Education – Part Three

E-Newsletter No. 41 ______ May 2017

As we discussed in last month’s newsletter, our biggest complaint about the federal government’s over-reach into the realm of local K-12 education has been the abysmal return on the massive increase in federal spending, coupled with the simultaneous decrease in measurable results. We attribute most of this decline to the federal government’s top-down regulations and its attempts to enforce a politically correct curriculum, instead of letting parents, the local community, and their schools focus on the fundamentals of education that need to be provided to elementary and high school students. To paraphrase Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign slogan, “We need to take our local schools back from the federal government.”

Having said that…. The federal government’s detrimental effects on post-secondary education has been even worse. As we have noted elsewhere on our website, one of the worst unintended consequences of federal government spending is the price distortion it causes in the marketplace. We see this effect in healthcare, in housing, and in the cost of post-secondary education.

The crisis in outstanding student loan debt was created by the federal government, and the magnitude of this problem has increased ever since the government first expanded its role under President Bill Clinton in 1993. Since then, college costs have risen by 190 percent, far surpassing the overall rate of inflation. As the federal government took over student lending, the conditions for getting a loan were eased and were no longer linked to financial need. This has enabled all colleges (public and private) to raise tuition at will, knowing that students can get loans to cover the rising costs.

The student loan crisis has ballooned since 2003, when outstanding student loans totaled $240 billion. Total student loan debt now stands at $1.4 trillion (more than 85% guaranteed by the government), which is more than the amount of outstanding vehicle loans and credit card obligations, and is second only to mortgages. (And we all witnessed the detrimental effects of the federal government’s role in the housing industry).

The progressive movement’s solution is to make a public college education “free”. But what will that do to the competition between public versus private colleges? (OK, that was a rhetorical question). The other solution is to “forgive” outstanding loan balances (in other words, make past student loans “free”). But is that fair to those responsible individuals who have actually paid off their student loans?

A first step towards solving the student loan problem is to eliminate all federal government student loan programs, and return the issuance of student loans to the private sector. Only then will the marketplace for post-secondary education begin to hold tuition costs in check. We also need to re-think the cost versus benefit of a college education. Is a four-year college degree really the right answer for every student? There are many different trades / occupations that do not require a degree, and there are labor shortages for these positions. (We plan to address the cost/benefit analysis of welfare versus work in a later newsletter).

The skills gap in our country is substantial, which is partly due to the poor results of the K-12 education system. In a recent survey, 45% of small business owners reported that they were unable to find qualified job applicants, including construction workers, truck drivers, automotive technicians, etc. Skills-training partnerships between business leaders and local high schools, colleges and community-based organizations, along with apprenticeships and internships, would help job candidates obtain the necessary skills.

Technology changes and other evolutions within the business world will continue to create a situation where workers need to be trained and retrained throughout their careers. Post-secondary education now represents a lifetime commitment to additional ongoing training. Public-private partnerships (funded by civil society) will be critical to improving the prosperity of all American workers.

One other issue of note – – Our Editorial Board’s biggest complaint about the liberal / progressive movement’s assault on our post-secondary education system can be summed up by this quote from Vladimir Lenin – Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. Many of us recall the Free Speech Movement during the mid-1960s on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Now, Berkeley’s administration is advocating “Free Speech Zones”, which is an “Orwellian” term used to describe an approach whereby certain public speakers are literally put out of sight in a safe zone, in order to protect the rest of the student population from potentially “politically incorrect” points of view. My, oh my, how the world has “progressed” over the past several decades.

US Debt Clock – – April 1st – $61,149 per citizen / May 1st – $61,220

Education – Part Two

E-Newsletter No. 40 ______ April 2017

In last month’s newsletter, we began a discussion about the unintended consequences of the federal government’s involvement in Education – – massive increases in spending, coupled with declining results. These unintended results are occurring at both the elementary / high school level and the post-secondary level. Although the problem of declining results is similar, the discussion of the various issues and how best to move forward need to be addressed separately.

