where they find them.  (Laughter.)  They’re like, I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone — (laughter) — or whatever.  And that becomes an entire narrative — right? — that gets worked up.  And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress — which is much more typical — who’s raising a couple of kids and is doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills.”

From the "More Equal" Obama: Companies Should Practice Economic Patriotism


 According to ABC News, Obama now wants companies that have been bled dry by his economy to not take legal measures to protect themselves.  That is, he does not want companies to move their legal, tax-collection-address identity out of the US.  To that end, he says:

“During campaign season, you always hear a lot about patriotism. Well, you know what? It’s time for a new economic patriotism, an economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong and thriving middle class.”

On the surface, this is another supreme stream of Obama’s continual campaign rhetoric. Taken by itself, this is as innocuous as his “most transparent administration” promise. However, when you couple this statement with two things, you have to wonder whether Obama plans to violate the Constitution in new and shocking ways.  These dual indicators of pending presidential overreach are:

Considering these indicators, you have to wonder:

  • Are the Democrats testing the water for a violation of the Constitution or
  • Are the Democrats just trying a new way of playing to their traditional supporters:
    • Those who believe that racism is integral part of American society
    • Those who believe that this society rewards the rich disproportionately over those who work
    • Those who see sex as a source of empowerment rather than the sealing of a relationship and an initiation of life

Because any attempt by Obama to violate the Constitution would destroy the future of the Democrats, there is little reason to believe that talk of impeachment is anything more than a Democratic fundraising tactic.

Nonetheless, do Democrats realize that they are often seen as:

Intersections with the Bible

There are so many intersections between the Bible and these many grabs for power that I feel like I would overwhelm everyone if I were to cover all the topics. Therefore, let me mention these verses that are salient to these topics.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. (2 Timothy 3:1-9 NIV)

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:1-4 NIV)