Out Of Control???

Yesterday the Western Center For Journalism posted an article about a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The article reports:

In an outrageous decision recently announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, the West River Indian Reservation now has ownership of an entire Wyoming town. Along with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice, the EPA decided to give the town of Riverton to the tribe, obviously upsetting those who call the community home.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead responded to the brewing controversy with a resolute stance against the government intrusion.

…The 10,000 residents of Riverton are now technically under the control of the tribe, not the U.S. government. This not only makes residents responsible for any taxes or regulations tribal leaders decide to impose, it disqualifies them from state resources.

When did we become a banana republic? I hope that the State of Wyoming is successful in fighting this ruling. If it is not, there is no limit to what the government can arbitrarily do to its citizens.
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Voting With Your Feet

CBN News posted a story today about the relationship between tax rates in different states and where people choose to live.

The article reports:

Brown (author Travis H. Brown) discovered that the nine states with no personal income tax gained $146.2 billion in AGI. Those states include Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Conversely, the states with the highest personal income tax rates lost a total of $107.4 billion. They are California, Hawaii, Oregon, Iowa, New Jersey, Vermont, New York, and Maine. Washington, D.C., was also included.

Another measurement delivers similar results. Brown looked at the 10 states with the lowest per capita state and local tax burdens and found they netted $69.9 billion in AGI. Those states include Alaska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Wyoming, Texas, New Hampshire, Alabama, Nevada, and South Carolina.

The 10 states with the highest state and local tax burden lost $139 billion in AGI. They are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

This story has personal relevance to me. My husband will be retiring at the end of the year, and we are about to put our house on the market. (If anyone wants a five-bedroom house in Southeastern Massachusetts, please leave a comment). We are moving for many reasons–one of those reasons is the cost of living in Massachusetts. We will be headed to North Carolina where we have family and the cost of living is lower.

Recently, Massachusetts raised the taxes on cigarettes. I don’t smoke, so that doesn’t impact me, but I was in a store yesterday in Rhode Island near the Massachusetts state line. The person ahead of me in line was commenting that she would no longer be buying cigarettes in Massachusetts because they were cheaper in Rhode Island. Right now, gasoline is more expensive in Rhode Island than in Massachusetts, but since the gasoline tax in Massachusetts is now indexed to inflation, I wonder how long that will be the case.

When people have an option, they give less money to the government, whether it is state or federal government. The Laffer Curve explains one aspect of that.

At some point, government needs to realize that at some point it has all of the money we have earned that it is entitled to. The question is exactly where the point of enough taxes is reached.

 

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Irony On Parade

Last week President Obama declared war on coal. He’s been leading up to this for a while so it was no surprise, but he finally did it. The President sees coal as a danger to the environment and wants to replace it with other forms of energy–one of those forms being wind energy. Well, wind energy is not perfect either.

On Thursday, the U.K. Mail Online reported that as British bird watchers watched the rare white-throated needletail soar through the skies it was killed by a windmill.

The article reports:

A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia.

But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show when it flew into a wind turbine and was killed.

John Marchant, 62, who had made the trip all the way from Norfolk, said: ‘We were absolutely over the moon to see the bird. We watched it for nearly two hours.

‘But while we were watching it suddenly got a bit close to the turbine and then the blades hit it.

‘We all rushed up to the turbine, which took about five minutes, hoping the bird had just been knocked out the sky but was okay.

‘Unfortunately it had taken a blow to the head and was stone dead.

This is not a new problem with windmills. CBS DC reported in May of this year that the Obama Administration had decided not to fine or prosecute wind energy companies when birds are killed by windmills.

The article reports:

The result is a green industry that’s allowed to do not-so-green things. It kills protected species with impunity and conceals the environmental consequences of sprawling wind farms.

More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Getting precise figures is impossible because many companies aren’t required to disclose how many birds they kill. And when they do, experts say, the data can be unreliable.