Elementary / high school education is a purely local issue. The students, the parents, and the teachers are all local. In most regards (other than questions about finances and funding) K-12 education isn’t even a state-level issue. Our Editorial Board believes that the federal government has virtually no role to play in local education issues. As we noted last month, the federal government’s initial foray into the realm of public education was probably OK, because it was limited to collecting and disseminating “best practices” information to the States. Unfortunately, starting with the Head Start program in 1965, and followed by innumerable programs since then, the federal government began increasing its influence at the local level by providing funds to local school districts to advance these federal programs. By “purchasing” this influence, local schools are, in effect, held hostage by these federal dollars.

The federal government should no longer attempt to micromanage the delivery of K-12 education. Unfortunately, for many decades, progressive theories and the resulting federal programs have served to undermine traditional K-12 education, and education bureaucrats have taken control away from the local community. Parents, local school boards, and the teachers in the classrooms, need to come together to reverse this trend and put student-focused innovation ahead of top-down regulation. The answer to improving results at your local school is parental involvement and local control. We also need to re-direct moneys away from the federal government, and have it flow directly to Parent-Teacher Associations and other local nonprofit organizations that have been established to support local education. As we recommend in The 2020 Initiative, this can be accomplished by making changes to the federal income tax code, whereby taxpayers would receive a direct tax credit (rather than a deduction against income) for contributions made to organizations that have been established to support local education.

Our Editorial Board has a great deal of respect and appreciation for public school teachers, who play a vital role in the development of young adults. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about the various teachers’ unions, who appear to be solely focused on the wants of the union, rather than the needs of our country’s students. Not surprisingly, teachers’ unions are passionate opponents of school choice, charter schools and vouchers.

We would like nothing more than to have all of our public schools succeed and return to the high levels of quality outcomes that were achieved in the past. But if a particular school is failing its mission, we support a parent’s right to enroll their child in a high-quality alternative. Ultimately, it is a matter of parental involvement to decide the best alternative for their child. School choice simply means having the freedom to choose between the local public school, a charter school, a private school, homeschooling, or some other alternative. We must be able to provide students in failing schools the opportunity to find a better alternative. School vouchers should be available to any student who resides in a district that is deemed to be failing.

There is also a growing sense that our public schools have been “dumbed down”, and children who attend failing schools are no longer being adequately educated in the skills that will enable them to be productive individuals once they graduate from high school. Our public schools need to re-focus on teaching the fundamentals of reading, writing, arithmetic, and science. Unfortunately, when a school loses its focus on these basic skills, and begins to devote time to teaching a “politically correct curriculum”, it steals time away from more important subjects, such as history and the US Constitution.
– – – – –
We close this month’s newsletter with the following news update (because this didn’t get a lot of press coverage this past month). On March 16th, the country’s debt limit was reset to reflect the additional borrowings that have occurred since the debt limit was suspended in November 2015. We have now re-entered that phase whereby the Treasury Department must now manage our country’s debt through “extraordinary measures”. The Congressional Budget Office projects that if the new debt limit remains unchanged, those measures will probably be exhausted (and the Treasury will run out of cash) sometime in the fall of 2017. The following is a link to a concise 4-page report from the CBO about what this all means –

US Debt Clock – – March 1st – $61,557 per citizen / April 1st – $61,149 Do not get overly excited or overjoyed by this momentary decrease. Our country’s long term financial problems have not yet been fixed.

Personal Responsibility – Education

E-Newsletter No. 39 ______ March 2017

In last month’s newsletter, we talked about some of the unintended consequences that arise when the federal government attempts to fulfill a role that is not listed in the Constitution. This month’s newsletter deals with the question of what role the federal government should play in regards to Education. Many of us are familiar with the following quote, which is oftentimes attributed to the 12th century rabbi Moses ben Maimon – – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

We don’t think that anyone would dispute the fact that one of the most important factors that helps to determine a person’s success in life is a good education. Most of us would agree that the primary initial responsibility for an individual’s education resides with his/her parents. But ultimately, the responsibility for daily, ongoing, lifetime education resides solely with the individual. Access to the best schools in the world and/or massive amounts of federal government money will not change the fact that education is a personal responsibility.

