GUEST COMMENTARY: The Law of the Sea treaty will sink America’s economy.


The Law of the Sea treaty will sink America’s economy.

Guest Commentary By: Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator John Cornyn

 

Americans despise taxes.  After all, one of the key issues that paved the way for the American Revolution was the unfair taxation that King George III levied against the Colonies.

Now some in the US Senate want to say yes to an international tax.  It would be the first time in history that an international organization would possess taxing authority, and it would amount to billions of American dollars being transferred out of the US Treasury.

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, or the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is the vehicle through which such taxes would be imposed on U.S.-based commercial enterprises.

The treaty that Reagan refused to sign in 1982 is reappearing once again in the Senate.  The truth is, LOST contains numerous provisions that hurt the U.S. economy at a time when we need more jobs – not fewer.

Under the guise of being for “the good of mankind, ” LOST would obligate the United States to share information and technology in what amounts to global taxes and technology transfer requirements that are really nothing more than an attempt to redistribute U.S. wealth to the Third World.

At the center of these taxes and transfers is the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a Kingston, Jamaica based supra-national governing body established by the treaty for the purpose of redistributing cash and technology from the “developed world” to the “developing world.”

Ceding authority to the ISA would mean that the sovereignty currently held by the U.S. over the natural resources located on large parts of the continental shelf would be lost.  That loss would mean lost revenue for the US government in the form of lost royalties that the U.S. government collects from the production of those resources. According to the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, which is currently mapping the continental shelf, the resources there “may be worth billions if not trillions” of dollars.

In case proponents of LOST have not noticed, the US is over $15 trillion in debt, and we still have more than 20 million Americans who can’t find a job. The last thing we need to do redistribute funds from our country to our economic and strategic competitors.

To make matters worse, the US would have no control over how or to whom the taxes and technology would be redistributed.

Undoubtedly funds that rightfully belong to the American taxpayer would be sent to corrupt governmental regimes, make dictators wealthier, and could even be used for activities directed against the United States and our interests.

Under the treaty, the transfer of these funds does not end with nation states.  These royalty revenues would even be extended to “peoples who have not attained full independence or other self-governing status.”  That means groups like the Palestinian Authority and potentially other groups with terrorist ties.

Proponents of the treaty will claim that the technology transfer portion of the treaty has been significantly changed.  In truth, nations with mining and resource recovery technologies like the United States will be obligated to share those technologies with Third World competitors, and that is one of the many issues, which trouble those of us opposed to the treaty.

In other words, US companies would be forced to give away the very types of innovation that historically have made our nation a world leader while fueling our economic engine.

Under the best of US economic circumstances, the Senate should say no to such an egregious breach of the trust Americans have placed in us. Our current economic struggles are all the more reason to say no to a treaty that is all cost and no benefit.

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch is the ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee.

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WI Gov Walker makes concessions with cowardly Democrat Senators.


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has offered to keep certain collective bargaining rights in place for state workers in a proposed compromise aimed at ending a nearly three-week standoff with absent Senate Democrats.

The e-mails, some dated as recently as Sunday, show a softened stance in Walker’s talks with the 14 Democrats who fled across state lines  to Illinois in a lackluster attempt to block a vote on Governor Walker’s original proposal that would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights for public workers and force unions to pay more into their healthcare and pensions.

Under the compromise floated by Walker and detailed in the e-mails, workers would be able to continue bargaining over their salaries with no limit, a change from his original plan that banned negotiated salary increases beyond inflation.

He also proposed compromises allowing collective bargaining to stay in place on mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, hazardous duty pay and classroom size for teachers. Other compromises were made such as;

–Removing the limits on wage negotiations by not tying salary increases to the consumer price index.

–Including workplace safety in collective bargaining.

–Limiting the term of any collective bargaining agreement to one or two years, but not allowing it to be extended.

–Allowing UW Hospital and Clinics to continue to have collective bargaining, with some changes.

Increased contributions for health insurance and pension, projected to save the state $330 million by mid-2013, would remain. The unions and Democrats have agreed to those concessions to help balance a projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

Please note: With this small concession coming from the Wisconsin union; the budget is still in default by $3.3 billion. Hardly a step away from balancing the budget.

