Colorado to consider stripping gun rights from state residents

Gun1According to the Washington Times, the state of Colorado will convene today to consider four different measures that curtail a lawful person’s right to carry firearms and load magazines with a capacity that the state considers to be excessive.  The Times believes the new laws are likely to pass.

House Bill #1224 bans gun magazines with a capacity greater than 15 rounds.  Bill #1226 will restrict individuals with valid CCW licenses from carrying weapons onto the campuses of colleges and universities.  Bill #1228 imposes a new so-called “gun tax” when running background checks ahead of a firearm purchase.  Lastly, Bill #1229 will make it a crime to transfer or sell a firearm privately between two people without another background check.

Despite the fact that gun free zones are notoriously susceptible to gun violence, the state of Colorado seems steadfastly focused on disarming law-abiding citizens and turning state residents into sitting ducks that cannot possibly defense themselves against attacks, especially on school campuses.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.  Stay safe, and stay vigilant.

 

Obama’s State of the Union proposals to cost taxpayers $84 billion

MoneyPresident Obama put forth a plethora of proposals during the State of the Union speech last week that, he said, would not raise the national debt.  According to the National Taxpayer’s Union, the total cost to taxpayers of those proposals could reach $83.4 billion, the most expensive plan yet by Obama during the State of the Union speech.

“This is a slush fund that has a lineage back to the 2009 stimulus and more recently the President’s Jobs Act from the last Congress; back then CBO scored it at $39.16 billion over five years, which breaks down to $7.832 billion on an annualized basis,” said NTU’s Executive Vice President, Pete Sepp.  The taxpayer’s watch dog group estimated the cost to implement 40 items mentioned during Obama’s speech that would cost the American taxpayer.

Speaking of the President’s vague tax proposals, Sepp said that they “contained enough buzzwords to bear a close resemblance to the tax reform blueprint he put out last year, which in turn draws from previous administration plans. The window-dressing changes, but not so much what’s behind it.”

Listen to the Podcast of the NTU analysis.

Minimum wages kill jobs, increase costs and send money overseas

workers-wages-vsA portion of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech discussed the creation of an economic climate that encourages businesses to open up shop in the United States and invest earned capital locally rather than overseas.  The president then addressed several policies that would accomplish precisely the opposite.

Obama proposed raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour, arguing that it would raise the incomes of millions of families. “It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets,” he said.

The problem?  It’s a lie.  Entry level economics courses teach the true effect of minimum wages.  Minimum wage jobs are filled by low skilled labor, many of whom are in high school and college and learning the skills necessary to succeed in the United States…skills such as working with others, taking direction from managers, being responsible with your authority and privileges.  Minimum wage jobs are teaching jobs.  When governments raise the minimum wage, businesses respond by slashing opportunities to these jobs, or increasing the price on products and services – or both.

What incentive do businesses have paying unskilled laborers more money?  I was asked a question recently: “How do you expect a person to make a living off of minimum wage?”  My answer is simple: I don’t.  Low skill jobs are not designed to support entire families.  Ask yourself a simple question – why would somebody work 60-hour weeks at a high-skilled professional job to support his or her family, when they could serve up burritos at the local Taco Bell and still support their family?  This is not realistic, and the world does not – and cannot – work this way.  There is a reason why people obtain the skills to get better jobs.  This is what makes career progression even possible.  It is why your local grocery store is clean and stocked with food, and why you are probably reading this article from the comfort of your home or building.

The net result in rising minimum wages is fewer jobs and an increase in prices for all of us.  How does this help the economy?  How does this help the very people whom our president claims to care about?  It doesn’t.  In fact, Obama’s policies demonstrably hurt the lower and middle classes by once again putting the burden of federal regulation on them.

To incentivize business, government needs to create a climate where businesses can operate without the fear of countless punitive regulations.  To encourage businesses to stay here in the United States, cut the corporate income tax rate.  Cut the personal income tax rate and cap it below 20%.  Remove the minimum wage, which is far beyond the scope of the federal government, and let states decide what is in the best interest of their residents and businesses.

More business-friendly states will, naturally, see more business – and less business-friendly states will be forced to change.  The free market is a powerful thing.  It works.  Americans see it work all the time in their local communities.  So much of what Americans spend their money on comes at the discretion of the free market.  It is enabled by a company’s ability to develop products and services that the people want and make money while doing so.  The free market builds economies, not the government.