So, what is the proper role for the federal government? Interestingly, the issue / topic of education is nowhere to be found in the US Constitution. But having said that, our Editorial Board believes the federal government’s initial foray into the realm of public education in 1867 was probably appropriate. The original Office of Education was a minor bureau within the Department of the Interior, and was created to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems. We believe that this approach was properly aligned with the Constitution’s intent to promote the General Welfare (of the country as a whole). Unfortunately (similar to other examples of federal government over-reach) supporters of the progressive agenda deemed that this level of involvement was not adequate and the federal government should help “manage” education, rather than merely serve as a conduit of “best practices” information to the States and to local schools.

Ultimately, President Jimmy Carter, with the backing of the National Education Association, was successful in establishing a cabinet level Department of Education in 1979. What has followed since then is not surprising, but is truly troubling. The first budget for the Department provided for 3,000 federal government employees and an annual budget of $12 billion. In President Obama’s final budget for fiscal 2017, he proposed a Department budget for 5,000 federal employees and a budget of $69 billion. In addition, the 2017 budget also proposed $140 billion of new “mandatory” spending over the upcoming 10-year period, over and above the annual “discretionary” budget.

But the biggest disappointment is that the measurable results of our country’s education system has gone in the opposite direction. Since the 1960s and the LBJ era, our country’s education standing in the world has continued to fall. We have gone from a country that was able to put a man on the moon, to one where our country currently ranks in the middle of the pack (or worse).

So, what went wrong? It’s obviously not due to a lack of money. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an organization of 34 countries whose purpose is to promote trade and economic growth. In an OECD study, it was noted that the United States spent $11,700 per full-time-equivalent student on elementary/high school education, which was 31 percent higher than the OECD average. At the postsecondary level, the US spent $26,600 per FTE student, which was 79 percent higher than the OECD average.

A similar study by the USC Rossier School of Education compared our country’s education spending and performance versus eleven other countries. Our country is the clear leader in annual spending, but ranks 9th in Science performance and 10th in Math.

A more comprehensive study, the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, showed similar dismal results. At the 4th Grade Level, among 26 countries, the US ranked 12th in Math and 3rd in Science. However, at the 8th Grade Level, among 41 countries, the US rankings slipped to 28th in Math and 17th in Science. And continuing the trend, by the end of high school, among 21 countries in the study, the US ranked 19th in Math and 16th in Science.

Next month – What can we do about it?

US Debt Clock – – February 1st – $61,547 per citizen / March 1st – $61,557

Personal Responsibility – Part Two

E-Newsletter No. 38______February 2017

In the document on our Foundation’s website entitled The 2020 Initiative, we recommend that changes be made to the federal income tax code for personal income taxes, whereby individuals who make charitable contributions would receive a credit against their federal income tax obligation (rather than merely get an itemized deduction against their taxable income, which marginally reduces the amount of taxes they pay to the IRS). This will allow the taxpayer to self-direct a portion of their tax obligation to the organizations of their choice, and take these funds out of the hands of the federal government.

The primary reason for this recommendation is to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. As we have noted on our website, Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution lists the very important (and very limited) responsibilities of the federal government. Unfortunately, over the course of the past century, our federal government has lost its focus in regards to its core responsibilities and has introduced innumerable “non-Constitutional” programs that attempt to either socially engineer the country’s citizens or “solve” a person’s problems (which the government will never be able to accomplish). And unfortunately, many of these “progressive” programs have created significant negative unintended consequences.

