The Erosions of Freedom…National Defense Authorization act

It is hard to comprehend what those sitting at Capitol Hill are thinking, passing the recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The bill passed the Senate by a 93-7 vote. The seven who voted against it were: Thomas Coburn (R-OK), Thomas Harken (D-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Ron Wyden (R-OR). 

While President Obama attempted to distance himself from this very controversial bill, there was plenty of time before the drop-dead timeline to change key components of the legislation. It is also noted that the WH administration wanted a key freedom-killing component inserted in NDAA.

The president said, “The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

Nice try. You still signed it and that means that you, or any future president, may use the power to defy the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights that guarantee freedoms which the HDAA totally destroys.

The erosion of freedom, of pursuing life, liberty and happiness, just became less.

If what Senator Bernie Sanders stated is true, “The legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial,” then that freedom became a whole lot less.

Senator Rand Paul points of many problematic issues with NDAA and the powers that come from that bill in this interview:

Any American may be detained without any rights if it is determined that the person may have by whatever means an association with “suspected” terrorists.

Thus, if a member of Main Street USA were to read something on the Internet about terrorists, even though the person is totally against them and that which they stand for, that citizen may be indefinitely detained because there exists an “association” – the person read about the terrorists.

Many may argue that it would never come to this. However, there are no guarantees.

Make no mistake, more and more American citizen freedoms are being decimated in the name of fighting terrorists.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Straddling Main Street USA With More Debt

An Associated Press headline today reads: “Obama to propose $300 billion to jump-start jobs.”

And where does the jump-start take place?

In the public sector.

Thus, there is evidently going to be a proposal to spend $300 billion that the government does not have, increasing the national debt once again.

And, public sector employees are paid via the private sector (read Main Street USA) taxes.

Therefore, another double whammy for tax-paying citizens.

Capitol Hill needs to remove themselves from the business of trying to “generate” business and jobs. While there may be thousands of new (public sector) jobs created it comes at a cost that simply adds more debt and more burden to Americans.

Why can’t those in Washington DC allow small businesses and corporations to do what they do best, ie create, manufacture and sell their products and services. Yes, regulate the unethical and throw them in prison, but let businesses do their thing.

And while our elected representatives and their appointees regulate the bad apples in the private sector it should be added that the public sector needs that type of oversight as well.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Headline: Panel Leaders Urge Retirement Age Of 69

President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction panel delivered their report a week after the mid-term elections.

According to the Associated Press, “The plan would gradually increase the retirement age for full Social Security benefits — to 69 by 2075 — and current recipients would receive smaller-than-anticipated annual increases. Equally controversial, it would eliminate the current tax deduction that homeowners receive for the interest they pay on their mortgages.”

Admittedly the year 2075 is six-and-one-half decades from now in terms of collecting social security benefits. However, it is perplexing that this panel could recommend something of this sort to be mandated on Main Street USA when elected officials can work, at the public’s expense, until any age they like.

How much would be saved if legislation was enacted immediately to require public servants to retire at age 65? Probably quite a bit, as members of Congress who have served 40 or 50 years most assuredly earn substantially more than a freshman Senator or House member.

And, how about taking a look at benefits of these public servants.

And their expense accounts.

And their retirement packages (including their COLAs).

If a committee was truly bipartisan (and, more importantly, non-political) that issue would be addressed at once.

Someone should dig up all the facts and figures and publish a report concerning each and every expense that comes directly out of the pocket of the taxpayer to keep our elected members of society gainfully employed.

The other point in that AP paragraph had to do with eliminating the tax deduction for interest paid by a homeowner.

Absolutely brilliant. Not!

One has to wonder if the group considered how that one act could potentially destory the housing market.

Aside from hoping to earn equity by owning a home, people are also attracted by the additional benefit of being able to deduct that interest.

This report should simply be sent to the circular file.

The members presenting such an atrocity should be escorted (quickly) away from Capitol Hill.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Not restricted to the city of Bell CA

The Associated Press reports on the extremely high pay that three “public servants” earned working in Bell, CA.

Suffice it to say that if one were to tour every city in Main Street USA, Bell would not be alone in this salary crisis.

Nor would it be limited to those working for a city.

Investigative reporters across the country should blow the lid off of how much money taxpayers shell out to everyone on “our payroll.”

In a city of less than 40,000 people, even having built a surplus of over $22.7 million when other cities may be suffering, the Chief Administrative Officer should NOT be making almost $800,000 with a retirement package to be paid from the state of California of about $650,000 annually for life (as reported by the Los Angeles Times). See the full article here: Bell Salaries.

That is, simply put, criminal.

While the AP article compares the Bell CAO salary as twice that of President Obama, there are millions more in benefits when one serves as #1 in the USA. However, that Bell CAO salary is far higher than any pay reported for any Governor in the country, though it is not as high as some tenured professors in universities.

This AP article begs the question: How can any city allow salaries of their officials to achieve such stratospheric heights? (As this certainly did not happen overnight.)

Asked another way: How Big Can Big Government Get?

Food For Thought.

Over For Now.

Main Street USA