Sen. Bob Jauch, one of the 14 AWOL Democrats said the latest offer was inadequate.

The e-mails show that Jauch had wanted even more items to be subject to bargaining that Walker seeks to eliminate, including sick leave and vacation pay.

What? Really? Who else’s job gets to bargain on sick leave and vacation pay? Every job I had, those were set amounts. The Wisconsin union is really pushing the envelope here.

How come there has been no mention that under the original bill, the Department of Health Services could make cuts and other changes to programs benefiting the poor, elderly and disabled without requiring a hearing or vote by the legislative committee?

Governor Walker has made a grave mistake by caving into these concessions.  He has just proven to the Democratic party that all they have to do when they dont like a bill and think that they will be outvoted is to take a vacation across state lines.

At one point, I felt bad for the Union members. But now, Im starting to feel otherwise as it is apparent to me that the Wisconsin Union are racking up the health benefits and retirement and are way below the average payee.

With all of their other demands- the Union leaders are reminding me of a diva rockstar who is throwing  a it because they do not have Perrier water in their dressing room.

While I wish Gov Walker would not have compromise, purely for the sake that compromise should not be made over state lines in an attempt to buck the current congressional rules. I think it was a smart compromise on Gov Walker’s part to agree with the collective bargaining agreements to last 2 years as well as Unions voting to stay in existence every 3 years and to give teachers a say regarding their classroom conditions as well as hazardous duty pay for union members such as police officers and fire fighters. As well as union members having the option out of paying union dues.

However, I dont that the Unions have the right to bargain on sick leave or vacation time. Nor do I think the Department of Health Services should have the ability to cut or change programs benefiting the the poor, elderly and disabled without requiring a hearing or vote. Imagine the slippery slope on future possibilities.

Either way, Gov Walker should not have conceeded anything until the callous Senatorial Democrats put their big kid pants on and came back to work. These meetings at McDonalds on the state line (literally!) are ridiculous.

Not to mention that Gov Walker has now created a standard of what would be needed to break down a political barrier- run away, cross state lines and take a 3 week vacation.  The Democrats have already proven they would be willing to run away from their duties to the American people, now that they see their plan has worked- why wouldnt they do it again?

Copyright (c) March 9, 2011. All rights reserved.

WI Democratic Senators under arrest for theft & fraudulent use of tax dollars.


Wisconsin’s Senate Republicans have voted to order police to bring their AWOL Democratic colleagues back to work by force if they don’t return by late afternoon.

The 14 Democratic senators deflected on their job responsibilities and ran across state borders to Illinois two weeks ago to prevent a quorum and block pass of the bill for Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to balance the state budget by taking away Union’s collective bargaining rights. The Unions pay is not under contention nor has any Union workers would lose their job under this measure.

These Democratic senators should step down. Even though they are in the minority, the balance of their Senate was elected by the people. A group of senators should not be allowed to run away and hole up across state borders in an attempt to delay a vote.

Not only are they not doing their job as elected to do but they are wasting the taxpayers money.

They are technically an asset of the state and they essentially stole themselves. The Democratic senators should be charged with theft and fraudulent use of tax dollars vs. the people of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Democrats will be fined $100 per day of absence.


Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have voted to begin fining Democrats $100 for every day they’re absent without leave. The Democratic senators, who fled the state to quash a bill that would limit public-employee unions, say the threat of a fine won’t sway them.

With Wisconsin Senate Democrats staying in Illinois to prevent a vote on a bill curbing collective bargaining rights, Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is turning up the pressure.

Fitzgerald and the Republicans will begin imposing fines of $100 a day Friday on members who are absent without leave.

“This majority is trying to compel those senators to come back and do their job,” Fitzgerald said.

Republicans have also taken away parking spaces and photocopying privileges from the Democrats’ staff.

Democratic Minority Leader Mark Miller calls the moves petty, and school-yard bully tactics. He added that his caucus would come back in a minute, if Republicans would only compromise.

Wait a minute, who s being petty? The Democratic Senators ran across state lines in an effort to stall the vote.

Congratulations to the Wisconsin Republicans for using all means necessary to bring them back so they can do their job that they were elected to do.

