Let’s Remember and Celebrate our Independence Day.

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The history of our founding has not been properly taught in schools for decades. Independence Day is routinely called the 4th of July holiday, a day for cook outs, not remembrance.

It is up to us to make sure our children understand how and why our country was formed. One way is to read to them this our Declaration Of Independence.

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IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:

William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:

William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

The Shadow Party

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The Democrat Party has abandoned religion and morality, the Constitution, the white male middle class and now the flag. Patriotism is a threat to their success and must be squashed. They cannot get their agenda passed legitimately so they must rely on left wing judges to “pass” their agenda. They cannot accept the fact that they experienced an overwhelming electoral defeat in the last election. So rather than figure out why voters rejected their message they concocted the Russian hacking myth to explain the loss.

There is no way half of Americans would vote for a party that despises religion (except for Islam), has no moral compass but rather sees the world through relative morality lenses, has no respect for the military, the rule of law or the police, rejects patriotism and the flag in favor on the new world order and prefers Iran and terrorists like HAMAS rather than our true ally Israel. They mask their real intentions with lofty well-meaning names like “right to choose” or “equal pay”. They must hide their real intentions in the shadows in order to get elected. This is only possible for two reasons. First, the main stream media (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, NY Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and most newspapers) protects them and misleads Americans about their true agenda. Secondly the left has longed controlled the education system from beginning to end. They eliminated history long ago and indoctrinate students with their left wing agenda items like global warming and gun control.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center wrote a brilliant piece called “The Civil War is Here” in frontpage.com. You can read it here.

Is Social Security a Good Deal?

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Each year at about this time you can receive an updated social security benefits statement from the Social Security Administration (https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/). This document will tell you what you can expect to receive on a monthly basis when you retire.

We currently pay 6.2% of our wages towards our retirement (social security). Our employer matches that amount so together 12.4% of our wages are “set aside” for our retirement. Well here is the rub. Even though politicians constantly refer to the “Social Security Trust Fund”, there is no such thing. The trust fund is basically a promise to pay us something in the future.

It is helpful to look at this like a 401K plan. A 401K plan is a form of retirement whereby employees set aside a certain percentage of their earnings for retirement. This set aside is invested in a personal account that you own. Typically the investment choices are high quality mutual funds or ETFs (Exchanged Traded Funds). Many employers will match some or all of the employee deduction. Over a lifetime of employment this can add up to a nice retirement nest egg.

In essence social security is doing the same thing with some very important differences. First, the money that you pay in taxes and the amounts that your employer pays does not belong to you. If you would work for 40 years and die before becoming eligible for benefits, the money is lost; your surviving family has no rights to the money even though you paid into it for 40 years. The same goes if you collect a benefit for a couple of years then die, there is no surviving benefit for your family. Second, your money is not invested and does not grow. In addition, there is a maximum benefit amount that is capped by the social security administration regardless of the amount of taxes that you pay.

There have been efforts by Republicans to privatize social security. This would mean that you would own the money just as you do your 401K. You would decide how to invest it. And you would determine who your beneficiary is if you die. Under Social Security the government is everyone’s beneficiary. When social security was put in place in 1935 the retirement age was 65. The expected life expectancy at that time was 62 years for women and 58 years for men. This should be very telling.

There is always a big fight over privatization when it is proposed. The Democrats argue that individuals lack the ability to choose investments and would be at risk of losing their entire benefit. They say the stock market is too risky. They also argue that there would no longer be a guaranteed benefit (a legacy union concept). In reality the reason these politicians fight to keep it is one to preserve big government, but also since inception the taxes collect have far exceeded the benefits paid. This has created a slush fund to help balance the budget and provide money to spend on other projects. The problem with this is that the pendulum is about to swing the other way. When the baby boomers begin to retire in great numbers benefit payments will far outweigh taxes collected. And since the surpluses were spent rather than put in a lockbox or trust fund as you are told there will be major shortfalls which will have to be funded. From 2000 thru 2009 the taxes collected exceeded the benefits paid by an average of $164 billion per year, from 2010 thru 2016 that number dropped to only $34 billion.

To illustrate just how bad a deal that Social Security let’s look at how private accounts would work. I used a sample case from the SSA website. I assumed that the employee and employer taxes would be invested in an account that you own. The money would be invested in an S&P 500 fund to keep it simple. An administrative fee of 0.17% is used which is consistent with these funds. In this example the person began to work in 1975 and earned $14,100 and retired at age 66 making $137,100. The person would begin receiving $3,064 per month until his death.

If the employee was able to invest his taxes as described above, he would have an account with a balance of $1,299,737 at retirement. With this he could do a number of things. He could purchase an annuity which would give him a guaranteed monthly payment of $9,767 (assuming 2.5% rate over 13 years), or he could leave it invested and draw out money as needed. Even if it earned zero interest, he could take a monthly payment of $8,332 over 13 years. And when he does die his beneficiary gets to keep the money. In this example the taxpayer’s benefit was $1,045,660 less than a private account would have been.

Opponents to privatization always point to the riskiness of the stock market. Yes it is risky and you can lose 100% of your investments. But plan design and education can greatly limit risk. If you look at the returns over all of the years (link below) you see that years with negative returns are highlighted. In 2008 when the internet bubble burst you see a 40% loss. Despite this over this time period the average return was about 7%.

This is a travesty and all tax payers should be able to own and manage their retirement accounts. It is too late for the baby boomers to benefit from privatization but we owe it to our youth to address this.

Click here for analysis 

 

 

 

A New Hope for America

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Today is a historic day, one that occurs every four years — the inauguration of our newly elected President Donald Trump. President Trump says it is a new day, a day when the power is returned to the people of the United States.

In an era where a major political party is calling America’s choice for President as illegitimate and many from that party are skipping the election, let’s listen to what a few former Presidents had to say in their inaugural addresses:

First inauguration of Ronald Reagan

To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.
You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we’re not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding: We are going to begin to act, beginning today.
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.
So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government — not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.
If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on Earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.
To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.
As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever.
First inauguration of John F Kennedy

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.
First inauguration of George W Bush

We will build our defenses beyond challenge, lest weakness invite challenge. We will confront weapons of mass destruction, so that a new century is spared new horrors. The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake: America remains engaged in the world, by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom.
We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our Nation birth.
Government has great responsibilities for public safety and public health, for civil rights and common schools. Yet, compassion is the work of a nation, not just a government. And some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor’s touch or a pastor’s prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws.
Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no Government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it.
Second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

 

First inauguration of Thomas Jefferson

During the contest of opinion through which we have passed the animation of discussions and of exertions has sometimes worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely and to speak and to write what they think; but this being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good.
We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government cannot be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world’s best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people — a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.