Current Federal Government Modeled After Dr. Utopia and ISM?

In the words of Benjamin Franklin,  “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”.

Freedom or Fascism?  A lesson from 1948 that appears to have been forgotten.


Explanation of Problem with Tax Policy

I received this via e-mail the other day.  It refers to the Australian Labor Party (ALP) Tax Policy, and I think it’s a great illustration of the problem with our current tax system.  What do you think?


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten
comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1
The sixth would pay $3
The seventh would pay $7
The eighth would pay $12
The ninth would pay $18
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59

So, that’s what they decided to do..

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with
the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to
reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men
would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So the first four men were unaffected.

They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the
paying customers?

How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.
But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and
the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each
man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the
principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to
work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began
to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man.

He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar
too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back,
when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get
anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine
sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to
pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have
enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is
how our tax system works.

The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the
most benefit from a tax reduction..

Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may
not show up anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is
somewhat friendlier.

To summarize…

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

County Health Department Offers “Happiness” Workshop to Employees

Today, a department-wide e-mail was sent to all Contra Costa County Health Services Department employees offering a “free” workshop on the Science of Happiness (Click Here To See Flyer).  Said workshop will include laughter exercises.  Yes, at a time when the average taxpayer is struggling to make ends meet and Dr. William Walker, Director of the County Health Services Department, should be cutting expenses, his employees are being offered a “free” workshop on how to laugh while the taxpayers pick up the tab.

Congressman Garamendi’s Position on the Health Care Bill

Congressman Garamendi with Contra Costa County Public Employee Union Members

Prior to his vote, I e-mailed Congressman Garamendi, of California’s 10th Congressional District, expressing my opposition to the health care bill.  Below is his response which I received well after the fact as you can see by the date.  Unfortunately typical in my experience with our so called “representatives”.

April 13, 2010

Thank you for contacting me about health care reform.  I have reviewed your comments and welcome this opportunity to share my views.

o This year, adults with preexisting conditions will be able to enroll in a high risk pool to make sure they finally have basic health care protections in preparation for full integration into our insurance system.

o This year, discrimination against children with preexisting conditions will end.

o This year, insurance companies will not be able to kick people off of their insurance because they are sick.

o This year, seniors stuck in the Medicare Part D donut hole will receive a $250 rebate and next year will see their prescription drug costs in the donut hole reduced by 50 percent.

o This year, small businesses will receive up to a 35 percent tax credit to help pay for health coverage for their employees.

o This year, new insurance plans will be required to offer free preventative care.

o This year, young adults up to the age of 26 will be allowed to stay on their parents’ health plan.

o This year, early retirees aged 55-64 will see additional relief to help them afford health coverage.

These are just a small sampling of the improvements this new law will bring to our health care system this year. More and more improvements will take place in the years to come all while reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next two decades. I supported this legislation because I know it will help millions of people in California and across America. But I also know my work is not done. A good law has been introduced to America, but it is not perfect. In the cause of creating a more perfect union, I will continue to fight for comprehensive health care reforms in the months and years ahead, because healthy Americans create a prosperous America.

While we may not see eye to eye on this issue, I appreciate you contacting me to share your views and allowing me the opportunity to share mine. The ability to have a free and civil exchange of thoughts and opinions is a central tenet of democracy. Correspondence from constituents like you is essential to my work in Congress, and I hope that you will continue to inform me of your concerns.  I value your input as I work on behalf of the 10th District to shape national policy. To learn more about health care reform and stay informed of my work, visit my website at to sign up for my periodic electronic newsletter or send me messages electronically. If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact my office in Walnut Creek at 925-932-8899 or in Washington at 202-225-1880.


John Garamendi
Member of Congress

California’s 10th Congressional District Representative, Ellen Tauscher, Not Among H.R. 1207 Cosponsors

Representative Ellen Tauscher, California 10th Congressional District

Representative Ellen Tauscher, California 10th Congressional District

H.R. 1207, also known as the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009,  enables the Comptroller General to audit the Federal Reserve System and federal reserve banks, without first obtaining written consent from them (which is currently required).  It  also directs the Comptroller to complete an audit of the Federal Reserve System by 2010, and provide a detailed report to Congress.  In addition H.R. 1207 removes language from Subsection b, section 714, of Title 13 of the United States Code, and would enable the Comptroller General to audit the following items which are currently exempt from auditing:

(1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization;
(2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations;
(3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or
(4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to clauses (1)–(3) of this subsection.

When asked if she would consider joining the list of H.R. 1207 cosponsors, California 10th Congressional District Representative Ellen Tauscher’s e-mailed response was:

“Thank you for writing me about H.R. 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009. This bill is currently pending before the House Committee on Financial Services. With the near collapse of our financial system last fall, it is apparent that efficient, effective regulation that strengthens consumer and investor protections and promotes market stability and transparency is needed.  As we repair the financial system, we must incorporate strong oversight and accountability measures that enhance the current regulatory standards.  Be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as I review the report for the committee.”