Copyright (c) March 2, 2011. All rights reserved.

Socialism via a classic children’s story -the Little Red Hen


Please read this story to your children and ask them why the red hen never wanted to bake bread again. I would love to hear their response!

———————————————————-

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat.

She called her neighbors and said, “If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?”

“Not I,” said the cow.
“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the pig.
“Not I,” said the goose.

“Then I will,” said the little red hen, and she did.

The wheat grew tall and ripened into golden grain. “Who will help me reap my wheat?” asked the little red hen.

“Not I,” said the duck.
“Out of my classification,” said the pig.
“I’d lose my seniority,” said the cow.
“I’d lose my unemployment compensation,” said the goose.

“Then I will,” said the little red hen, and she did.

At last it came time to bake the bread. “Who will help me bake the bread?” asked the little red hen.

“That would be overtime for me,” said the cow.
“I’d lose my welfare benefits,” said the duck.
“I’m a dropout and never learned how,” said the pig.
“If I’m to be the only helper, that’s discrimination,” said the goose.

“Then I will,” said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see. They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share.

But the little red hen said, “No, I can eat the five loaves.”

“Excess profits!” cried the cow.
“Capitalist leech!” screamed the duck.
“I demand equal rights!” yelled the goose.
And the pig just grunted.

And they painted “unfair” picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.

When the government agent came, he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”

“But I earned the bread,” said the little red hen.

“Exactly,” said the agent. “That is the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide their product with the idle.”

And they lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful. I am grateful.”

But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked any more bread.

Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Democrats found with their tail between their legs. Shameful.


Approximately 25,000 teachers and others flooded the Wisconsin Capitol on Thursday as Democratic lawmakers left the state to stymie a vote on the governor’s proposal to reduce collective bargaining rights and benefits for public workers.

Wisconsin is the first in a long line of states that will consider requiring government workers to pay more for pensions and health care while limiting the power of employee unions to negotiate contracts and work rules.

Ohio is next, likely to vote within weeks on an equally dramatic limit on public employee rights. Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa,  Michigan,New Hampshire, New Jersey and New Mexico are among the two dozen other states considering narrower but substantial changes in how government treats its workforce.

The moves are aimed at saving hundreds of millions of dollars and cutting the burden of pension and health care costs at a time when state and local government finances are weak. It estimated that the cuts in Wisconin would save $30 million in the current budget and approximately $300 million in next year’s budget.

The legislative aides of the Fleeing Democrats would not comment on where they went or when they would return but Democratic Senator Jon Erpenbach stated that the group of Democratic Senators left the state. and my personal sources have confirmed that a majority, if not all, of the Senators are holed up in a Best Western in Rockford, Illinois.

Crossing state lines and hiding from a vote is nothing short of disrespectful to the people and taxpayers of Wisconsin who elected them into office. These Democratic Senators were elected to stand up and negotiate for hard issues- not to run away and hide in an effort of stall a vote.

I also noticed how none of the Wisconin Democratic Senators are proposing any way to reduce the financial woes of the state. Funny, Ive also noticed that with the House and Senate Democrats at large. Attack all budget cuts suggested but offer no relief of their own.

Please remember these smoke and mirror games the Democrats are playing come 2012. We have too much to stake to allow these games to continue.

Copyright (c) February 17, 2011.

BREAKING NEWS and VIDEO: Wisconsin’s union workers protest Gov. Walker’s budget bill with cues from Egypt.


A standoff at the Wisconsin State Capitol between the Governor and 20,000 public employee unions, is becoming a test case for state executives across the nation who are burdened with having to cut deep into budgets to shore up their states’ finances.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is advancing a bill that will force most state, local, and school employees to pay half their pension costs and pay 12.6 percent of their health-care costs, which is double their current contribution.

Additionally, unions representing workers- other than police, firefighters, and troopers– will lose their collective bargaining power with the state on anything but wages and raises will be limited to inflation.

With the only way the wages could be raised, would be if the increase was approved in a voter referendum.

Further, Non-law-enforcement unions will also be forced to hold annual elections to remain certified, and workers no longer will enjoy the ability to deduct union dues from state paychecks, steps that are being seen as further weakening union power in the state.