Almost all of the birds which have been killed by windmills are protected under federal environmental laws, but because the Obama Administration has an agenda of supporting wind energy the wildlife protection laws are not being enforced in these cases.
The article illustrates the double standard:

The Obama administration has refused to accept that cost when the fossil-fuel industry is to blame. The BP oil company was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf oil spill. And PacifiCorp, which operates coal plants in Wyoming, paid more than $10.5 million in 2009 for electrocuting 232 eagles along power lines and at its substations.

But PacifiCorp also operates wind farms in the state, where at least 20 eagles have been found dead in recent years, according to corporate surveys submitted to the federal government and obtained by The Associated Press. They’ve neither been fined nor prosecuted. A spokesman for PacifiCorp, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, said that’s because its turbines may not be to blame.

Someday we may look back on the Obama Administration and wonder whatever happened to equal justice under the law.

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The Environmental Protection Agency vs American Energy Independence

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not limited by scientific facts–they have an agenda to limit American energy production and they refuse to let facts get in the way of that agenda. A recent article at Investor’s Business Daily clearly illustrates that fact.

The article reports on the EPA’s study that attempted to link fracking to contaminated water in Pavillion, Wyoming:

In 2011, the EPA released the non-peer reviewed report on Pavillion in which the agency publicly linked fracking and groundwater contamination for the first time. However, then-EPA administrator Lisa Jackson stated that there is “no proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”

The article further reports:

First, the contamination was found in two “monitoring wells” drilled by EPA outside of town, not in water wells that actually supply residents their water. EPA use of “dense soda ash” to drill its monitoring wells into a hydrocarbon-bearing layer probably skewed the results.

According to the industry research group Energy in Depth, “dense soda ash has a recorded pH (11.5), very similar to the level found in the deep wells, creating the possibility that the high pH recorded by EPA could have been caused by the very chemicals it used to drill its own wells.”

What the EPA report doesn’t say is that the U.S. Geological Survey has detected organic chemicals in the well water in Pavillion for at least five decades, long before fracking was done. The deepwater wells that EPA drilled are situated near a natural gas reservoir.

The scientific method used in this study wouldn’t pass the scrutiny of a high school science student.

Oddly enough, the EPA has decided not to subject their study of the negative impact of fracking to a review by the scientific community.

Yesterday Hot Air reported:

Erika and I have been covering the Environmental Protection Agency’s, shall we say, “complicated” relationship with the truth under the Obama administration for some time now. One of the many tales coming out of that department was being featured as recently as Thursday, dealing with the widely panned study in Wyoming which finally sought to tie fracking (hydraulic fracturing) to ground water contamination. The study was due for scientific peer review, attempting to determine if the chemicals found in well water were truly the result of fracking in the area, but somehow the process kept getting delayed, over and over for a year and a half.

At long last the wait is over. As Investors Business Daily reports, the EPA has found a solution which will surely satisfy everyone. They just won’t do it.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily goes on to mention the links between OPEC and the recent anti-fracking film “Promised Land.” We need to keep in mind the earthquake that American energy independence would be to the politics of international relations. American energy independence would also give us the freedom to refuse to support those Middle Eastern governments that are not democracies and have no intention of granting freedom to their citizens. Obviously, OPEC is very threatened by that possibility. The best thing America could do right now to promote our own economic growth and to promote freedom around the world would be to become energy independent and to stop funding oil-rich countries that hate us and deny freedom to their citizens.

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Borrowed From A Friend On Facebook

Alan Simpson, the Senator from Wyoming calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared “Social Security ” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats. Here’s a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana … I think she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is! This goes for both the Democrats and the Republicans and is right on the money!!! (so to speak)
————————————

“Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight!!!!!

1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole (teat) for FIFTY YEARS.

2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).

3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and “your ilk” pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age, 67. NOW, you and your “shill commission” are proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.

5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now “you morons” propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because “you idiots” mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal our money from Medicare to pay the bills.