Rep. Tauscher skillfully dodged the question of whether or not she would considering joining the list of H.R. 1207 cosponsors.  She also wrote that she will “review the report for the committee” (House Committee on Financial Services), on which she does not serve. As of June 5, 2009, H. R. 1207 had 190 cosponsors, and Rep. Tauscher was not among them.

Could it be that Rep. Tauscher and others are against a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve System and federal reserve banks?  If so, why?

Update: Tauscher was confirmed as the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security on June 25, 2009.  Her last day in the House was June 26, 2009.

Democrats in California Assembly Move to Restrict Rights of Law-Abiding Sportsmen

Assemblymember deLeon

Assemblymember deLeon

First introduced in 2007 as AB 362 by California State Assemblymember Kevin deLeon (D-Los Angeles),  AB 962 was “reintroduced” in February of this year.  Mr. deLeon touts AB 962 as a gun violence prevention bill, and has the misguided support of politicians and government officials such as Sacramento police chief Rick Braziel, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and Assemblymember Sandre Swanson (D-Alameda).

On deLeon’s website, it states that:

” (AB) 962… prohibits the sale or furnishing of ammunition to criminals and gang members subject to a gang injunction”

….and in deLeon’s own words:

Or if you prefer, in Spanish:

Channel KXTV reported:

The truth of the matter is that AB 962  will have little or no effect in preventing criminals from obtaining ammunition, and will not cure gang violence, which has nothing to do with the availability of ammuntion, but is a result of the failure and disfunction of the families of gang members.

What AB 962 will effectively accomplish, if passed, is to restrict the rights of  law abiding citizens to engage in lawful sporting activities. Conscientious sportsmen, who want to use lead-free ammunition, or who use other specialty ammo not readily available in retail stores will no longer be able to place internet orders to legally obtain the products they use.   Marksmen at a shooting competition would be prohibited from exchanging more than 50 rounds of ammunition with each other, as would friends and family members who participate in legal shooting and sporting activities.

Assemblymember Diane Harkey meeting with Orange County Sheriff's rescue.

Assemblymember Diane Harkey meeting with Orange County Sheriff's rescue.

Assemblymember of the 73rd district, Diane Harkey, who is endorsed by the Crime Victims United of California,  Orange County Coalition of Police and Sheriffs, Santa Ana Police Officers Association, Anaheim Police Officers’ PAC, LA County Professional Peace Officers Association, Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, and Orange County Sheriff (retired) Brad Gates, has stated:

“I believe AB 962 puts more limitations on the rights of legal gun owners.  This bill will do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or dangerous people living in our communities.  Limiting the transfer or sale of ammunition to 50 rounds per month, the equivalent of one box of handgun ammunition, will have a devastating impact on legal firearms retailers. Average sales volumes regularly exceed the proposed limit, which would subject the majority of firearms business owners to a new set of bureaucratic rules and regulations regarding licensure, storage and sale procedures.  This would force many small businesses that rely on ammunition sales as their primary revenue to incur additional costs in order to comply with the provisions of AB 962.  As one may guess, such costs would definitely be passed along to the consumer.  This burdensome and unnecessary regulation would drive a sizable number of retailers out of business altogether.”

On May 28, 2009 the California Assembly Committee  on Appropriations voted along party lines (12 Democrats vs. 5 Republicans) to pass AB 962, opening the way for a similar vote on the Assembly floor, which could happen as soon as this week.  If passed, AB 962 will deal a devastating blow to California’s sporting industry and businesses, at a time when the State cannot afford to lose them.

3 Out of 5 Contra Costa County Supervisors Vote to Support Increase in State Deficit

County Supervisor John Gioia

County Supervisor John Gioia

Knowing of the impending State fiscal crisis, in February of this year, State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco introduced SB810, also known as the “California Universal Health Care Act”.  The bill would establish a State government run California Healthcare System administered by a newly created bureaucratic agency, the California Healthcare Agency, under the control of a Healthcare Commissioner appointed by the Governor.

State Senator Mark Leno

State Senator Mark Leno

Coauthors of the bill include California State Senator and California 10th Congressional District candidate Mark DeSaulnier, and State Assemblyman Tom Torlakson.  Both are former members of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Passage of SB810 would result in an outrageous cost to California taxpayers.  If passed, implementation of SB810 would cost taxpayers $200 Billion the first year, and cause an estimated State budget shortfall of approximately $42 Billion each year thereafter.  Keep in mind that the projected State budget deficit is $28 Billion by the end of FY 2009 – 2010.

On May 19th, 2009, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted on board agenda item C.17, to adopt a position in support of SB810 as recommended by Supervisor John Gioia.  Without any comments or public discussion, Contra Costa County supervisors John Gioia, Susan Bonilla, and Federal Glover voted in favor of supporting SB810.  In essence, they voted in favor of plunging the State into an additional budget deficit of $42 Billion per year.  Supervisors Mary Piepho and Gayle Uilkema voted against supporting SB810.