Walker’s plan also would allow the state to push principal payments due March 15 on its general obligation bonds into future years to gain $165 million through a debt refinancing.

That money would help cover a court-ordered payment to the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund and payments under the state’s tax reciprocity program with Minnesota.

Needless to say, public unions in Wisconsin are taking cues from Egypt and causing a domestic uprising.

Hundreds of protesters spent Wednesday night in the rotunda of the state capitol building.

With teachers – and some students -coming to Madison to protest, dozens of schools were shut on Wednesday and Thursday.

Police officers stood guard outside Mr Walker’s office as angry protesters stood outside shouting for his recall from office.

Taking details cues from Egypt, Angry workers also surrounded Mr Walker’s family home this week.

It is being suggested by an insiders that if this plan works, there will be multiple other Governors who will develop this action plan in an effort to meet their budget.

This is the first bubbling of anger and as the tax cuts are pushed more into the people, I predict other that we will see many more repeats of these type of protests.

I pray that all protests remain civil. We dont need the US to break out into another Civil War.

Copyright (c) February 17, 2011.

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Newsworthy Index


BREAKING NEWS and VIDEO: Wisconin’s union workers protest Gov. Walker’s budget bill with cues from Egypt.

Bravo on Bi partianship: 911 responders bill.

Democrats refuse to collect on overpayment from the UN.

House Republicans unveil new bill to ban resurrection of Fairness Doctrine

In the crosshairs- 6 people fatally wounded, 13 injured.

Take heed of Ronald Reagan’s defense policy and apply it to Egypt.

My Stance on 118 political issues. Would love to hear your thoughts!

More Democratic infighting. Yet again.

Optimism increases about condition of US, surpasses 2007 level.

O Where, O Where have the Democrats gone? O Where, O Where could they be? (Answer inside).

Take heed of Ronald Reagan’s defense policy and apply it to Egypt.

The Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac Burst.

Throwing the BS flag on Obama’s Superbowl Interview.


Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

House Republicans unveil new bill to ban resurrection of Fairness Doctrine


Representative Mike Pence has introduced a bill to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from reviving the policy, a controversial and defunct standard that required broadcast licensees to offer “balanced” coverage. Critics saw it as an affront to free speech.

Pence is joined on the bill by dozens of other Republicans, including various members of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Communications subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, who oversees the FCC, has signed onto the bill.

The bill also has Democratic support, with Rep. John Yarmuth getting on board. Other Energy and Commerce members include Communications Vice Chairman Reps. Lee Terry  and Representatives Marsha Blackburn, Mary Bono Mack, Joe Barton, and Cliff Stearns.

The effort comes ahead of a hearing next week that will include all four FCC commissioners and the chairman, and indicates that the overwhelming feeling among House Republicans that this FCC has shown too much regulatory zeal.

One can only hope that the FCC listens to the Republican Party for if this ruling allows to stand, it’s in blantant disregard to the 1st Amendment that grants us our freedom of speech and freedom of the press as a possible outcome of the Doctrine would result in controversial speech being stiffled as the threat of random investigations and warnings discouraged broadcasters from airing what FCC bureaucrats might refer to as “unbalanced” views.

Not to mention that broadcasters would be less reluctant to offer their personal opinions for then they would have to allow time for the opposing viewpoint to be heard essentially stiffing their freedom of speech.

This is exactly what led the FCC to repeal the rule in 1987. FCC officials found that the doctrine “had the net effect of reducing, rather than enhancing, the discussion of controversial h of public importance,” and therefore was in violation of constitutional principles. (“FCC Ends Enforcement of Fairness Doctrine,” Federal Communications Commission News, Report No. MM-263, August 4, 1987.)

If the fairness standard is reinstituted, the result will not be easier access for controversial views. It will instead be self-censorship, as stations seek to avoid requirements that they broadcast specific opposing views.

With the wide diversity of views available today in the expanding broadcast system, there is a simple solution for any family seeking an alternative viewpoint or for any lawmaker irritated by a pugnacious talk-show host.   Turn the dial.

Copyright (c) February 11, 2011. All rights reserved.

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac Burst.


