Friday, February 29, 2008

Social Security and Marijuana

Today's newspaper featured a crime story from a neighboring community - Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Apparently, Doanzell Geiddarr Johnson , AGE 37 (thirty seven years is key here), was arrested for possession - he says delivery only since he did not own it -- of 213 pounds of marijuana.

Now Mr. Johnson is defending himself as being a simple "delivery man" who picked up the boxes at a UPS store in St. Paul, Minnesota with no intention of selling it himself. He defended himself by telling the police that he was, "doing it for the money -- $200 a box -- as he is a student and living on Social Security." Unfortunately for Mr. Johnson's defense he was caught carrying $5400 while driving a Hummer H2 vehicle.

Not bad for a student "living on Social Security"!! What the reporter failed to tell us is -- why is a 37 year old living on Social Security? I thought when President Franklin Roosevelt's socialist administration/politburo created Social Security it was simply meant to be a safety net to help senior citizens retire so they did not have to live in poverty.

Now this highlights the number one problem with government programs -- mission creep. Social Security has constantly been expanded over the last 70 years to the point where it is completely broken. I might sound heartless and ignorant of Mr. Johnson's life details when I say it -- but a 37 year old with $5400 in cash and driving a Hummer probably can live a decent life without Social Security payments don't you think?

Coupled with Social Security reform our government should give serious consideration to drug law reform because legalization of drugs will not only help to reduce crime but it will also reduce the tax burden the rest of us face being forced to pay for the police state to "fight the war on drugs." Lastly, if Mr. Johnson could legally sell these 213 pounds of marijuana it would be a taxable business transaction subject to sales tax and income taxes -- tax revenues that could help make the Social Security system solvent. Even though I want the Social Security system dismantled not returned to solvency -- with the current taxes returned to our pockets.

Today's crime stories reflect not only our societal problems but also the need for government reform.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Census for 2010

In the year 2012 the US House of Representatives elections will be conducted within new congressional districts created by the various state governments based on the 2010 US Census data. This is a once every ten year process known as "reapportionment."

Based on a recent newspaper article I read here is a list of the states expected to gain and lose US House seats based on our shifting national population:


Texas, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon


New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and California

At first glance an obvious trend becomes very clear - America's population centers are moving away from cold, northern states to warm, southern states. Now if global warming is getting so bad that we are all going to die -- except for the celebrities flying in their private jets to global warming conferences apparently -- why are people moving to warm weather states? But more importantly I need to note that people are moving to states with NO personal income taxes -- Texas, Florida, and Nevada are in the "winners" list above in terms of state that will gain seats in the US House of Representatives.

So even though my "home states" of Iowa and Minnesota will likely lose clout in the US House of Representatives the one positive is that states free of state income taxes will gain more votes thus putting their Congressman in potential leadership positions to push for federal income tax reform.

We have to wait nearly 5 years yet (January 2013 when the new Congress is sworn in) to see the impact of these demographic shifts but so far it is encouraging from a tax reform standpoint.


Oil for Food

With very little fanfare earlier this month the United Nations (UN) quietly transferred US$161 million from the defunct Iraqi oil for food program to a "development program for Iraq" according to an Associated Press article.

What I found most interesting is that the article mentioned that this program ran from 1996 to 2003 but made no mention of how much money was involved or of course was stolen due to the massive corruption in this program. Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker led an 18 month investigation but no where did the article mention anyone going to prison for this corruption.

So the UN closed the program in 2003 but took a full 5 years to dispense with the remaining money. Yes, there was a full blown war going on in Iraq but I am confident the money could have been better spent helping Iraqi refugees versus sitting in a UN bank account.

Let's launch a program to create jobs in Iraq by simply moving the UN headquarters from New York City to Baghdad, Iraq. This would be an ideal way to get the UN leadership on the front lines of today's conflicts versus touring the fine restaurants and night clubs of New York City.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Life

It is amazing how time flies since it has been nearly three weeks since my last blog posting but with good reason. Overall the last three weeks have been very hectic in terms of business and personal life so I can't remember the last time my wife and I watched a film. But nowadays the film on my mind is "Parenthood" -- a classic film with stars like Steve Martin and Rick Moranis.

If you have never seen this film before here is a quick summation -- the film showcases the various parenting models: the absent alcoholic, the hard driving father, the fun loving father, the single mother.................etc. coupled with a large amount of humor. Not only is this film entertaining but it is also very sobering and educational if you give it a chance to affect you.

Parenthood is top of mind for me since our son was born last week!! At this point friends and family tell me he received "his father's hair and mouth..............." which overall is pretty good I am guessing :-) However, what I most hope for is that our son received his mother's temperament since she has the patience and caring of an angel while I still need some work in this area!!

As parents everywhere know there is nothing like holding your new born child which I can confirm is 100% accurate.

To say I am blessed is the worst of understatements,


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Happy Birthday

A belated Happy Birthday to the Boy Scouts of America ( which were incorporated on February 8, 1910 in Washington DC!! If you have a son, grandson, or nephew who is not in the Scouts please help them join a troop today since he will learn vital lessons that will serve him well throughout life.

Here are some of the key elements of the Scouts that everyone can benefit from knowing:

"Be Prepared" -- the scout motto would have served the Hurrican Katrina victims well versus holding up signs saying, "FEMA - come help us!"

"Do a good turn daily" -- the scout slogan. Just imagine how improved society would be if everyone tried to live this way? The small things count -- I always return shopping carts left in the parking lot to their proper storage locations thus preventing door dings!! No need to thank me for saving you the cost of repairs :-)

"Leave every camp site cleaner than what you found it" -- my troop leaders always mentioned this principle to us which today, since I am older and wiser, I apply to the environment. I do not need Al Gore telling me how to live since the scouts provided the fundamentals I need to live by versus the centrally-planned ideology that the Gore-bots advocate.

For more on the guiding principles of the scouts please visit this website --

The Boy Scouts of America have been attacked in recent years regarding the organization's religious and sexual orientation belief system which should be easily defended by the 5th Amendment right of "assembly" in the US Constitution. Regardless of these legal challenges the scouts are an important American entity that should be promoted.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Nightmare Ticket

Last week I watched most of the Democratic presidential candidate debate between Billary Clinton and Barack Obama -- yes clearly I need to get out of the house more often!! Toward the end of the debate the candidates were asked -- "would you be willing to form an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket which would clearly be a DREAM TICKET?"

Dream? For whom, people who want an even greater amount of their wealth taken from them along with greater restrictions on their freedom? Such a presidential ticket would be a nightmare ticket for people like myself since it could potentially mean 16 years of these two people in the White House assuming re-election and promotion/re-election to President for whichever one becomes Vice President. Sixteen years would make me 58 years old but more importantly it would delay more retirement plans via the theft known as progressive taxation.

Since this debate question about a possible "dream ticket" played both the race card and gender card it is fair game to speculate what would be a dream ticket would be for the Republican Party -- namely a black woman as the Vice Presidential nominee to counter the Democratic Party's race/gender ticket.

Assuming Senator John "National Security" McCain is the nominee he doesn't really need another national security running mate such as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice but if not her who fits the bill? I hope my friends at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute have some candidates to suggest to the eventual presidential nominee --