Some of the worst unintended consequences include creating a sense of entitlement among a large portion of our country’s citizens, which has led to increasing amounts of taxes and skyrocketing unsustainable federal debt that is being pushed onto future generations. But one of the worst consequences has been creating a sense of dependency on the federal government (for food, housing, medical care, “free” education, etc., etc.) at the expense of encouraging individuals to assume personal responsibility for their own needs and wants.

And another unintended consequence is the long history of economic distortions that these programs have caused within the marketplace. Federal money has been the source of “much-higher-than-inflation” increases in the cost of education and healthcare. Federal money and innumerable federal housing programs have also served to distort the housing market and contributed to the housing bubble that led to the Great Recession. Once the federal government has been transformed (whereby it only receives enough funds to carry out its very important, limited responsibilities) it should no longer attempt to manage any other activity beyond its stated responsibilities (please refer to the Tenth Amendment), and the negative consequences listed above will begin to subside.

The other primary reason for these recommended changes is to shift funds from the federal government and redirect those funds to “civil society”, which consists of a variety of effective and innovative Not For Profit charitable organizations. Given the choice between continuing to send their money to the Washington cartel versus a favored charity, people will send their money directly to those organizations they want to support. Another benefit is that these charities will need to compete for these contributions, which will encourage them to operate more efficiently and show more effective outcomes, or bear the consequence of a decrease in the funds they receive from the public. These free market principles are applicable to each of the types of operations mentioned above, including Education, which is the topic of next month’s newsletter.

US Debt Clock – – January 1st – $61,326 per citizen / February 1st – $61,547

Personal Responsibility – Part One

E-Newsletter No. 37______January 2017

On our website, we have a Conversation Piece entitled “Why Mitt Romney’s Comments About the 47% Were Not Correct”. Please note that we do not disagree with the fact / statistic cited by Mr. Romney – – 47% of our country’s citizens do not pay federal income taxes. However, we do take exception to the idea that we live in a country where 47% of our fellow citizens feel that they are “victims”. We continue to believe that the vast majority of Americans agree we live in a truly exceptional country – a land of opportunity.

We also take exception to the implication that because the 47% do not pay federal income taxes, these citizens are somehow deadbeats. The truth is that virtually every person who participates in our country’s economy (as an employee, or as a self-employed person) pays taxes to the federal government on the income that they earn. However, it is unfortunate that these tax payers are forced to redistribute a portion of their income to other recipients via Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. And it is unfortunate that even with all of these payroll taxes and employer contributions, the deficits for these two “Democratic Socialism” programs contributed approximately $500 billion to the total $587 billion deficit last year.

And it’s unfortunate that when you include Medicaid, welfare programs, and interest on the country’s debt, the total of this “mandatory” spending now represents about 70% of the nearly $4 trillion the federal government spends each year. And this leaves just a fraction of the federal government’s tax revenues available for national defense and the other responsibilities of the government listed in the Constitution.

So, how have we allowed our federal government to get us into this predicament? As Ben Franklin warned, ”When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Mr. Romney’s solution to these problems (and the purpose of our Foundation) is to promote the concept of taking personal responsibility for your own life. Unfortunately, the Democratic Socialists would tend to disagree.

Many of us are familiar with one of Aesop’s Fables about the (irresponsible) Grasshopper and the responsible, industrious Ant. Unfortunately, our federal government (via its many “non-Constitutional” social welfare programs) has fostered a sense of entitlement among a large portion of our country’s citizens. But nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the federal government has a responsibility to provide for the essentials of everyday life (or a cash “pension” during your retirement years).

US Debt Clock – – December 1st – $61,262 per citizen / January 1st – $61,326

And Now The Difficult Work Begins

E-Newsletter No. 36 _____ December 2016

On November 8th, the American electorate declared “It is time to drain the swamp”. Now that the elections are behind us, in the words of President-elect Trump, “… it is time for America to bind the wounds of division… and for us to come together as one united people.”