The US Treasury Department is scheduled to release a report that indicates three choices for winding down Fannie  Mae and Freddie Mac, who provide a secondary market for 9 of 10 American mortgage loans, buying up the paper from issuing banks, packaging them and selling them to investors as guaranteed mortgage securities, in an attempt to privatize the housing industry.

The 20  to 25 page report, prepared by scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, calls for a gradual withdrawal of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the housing market over a period of 5 years.

The report will not endorse any of the options — a decision by the administration designed to avoid a discussion about the role of government in housing finance without roiling the housing market or locking President Barack Obama to a particular solution, yet offers alternatives to the current scenario of government controlled programs.

The report’s scenarios are as follows:

Choice (1):  A government “re-insurance” program to backstop private investors.

Choice (2): *Personal preference- A limited “re-insurance” program that scales up during recessions and progressively scales back in times of economic strength.

Choice (3):   No government backstop at all.

If there is government involvement,  the report proposes gradual increases in minimum down payments so that Fannie and Freddie buy loans with a minimum 10% down payment.

The report also recommends raising gradually fees that Fannie and Freddie charge to lenders, in order to make mortgages that aren’t government-backed more competitive. It calls for slowly reducing the maximum loan limits the firms can purchase but doesn’t specify how far those loan limits should drop.

Current federal law allows the companies to guarantee mortgages of as much as $729,750 in some high-home-price areas and will expire Oct. 1. The administration recommends that Congress not renew the law. The move would drop the ceiling to $625,500.

While not being specific, the administration’s paper calls for further reductions in that ceiling over the next several years. Mortgages above the ceiling are known as jumbo loans and usually require a higher interest rate.

The administration also says banks should be required to hold more capital to withstand future housing downturns, and the report calls for “more conservative underwriting standards that require homeowners to hold more equity in their homes.”

The report also called for reducing the role played by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a New Deal-era agency that has been at the heart of the administration’s efforts to help Americans secure low-down-payment mortgages in the wake of the mortgage market’s collapse three years ago.

The FHA doesn’t lend money to home buyers but insures lenders against default; in exchange for that backing, borrowers must pay annual insurance premiums. The administration says it will increase those fees later this year.

Additionally, a task force is called forth to consider merging federal mortgage agencies. Currently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development houses the FHA, the Department of Veterans Affairs runs the VA loan program and the Department of Agriculture administers a rural-housing loan-guarantee program.

Because the housing market remains fragile, those measures would be phased in gradually. The administration believes Fannie and Freddie are past their peak losses, and the vast majority of those have stemmed from loans it bought as the mortgage boom turned to bust.

The fight over how to restructure the housing-finance system has roiled Washington, but both parties have been hesitant to propose detailed legislation as rapidly withdrawing the firms from the market today could damage the housing sector and risk making those losses more severe.

For conservatives, Fannie and Freddie played a starring role in the financial crisis, and any solution that is viewed as replicating their function could face opposition from some Republicans. However, moderate Republicans may resist such an approach and could join Democrats who have said a federal role is necessary to ensure broad access to homeownership.

Advancing multiple proposals could help the administration build consensus around one option, and analysts say it may help build the case for a continued government backstop that many administration officials are said to privately favor.

While I would like to see the housing market ran without dependence on the government, I do not feel that is an option during this recession when short sales and foreclosures are at an all time high. We need to encourage mortgage purchases, not defer people away with high interest rates and/or the removal or increased rate of the 30 yr fixed rate mortgage. Perhaps in due time but right now, it would prove to be detrimental to our housing market.

I also support a gradual reduction of Fannie’s and Freddie’s combined $1.5 trillion portfolios. The administration would like to reduce the government’s mortgage support from about 95 percent of all mortgages to somewhere below 50 percent within 5 to 7 years.

In addition, I would support trimming the maximum size of mortgages they can purchase from the current high of $729,750 to $625,000 that is set to expire in September.

With a recessive economy, increase in home short sales and decrease in the housing market, it is imperative that we tread carefully.

Removing all government assistance is not feasible at this point but we need to progressively dismantle our reliance on Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they are the ones responsible for the 2008 housing bubble burst and if we do not learn from our past mistakes, we are bound to repeat them.

Copyright (c) February 11, 2011. All rights reserved.

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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