While our government continues to willfully ignore even the most basic economic principles of incentivizing business, low and middle class Americans will be forced to continue shouldering the burden of its incompetence.

Millions commit fraud to receive taxpayer-funded “Obama phone”

obama-phone-videoJust months after the federal government spent $2.2 billion in 2012 to fund a cellular phone subsidy program aimed at giving low-income Americans taxpayer-funded telephone services, tightened FCC rules have revealed that a whopping 41% of those who received “free” phone service could not substantiate eligibility for the program.

The “Lifeline Program” began in 1984 as a way to keep low-income people connected to family and emergency services.  The program was intended for those who meet federal poverty standards or currently receive food stamps, Medicaid or other taxpayer-funded handouts.

Until last year, telephone carriers were not required to verify the eligibility of those who applied for the phone subsidy.  It is only now, after the FCC tightened their rules and require eligibility verification, that the massive fraud – accounting for nearly half of those subscribed to the handout program – has been revealed to tax paying Americans.

The FCC now requires telephone carriers to verify eligibility and may impose fines of $150,000 per customer, per day for fraudulent use of the Lifeline program.  The FCC claims the new safeguards will save taxpayers $2 billion over the course of three years.

Man suing TSA after being thrown in jail over peanut butter joke

nutty8n-4-webFrank Hannibal got more than he bargained for when making his way through the TSA screening area at LaGuardia Airport.  TSA agents were apparently concerned about the thin layer of oil over top his gourmet Crazy Richards peanut butter and pulled the married father of two out of line for inspection.

Jokingly, Hannibal commented to his family that “They’re looking to confiscate my explosives”.  A TSA agent overheard the comment and immediately called for police, who proceeded to handcuff the dangerous jokster and took him to jail where he spent the next 25 hours after being charged with falsely reporting an incident, which is a felony.

The charges were baffling – Hannibal made the remark to his family, not a TSA agent or police officer.  It remains unclear how making a comment to one’s family can be considered “reporting an incident”.  Apparently the local police department agreed and eventually dropped the ridiculous charges.

Hannibal is suing the TSA for $5 million.  “It sounds laughable now but at the time to be led out of there like a terrorist was unbelievable,” Hannibal said. “My whole life was up in the air. It was a nightmare. My children were overwhelmed. It was crazy.”

Roger Stone will “probably” run for Florida governor

images (1)The infamous political consultant and “renowned infighter” – wrote the New York Times – Roger Stone will “probably” run for the position of governor in the state of Florida under the Libertarian Party ticket, arguing that the Republican Party is officially dead and cannot be resurrected.

“I don’t have any illusions about winning, but I’d like to carry the flag for the liberty movement,” Stone told National Review. “The Republican party is dead and it can’t be revived, so it’s time for the Libertarian party to be a force.”

Stone said he would make a final decision later in the year as he asks statewide Libertarians for their support leading up to the 2014 election cycle.

Describing his future campaign strategy, “It’s going to be like Bill Buckley’s mayoral run in 1965. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this campaign. It’s going to get people’s attention.”

Stone worked as an adviser to Gary Johnson in the 2012 presidential elections and is known for his outgoing and “flamboyant” personality.  Previously, Stone worked in the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp.

New bill would establish toughest anti-drone laws in Texas

imagesNew legislation filed in Texas by Republican Representative Lance Gooden proposes the toughest laws against the use of indiscriminate drone surveillance of the American people, restricting  drone use only within 25-miles of the Texas/Mexico border, or with proper search and arrest warrants.

All other uses from individuals, law enforcement or federal authorities would be prohibited in the state.

“These drones are going to get so cheap that soon you’ll be able to buy your own drone at Best Buy,” Gooden said.  “You could park it a foot above the ground in your neighbor’s back yard and film into their house.  If someone wanted to film your children out playing by the pool and put that video on the Internet, as creepy as that sounds.

Gooden said it is important to address the issue now before drone lobbies begin surfacing to push legislation in support of domestic spying.

Texas is not the only state battling the issue of drones.  Seattle’s mayor ordered its police department to stop its plan to use drones after relentless complaints from concerned citizens over privacy.

A similar bill in Florida would ban the use of drones except in cases of “terrorism”, missing children and court-ordered warrants.