6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you “incompetent b*******s” spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt. To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bulls***t” to your incompetence. Well, Captain Bulls***t, I have a few questions for YOU:

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?
It is you, Captain Bulls***t, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcase thieves who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers.
And for what? Votes and your job and retirement security at our expense, you lunk-headed, leech.

That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic, political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it.

And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a b****h. NO, I did not stutter.

EVERYONE!!!

If you like the way things are in America delete this.

If you agree with what a Montana citizen, Patty Myers, says, please PASS IT ON!!!!

P.S. And stop calling Social Security benefits “entitlements”. WHAT AN INSULT!!!!

I have been paying in to the SS system for 45 years “It’s my money” – give it back to me the way the system was designed and stop patting yourself on the back like you are being generous by doling out these monthly checks!”

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Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

A friend of mine lost his job before Christmas and thankfully has recently found a new job. He is fairly high on the chain of command, and I was rather surprised that even when you are a responsible adult family man with a good work history, you are generally required to take a drug test before being approved for employment.

That situation entered my mind when I began reading about the idea of drug testing welfare recipients. Just as my friend was drug tested before he could be gainfully employed, should welfare recipients be drug tested before they receive taxpayers’ money?

Townhall.com posted an Associated Press article yesterday about the move to drug test people who receive money from the government.

The article reports:

Data show that about 8 percent of the population uses drugs. And before a random drug testing program in Michigan was put on hold by a court challenge, about 8 percent of its public assistance applicants tested positive.

In years past such legal challenges had a chilling effect on state legislatures, but that seems to have thawed.

Michigan’s program was halted after five weeks in 1999, eventually ending with an appeals court ruling that it was unconstitutional.

For more than a decade, no other state moved to implement such a law.

Drug use is a problem. If people are drug tested to get a job, why shouldn’t they be drug tested to be paid money from the government?

The article states:

This year conservative lawmakers in 23 states from Wyoming to Mississippi _ where lawmakers want random screening to include nicotine tests _ are moving forward with proposals of their own.

Romney, in an interview this month in Georgia, supported the idea. “People who are receiving welfare benefits, government benefits, we should make sure they’re not using those benefits to pay for drugs,” Romney said to WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

Newt Gingrich addressed the topic with Yahoo News in November, saying he considered testing as a way to curb drug use and lower related costs to public programs.

Drug use can prevent people from being responsible and holding down a job. Why should we support the drug habit of someone who would rather stay home and do drugs than work? I object to the idea of testing for nicotine–cigarettes are still a legal product–but I think testing for illegal drugs is a good idea. If people who want to be hired for a job need to be drug tested, why shouldn’t welfare recipients also be tested?

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Trying To End Domestic Energy Production

Why would anyone want to end domestic energy production? I don’t know, but there are some very odd facts coming to light about America’s search for energy independence. Put aside all of the taxpayer money given to crony capitalists involved in green energy, then consider the moves by the government to curtail energy independence. It is downright odd.

The Keystone pipeline is at least temporarily on hold–even after all the permitting and requirements have been met. Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to shut down fracking–a process which gives America access to enough oil and natural gas to make us energy independent.

On December 20, the Wall Street Journal reported on the latest scheme by the EPA to shut down fracking in Pavillion, Wyoming. The EPA has issued a report saying that fracking is causing pollution to ground water.

The article reports:

But does it stand up? This is the first major study to have detected linkage between fracking and ground-water pollution, and the EPA draft hasn’t been peer reviewed by independent scientific analysts. Critics are already picking apart the study, which Wyoming Governor Matt Mead called “scientifically questionable.”

The EPA says it launched the study in response to complaints “regarding objectionable taste and odor problems in well water.” What it doesn’t say is that the U.S. Geological Survey has detected organic chemicals in the well water in Pavillion (population 175) for at least 50 years—long before fracking was employed.

There are also some other problems with the study: Please follow the above link to the article to see further details. The bottom line is simple. We need to take threats to the purity of our drinking water seriously, but we need to understand the history and the sources of these threats before we decide on a course of action.

 

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