In January, the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reform (CAFR) for the 2013 fiscal year. The report was received with little fanfare. During an election year, no politician wants to run afoul of the RSA and the billions it invests in Alabama.
Unfortunately, this head-in-the-sand approach to public pension accountability is not working, and it will have painful consequences for Alabama's future. While state politicians have made needed adjustments to the state retirement system over the last several years, they have left the defined benefit structure of the RSA intact.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 68 percent of U.S. workers have any access to retirement benefits and only 28 percent have access to a defined benefit pension plan like those provided through the RSA. more >>
I don't need to tell the savvy readership of The Christian Post that this economic "recovery" has been a combination of smoke and mirrors, held together with a shoestring and bubble gum.
The plummeting economy, triggered by the collapse of our government-inflated housing bubble, was temporarily slowed in its break-neck decline by the Obama administration's decision to shovel astronomic amounts of taxpayer money into a hole. In June 2010, after the first round of Quantitative Easing, the Fed had holdings of $2.054 trillion. In November 2010, deciding that things weren't improving fast enough, QE2 was launched and we bought up another $600 billion of assets/debt. When that failed to stimulate the market into a full-on recovery, QE3 was announced in September of 2012. At that point, the Fed declared that they would be buying $40 billion/month for an open-ended duration.
Should be sufficient, right? Even the piggish appetites of our central bankers should be sated by an open-ended allowance of 400 million dollars EVERY SINGLE MONTH, right? Wrong. Just 3 months after the announcement of QE3, the Federal Open Market Committee declared that the bond-buying would be increased from $40b a month to $85b, more than doubling the amount of debt the American people were being given every month. Make no mistake; there is no money to spend on these debt purchases. This is referred to as "fiat money" as it is created by fiat, not by any market mechanisms or wealth creation. Each time money is created in this fashion, the dollar you hold in your wallet or your 401(k) gets a little weaker. The greedy progressives behind this diabolical process have discovered that they can rob you without ever touching your billfold, simply by watering down the funds they already control. more >>
If five years of the Obama administration has taught us anything, it is that presidents do not need Congress to further their agenda. All they need is to surround themselves with "yes men" who share similar disrespect for the Constitution and its founders. It also helps to have a trusty pen and phone, as President Obama brags.
There is something to be said, though, about precedence. Shortsighted Republicans who handed on a silver platter to the executive branch unparalleled power by way of the Patriot Act and TARP, should stop whining about what Obama is doing. What one administration does in moderation, the next will do in excess, especially if they are liberal.
Of course, there is a vast difference between executing the Patriot Act after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Obama mass-producing executive orders in the name of social justice and social engineering like a president, gone wild. more >>
Once again, bitter feelings are being cast in the direction of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
With the House passing the "clean" debt ceiling bill and sending it to the Democrat controlled Senate, it was clear that this was the bill that was going to get passed and sent to the president.
But Cruz didn't want to let Senate Republicans, including Minority leader Mitch McConnell, off the hook and give President Obama a blank check to once again increase the debt ceiling as we are drowning in red ink. He didn't want Republicans to simply vote against the bill, hiding behind the Democrat majority who were sure to pass it. more >>
The Occupy Wall Street movement has not only disintegrated, but is now imploding. Left-wing news sites are gloating about the demise of their own. BuzzFeed ran a story last week on the hijacking of the primary Occupy Wall Street Twitter account by a transsexual who is now claiming to be the founding organizer of the movement.
Justine Tunney has caused quite an uproar within what remains of the dying Occupy movement for a couple of reasons. First, Occupy prided itself as being a "horizontal," leaderless movement, not a top-down organization directed by a leader like Tunney. The anonymous masses displaying their Guy Fawkes masks want the illusion that Occupy was spontaneously started by the working class ("the 99 percent"), idealistically how a Marxist utopian communist revolution should emerge; they don't want to admit it was a movement directed by any bourgeois leader. Secondly, Tunney is now a software engineer at Google, embodying big business and the corporate world, practically the antithesis of the Occupy movement that despises corporate America. In December, Occupiers attempted to block buses from large tech companies like Google and Apple from picking up their workers.
Tunney is not interested in working with the mainstream left. Blowing off the Democrat Party - the closest connection the Occupy movement ever had to power - makes it pretty unlikely Occupy will ever accomplish much. Tunney bragged last week about the negative relationship the clueless anarchist amateurs who started Occupy have with Democrats, "That's why Liberal Elite™ has always fought so hard to destroy Occupy. It's why they spread lies about us. Because we're #winning." more >>
The Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," will encourage some Americans to work less, the Congressional Budget Office recently reported. That is great news, the Obama administration argued. Here is why they are wrong.
Workers will choose to supply less labor, the CBO concluded, because working more could mean a reduction in or loss of government subsidies for health insurance. This reduction in labor is the equivalent of two million jobs by 2017, and 2.5 million jobs by 2021.
Americans should feel encouraged by this news, according to the White House, because it means they will have more time to spend with their kids, their hobbies or just enjoying life. more >>