Our Editorial Board believes that three main themes played out during the November elections. First and foremost, our country’s citizens made a definitive statement that a top priority is to eliminate corruption and cronyism in our nation’s capital. It was time to bring in an outsider, because in the eyes of many, the Washington cartel’s career politicians had established an elite political class that is at odds with our country’s “regular” citizens, who said “Enough is enough”. One of the most important planks in President-elect Trump’s “Contract With the American Voter” is a pledge to move forward with a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress. By passing and implementing such an amendment, our elected representatives will be free to make decisions that are the right ones for our country as a whole, rather than worry about how an extremely difficult decision might affect their long-term political career.

The election was also an initial step in the right direction of restoring the Founders’ concept of Limited Government. We need to have our elected officials respect the Constitution they are sworn to preserve, protect and defend. Over the past eight years, there has been a growing sense that our citizens’ rights were slowly being dwindled away. There was also a sense that maybe the government’s “experts” weren’t always right. Maybe we shouldn’t have been trying to “fundamentally transform” the country or “socially engineer” the country’s citizens, or show favoritism to this or that special interest group. Maybe the country’s Commander in Chief shouldn’t have been legislating using a phone and a pen. Maybe the Supreme Court shouldn’t have been legislating either. Maybe the executive branch should have been enforcing the laws that are on the books, rather than picking and choosing which laws should be enforced. Maybe we were being taxed too much and weren’t seeing an adequate return on our investment in the federal government and its many new programs and regulations. Maybe we didn’t want to pay for “free” college for everyone. Maybe the federal government was just getting too big, intrusive, and out of touch.

And one of the most important outcomes of the election is that the long and steady march of the Left’s “progressive” agenda has been momentarily halted. Unfortunately, the Left’s agenda remains intact. All you need to do is re-read the excerpts of The 2016 Democratic Party Platform (on our Foundation’s website) for a listing of the Left’s priorities. One of the most alarming aspects of the 2016 election cycle was the emergence of the “Democratic Socialism” ideology advocated by Senator Bernie Sanders. Keep in mind that the “progressive” agenda dates back to early 1900’s. It has had its many (failed) successes over the years, starting with the various Socialism programs put forward by FDR. The size of the federal government then took another giant leap forward during the 1960’s with LBJ’s “Great Society” programs. And most recently, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton attempted to move our country further to the Left. Although Senator Sanders was successful in moving the Democratic Party further to the Left, We The People were successful in blocking the further advance of Socialism in America.

Having said all that… The bulk of the hard work still remains. We need to have our federal government re-focus on its core responsibilities that are laid out in the US Constitution, and we need to fundamentally transform (and shrink) the federal government, and follow the wisdom of the Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Entitlement programs need to be reformed. We need to stop stealing from our children and grandkids. We need to eliminate deficit spending and start re-paying the country’s cumulative debt. Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced. We need to get the federal government out of the welfare business, and instead support Not For Profit organizations (The People’s solutions) that will be much more effective in eliminating poverty in America. We need to re-affirm the concepts of self-reliance and personal responsibility, and that All Lives Matter. And our federal government needs to re-focus its efforts on advancing the following agenda – Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None.

US Debt Clock – – November 1st – $60,976 per citizen / December 1st – $61,262

What the 2016 Elections Should Be All About

E-Newsletter No. 35 _____ November 2016

Our country’s (long and painful) 2016 political season will conclude with the general election on Tuesday, November 8th. Our Editorial Board encourages every registered voter to go to the polls and vote your conscience as you cast your votes for the various federal, state and local candidates, based on your assessment of each candidate’s “agenda” and platform, and whether they have earned your trust.

If you would like additional perspective as you sort through the issues, we recommend that you visit a non-partisan website ( and complete a 10-minute survey, which focuses on the issues (rather than the “personality” of a candidate). It is a wide-ranging survey with questions about social issues, the Constitution, the economy, education, the environment, healthcare, immigration, and other domestic and foreign policy issues. The response buttons are not simply just “yes” or “no” replies – – the survey allows you to customize your response, or you can submit your own stance on the issue. The survey is also a good way to figure out what is important to you in this election, as it allows you to “weight” the importance of the issue. The summary of the survey’s results can be enlightening, so it’s worth checking out.

