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Archive for the ‘Federal Government’ Category

The Fiscal Cliff in Simple Terms

Well, the House just passed the Senate bill and sent it on to the President. To put this in perspective I put together the following table to help explain what little good has just taken place.

The Fiscal Cliff

Federal Budget

$3,796,000,000,000.00

Federal  Revenue

$2,386,000,000,000.00

New Debt

$1,410,000,000,000.00

National Debt

$16,350,600,000,000.00

Proposed Budget Cuts

$15,000,000,000.00

Increased Taxes

$62,000,000,000.00

In Family Budget Terms

2012 Annual Expenses

$37,960.00

2012 Annual Income

$23,860.00

Net Loss from 2012 (New Debt)

$14,100.00

Existing Home Loan

$163,500.00

You Now Owe

$177,600.00

To Solve Your Problem You

Cancel Your Newspaper Subscription

$150.00

Have a Yard Sale

$620.00

The Result

Net Loss For 2013

$13,330.00

 

Sadly, this is barely a drop in the bucket…and it took how long to arrive at this?

Oh, and there is still the matter of the debt ceiling to deal with. A friend of mine sent me the following scenario:

You come home from a trip to town to discover that due to a major city sewage malfunction your house has become filled with refuse. What do you do? Raise the ceiling or get rid of the crap and clean the house?

Sorry folks, but all of D.C. needs to get a loud and clear message to get serious, start working together and solve this mess.

By the way…Happy New Year!!

 

 

 

 

 

Taxes, Wildfires and Missed Opportunity

Smoke rolling in over the Trinity Alps.

Most folks have noticed, it is fire season in California and most of the western United States. What many may not know is that the ‘brilliant’ state of California has also begun to send out ‘fire suppression’ bills to the rural residents of the state to raise an estimated $84 million to help fund Cal Fire, the agency responsible for battling wildfires.

This new tax has been levied on only the rural residents, without a 2/3 vote, simply because they live in the areas where fire is most prevalent and because the state budget was $10 billion in the red, the general fund is empty and the Cal Fire budget has more than doubled over the past 10 years.

I’m sorry folks, but this new tax is wrong, unfair and should serve as a major wake-up call to all residents of the state.

First, most of the western forests are now more than 300% overstocked due to the general public’s support of stopping logging and preventing healthy forest management which has resulted in excessive fuel loads and diseased forests ripe for devastating fire. Second, most of the long-term rural residents of the state have done extensive fire-proofing on their property. Third, public officials have done little to curb development in forested areas, let alone plan for fire events. Fourth, many rural Californians already pay a local fire fee to support local fire districts and fifth, this new tax will discourage rural residents from passing future bond measures and initiatives to support local needs.

This tax needs to be withdrawn, period. Forests on public lands are a public resource and their management should be paid for by the public. It is long past time for active management to return to all western forests. There are jobs to be created, revenue to be generated for local schools and communities and money to be saved from fighting fewer fires, which would be less devastating if management were allowed.

Forests are a renewable resource…and more quickly renewed through active management practices than as a result of recovery from a fire, which often times devastates the soil. It is time to return commonsense to the way we manage our forests and run our government. Just saying….

Immigration and Animal Welfare

Realizing this post may result in a fiery storm of comments, I still wanted to share the following thought, simply to ‘spark’ deeper thought.

I find it interesting that when Arizona passed its immigration law, a group of people strongly supported it and another group strongly opposed it, based on the states’ rights argument. Now, California has passed an animal welfare law (Prop 2) and the group previously supporting Arizona’s rights is now supporting Federal language to overturn, while the group against Arizona’s legislation is now supporting California’s right to enforce Prop 2. Ironic?

To be clear, I supported Arizona’s right to pass immigration legislation and while I disagree with Prop 2, I also support California’s right to enforce it. Without the ability to enforce it, California’s farmers will be at a significant disadvantage and likely be forced out of business due to unfair competition.

I am curious if anyone else has noticed the irony of these two situations.

PS Let’s keep the comments civil 🙂

Reference Links:

Midnight Egg amendment

Arizona SB1070

California Proposition 2

 

Just The Beginning?

Several weeks ago, when the New York mayor proposed the ban on large sodas, it started turning the wheels in my head. Is the next step going to be the banning of cases, 12 packs and 2 liter bottles in stores?  Are grocery stores going to be linked in order to keep track of the quantity of soda being purchased?  Is sugar now considered a controlled substance?

If soda is banned what is next?  Why not limit the quantity of alcohol that can be purchased by one person?  Are we going too soon see single serving cans and bottles, whether they be hard alcohol or wine and the elimination of cases, 12 packs and kegs?  Are stores going to keep track of the quantity that we buy and once we have reached our limit we will no longer be able to purchase?

Why did the mayor choose soda?  Doesn’t tobacco cause more health ailments?  Doesn’t alcohol have more of a negative impact on society?  Was this just a first step?  Is this just the beginning of what is soon to be an out of control nanny state?

What other consumables will become rationed? How will the limits be determined? Are we seeing the beginning of a pre-determined creation of new state and federal agencies?

I’m sorry, but this just doesn’t sit well with me.  Have we really reached the point in our society where individuals are no longer able to make their own decisions whether they are good or bad?  Do we really want to go down this path?  I do not.  You should not.  What happened to individual responsibility?  What has happened too common sense?

Just some thoughts weighing on my mind…

I Have Great Respect For Clint Eastwood, but…

I’m curious what other folks thought about the Chrysler advertisement at half time of Super Bowl 46, starring Clint Eastwood.

First, I thought it was very well done…elicited emotion response, focused on the importance of being an American, the importance of working together, the importance of the individual, a powerful ad.

Then, when Clint Eastwood made the statement that “it’s halftime in America too,” a little switch flipped in my head. This was a political advertisement, a campaign message supporting President Obama.

In my mind I started connecting the dots….

We spent 14 billion dollars bailing out Chrysler and Chevrolet…saved around 100,000 jobs…that is about 1 million dollars per job.

Was this advertisement a way for Chrysler and Chevrolet to thank the President for not forcing them to go through bankruptcy and aid him in his campaign for a second term?

Perhaps I am wrong, but after watching it a second time, I have the perception and believe this is a clear example of why the government should not be involved in private business and bailouts.

What do you think? Here is the video. Watch it again. Am I wrong?

Food, Farmers, Demons and Monsanto

Demonizing companies and individuals through the use of misleading and false information is never productive. More times than not, fissures are created, within families, communities, states, the country and even the world. It is very acceptable to question actions and results, but let us remember to remain objective in our assessment, research the origins of the information and pass on only that which is true. Passing this type of information along, without doing research on it, is just as irresponsible as passing along an email that says the world will end if you don’t forward to your whole address book.

I have seen a number of people posting on Facebook and Twitter lately, that they have signed one of a couple of petitions currently circulating with a host of claims against Monsanto. Many of these people I consider to be friends and respect. I felt inclined to write this post to provide some additional information in order to clarify several of the accusations that are being claimed. I, for one, as a small farmer and rancher, am very grateful for the work that work that Monsanto and others are doing to help farmers be more efficient and holistic in their management opportunities.

Read more…

Horses, Welfare and End Of Life

At first I thought this post was a bit tardy, however, it seems there has been an uptick in discussion lately. I am referring the re-authorization, by the Federal government, of funds to pay for the inspection of slaughtering horses for food.

Now, for those of you who have not been following my blog, tweets or Facebook updates, my family raises horses and has for several generations. We have raised our own, purchased domestically and from abroad (Percherons from France), train and use them for work on the ranch, competition driving and riding, packing and pleasure. Read more…

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