Since the beginning of this year’s election cycle, our Editorial Board has attempted to keep the focus on the principles of the two major political parties. As we have noted earlier, the full text of the two parties’ platforms are available on the internet, and we are again providing the following links to two Conversation Pieces on our Foundation’s website that contain excerpts from the two parties’ platforms –

The 2016 elections represent an opportunity to choose between a smaller, better-focused, limited government, versus an ever-expanding, deficit-driven, more intrusive federal government.

Our Editorial Board agrees with the title of Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book – It Takes a Village (To Raise a Child). However, we strongly disagree with the Left’s “progressive” agenda. The Left’s solution to every issue is the federal government (its “experts”, its multitude of federal programs, and its attempts to funnel money and influence to its favored special interest groups).

Our Editorial Board believes that the best kind of village to raise a self-reliant, personally responsible child is civil society – – a strong family unit headed by a mother and a father, supported by other family members (aunts and uncles and grandparents), and backed up by Not For Profit charities, religious institutions, excellent (rather than poor) “chosen” schools, and other local “communities”. The worst kind of village is one headed up by “Big Brother”, who is distant, out of touch, intrusive and coercive.

We encourage you to re-read the Seven Inevitable Results that arise from Big Government, which were listed in our August newsletter, and keep in mind the Tenth Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The choice is ours to make on November 8th.

US Debt Clock – – October 1st – $60,208 per citizen / November 1st – $60,976

What the 2016 Elections are All About – Part Two

E-Newsletter No. 34_______October 2016
Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None

Our Editorial Board believes that there is probably general agreement among our country’s citizens that the federal government should promote a level playing field – – an equal opportunity for each citizen. America continues to be “The Land of Opportunity” – people have the opportunity to become whatever they want to be. But a key difference between the Right and the Left is in regards to understanding the fundamental difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes (i.e., Socialism / Communism).

So, what does “Favoritism to None” mean? It simply means that the federal government should not advance any type of policy that benefits any particular segment of the country’s citizens. There should not be any “crony capitalism”. There should not be any special tax breaks given to any special interest group. There should not be any policies that attempt to “socially engineer” the country’s citizens.

The underlying meaning behind the “general welfare” clause in the US Constitution has been perverted by the Left. The general welfare of our country’s citizens is simply in reference to the federal government’s responsibility to ensure the general welfare of the country as a whole (i.e., national defense), and to protect each citizen’s rights (the level playing field discussed above). It was never intended to be a requirement to provide cash welfare payments to individual citizens, or “free” college, or subsidized healthcare, etc. As we have noted in earlier newsletters, there appears to be no limit to the Progressive agenda. The Left believes the US Constitution is a “living document” that should be interpreted to justify any program or policy that the Left would like to implement. Any program for any special interest group can be justified under the Left’s definition of the general welfare clause, and there should not be any limitations placed on the federal government. The Left rejects the concept of “Favoritism to None”.

The federal government also distorts the marketplace. All you need to do is look at the rising cost of education and healthcare to see the detrimental effects of the federal government’s involvement and dollars. The federal government needs to remove itself from any commercial activity and minimize its role in the economy. The time has come to privatize the US Postal Service. (Contrary to the Democratic Party’s platform, the post office is not a “national treasure” – it loses $5 billion a year). We also need to end the federal government’s role in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and privatize those institutions. Much has already been written about the federal government’s role in creating the housing bubble, along with the resulting credit market collapse during 2008.

Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable as currently constituted. Our elected officials need to stop avoiding this reality, and begin addressing the financial challenges that are facing these programs caused by the ongoing changes in the country’s demographics and the ongoing decrease in the number of workers per retiree. Having said that…. Our country needs to honor its commitments to current retirees. We also need to create a transition plan for people over the age of 55 who are approaching retirement. Everyone who has paid money into Social Security should get their money back (with interest). But, going forward, no one should ever get more than that amount, because anything above that amount represents theft from future generations. We need to transform Social Security into a means-tested welfare benefit that would be available to any retired citizen who needs such financial assistance.

Healthcare is not a “right” any more than food or housing is a right. Providing for healthcare costs is a personal responsibility. We need to repeal Obamacare and remove the federal government from the management of the country’s healthcare system. But we also need to move towards a new healthcare system for all of the country’s citizens – a system that doesn’t show favoritism towards employees versus the self-employed, or for healthy people versus people with pre-existing conditions. Our Editorial Board recognizes that there is an oversight role the government needs to perform in regards to the healthcare ikndustry, but the country’s healthcare system needs to remain firmly within the private sector (the doctors and nurses, their patients, hospitals, and healthcare insurance companies). This private market-based healthcare system should continue to cover the vast majority of the country’s citizens (as was the case prior to Obamacare). We then need to implement a second-tier “public” healthcare option (by transforming Medicaid) to cover those citizens who cannot afford to (or who choose not to) participate in the private healthcare marketplace. And each citizen needs to pay into this “public” healthcare pool via payroll tax withholdings for medical care.

The federal government’s welfare / poverty programs have been an absolute, abject failure. This result was inevitable, because this is not a proper role of the federal government – – it is a role of civil society. We need to get the federal government out of the welfare business by changing the federal income tax code to enable citizens to direct a portion of their federal tax obligations directly to those organizations that they wish to support, rather than have those funds coercively paid to the Washington cartel.

We recognize that the federal government has a valid regulatory oversight role that needs to be performed in any situation where “protecting the country as a whole” is involved. But we need to shrink the size of the federal bureaucracy (the administrative state). Once the US Senate and House of Representatives have determined (legislated) a particular regulation, the actual execution of a regulatory oversight role needs to be taken out of the federal bureaucracy, and be performed at the state and / or local level (financed by federal block grants, if necessary). We want a federal government so small you can barely see it.

We need to rebuild the US military after seven years of neglect, and we need to re-establish and strengthen our country’s relationships with our allies. The federal government needs to change its focus away from internal domestic “social engineering” issues, and have our federal government re-focus on its role of being the world’s leader. We agree that America should not be the world’s policeman, but we can no longer afford to “lead from behind.”

The Left will try to keep our government focused on their internal domestic “social engineering” agenda. We need to have our federal government re-focus its attention on its duties laid out in the Constitution.

US Debt Clock – – September 1st – $60,144 per citizen / October 1st – $60,208

What the 2016 Elections are All About

Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None
E-Newsletter No. 33_____ September 2016

We The People need a “new, New Deal” – – a promise to reduce the size and scope of an intrusive, ever-expanding, deficit-driven federal government. Using the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, FDR’s “Old Deal” from the 1930’s should never have been implemented. Unfortunately, those policies and programs represented the very first steps down the long and winding road towards Socialism. Our country desperately needs to change course, because the Old Deal and the “progressive” agenda is not working for America. Socialism, by its very nature, is contrary to the principles of limited government and individual rights that underlie the country’s founding. Socialism might sound like a good idea (or might make you feel good) but history has shown that the detrimental effects of Socialism vastly outweigh any potential benefit of an ever-expanding federal government.

It is immoral to push $19.5 trillion of debt onto our children and grandchildren. This past month, the cumulative US debt amount surpassed the mark of $60,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Think about that statistic for just a moment, and then consider the fact that the Democratic Party’s platform offers absolutely no ideas or solutions to the country’s growing debt problem. Instead, it promises even more “free stuff” to favored segments of the country’s citizens. This is truly immoral because our children and grandchildren have never had any input on the decisions that have been made to push this huge financial obligation onto them.

We need to eliminate deficit spending and begin re-paying the country’s debt. We The People need to take our government back from the Washington cartel. Unfortunately, career politicians are not inclined to put forward solutions to this growing problem. They would rather try to continue to buy votes with other people’s (our children’s and grandchildren’s) money. We need to implement Term Limits for the US Senate and US House of Representatives, so that the people who are running for Congress are free to fix this growing problem without being fearful of the possible effect on their long-term political career.

We need to stop talking about Tax Reform, and actually make fundamental (radical) changes to the tax code for personal income taxes. This includes linking Tax Reform to the related changes that need to be made for Social Security, Medicare / Healthcare taxes, and the country’s poverty/welfare programs. We should not “tinker on the fringes”, but we should use this opportunity to fundamentally transform (and shrink) the federal government.

We want the federal government to re-focus on its proper role – – the duties and responsibilities that are laid out in the US Constitution – – to protect the citizens’ rights, protect the country as a whole, and manage our country’s relationships with other countries around the world.

Thomas Paine in his pamphlet entitled “Common Sense” discussed the fundamental differences between government and civil society (families, religious institutions, charitable organizations, and other “communities”). The Progressive Agenda is simple and straight-forward – – government must continue to grow to become the most powerful force in society, and nothing should compete with the government’s “experts” who will develop a program to solve any problem that could happen in a person’s life.

Last month, we provided links to the 2016 platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties. Unfortunately, these are 66-page and 55-page documents. Although we encourage you to read the entire platforms of both parties, we realize that this is a significant investment of time. Therefore, we have prepared two new Conversation Pieces that are on our Foundation’s website that are excerpts from the two parties’ platforms –

US Debt Clock – – August 1st – $59,899 per citizen / September 1st – $60,144

Seven Inevitable Results

E-Newsletter No. 32______August 2016

The Republican and Democratic parties’ conventions are over, and the mudslinging has begun in earnest – an unfortunate, inevitable result of our country’s political process. But our Editorial Board would like to keep the focus on the parties’ principles, rather than the personalities and trustworthiness of individual candidates. The two parties’ platforms are available on the internet at –[1]-ben_1468872234.pdf and

Our Editorial Board was somewhat disappointed by the GOP platform, because it attempts to make a case for supporting certain initiatives (such as advancing responsible homeownership) that are beyond the scope of the federal government’s responsibilities spelled out in the Constitution.

The Democrats’ platform is extremely disturbing – – the Table of Contents is a three-page laundry list of “social engineering” progressive initiatives that are well beyond the scope of the federal government’s responsibilities, and several are counter-productive programs that will inevitably lead to unintended consequences.

In our February newsletter, we provided a link to a website that contains several 5-minute videos that highlight the key differences between the Left (“Progressives”) and the Right (“Conservatives”). The following link is to the video that discusses seven inevitable results that arise from Big Government –

1. There will be ever increasing amounts of corruption. [ Power and money breed corruption. ]

2. Individual liberty will decline.

3. Countries with ever-expanding governments will either reduce the size of their government, or eventually collapse economically.

4. In order to pay for an ever-expanding government, taxes are constantly increased.

5. Big Government produces big deficits and ever-increasing and ultimately unsustainable debt.

6. The bigger the government, the greater the opportunities for doing great evil. [ Coca Cola cannot break into your house or confiscate your wealth, or build concentration camps, or commit genocide. Only Big Governments can do that. ]

7. Big Government eats away at the moral character of a nation. [ People no longer take care of other people. They (erroneously) think “the government” will take care of that. ]

The Left believes the state should be the most powerful force in society – – not parents, not businesses, not private schools, not religious institutions, not even the individual human conscience. Without the belief in an ever-expanding government, there is no Left. Without a belief in limited government, there is no Right.

US Debt Clock – – July 1st – $59,640 per citizen / August 1st – $59,899