San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, October 19, 2012

Examples Of Theft By The States

State and local governments are in a pickle.  Like all governments instituted by envy-filled men, they want to spend more than they take in.  State and local politicians are no different than their immoral brothers at the federal level.  They also know that the way to fame and fortune is to promise their electorates freebies from the government in exchange for a vote. They also know how to play the "rich" card in order to foment envy and procure political power.  However, unlike their federal counterparts who can always run to their personal bank for more money, state and local governments must make due with what they can extract from the people.  When a federal politician needs more money he asks the Federal Reserve to print more for him.  The Fed always complies.  When a local politician needs more money he has to come up with new and creative ways to pluck the golden goose without letting the goose know that he is being fleeced.
The impact of the last recession has made it difficult for the states to raise income taxes.  As a result many states have resorted to a cacophony of fees and surcharges in order to raise revenue.  It would be political suicide for a politician to propose a state income tax increase.  It is much more safe for him to find hundreds of ways to nickel and dime the citizens of his state in order to raise revenue.  I was just looking at my last bill for phone/internet/television.  In addition to the charges I am paying to the company that provides those services to me I also paid eleven different "charges".  All of those charges end up going into the hands of various governments.  The fact that a charge is called a "charge" and not a tax does not change the fact that it is a tax.  The "recurring regulatory recovery fee" that I pay each month is a tax, plain and simple.  To make things worse, I do not get to deduct that tax on my tax return so I end up getting taxed on the taxes that I pay.
In the last couple of months I have come across several examples of the creative procedures three different states have come up with to steal from their citizens.  Let me tell you a couple of stories.
I was involved in the sale of a home located in New Mexico a couple of months ago.  After the completion of the transaction I requested a copy of the Settlement Statement that details all of the charges paid by both the buyer and the seller.  I have seen many such documents over the years and thought I was familiar with everything on one.  That is why I was so surprised when I read a line that I had never seen before.  There it was, on line 704, in the section entitled "Total Real Estate Broker Fees".  The line said, "Tax on commission @ 8.625%".  I had no idea what that item was so I immediately got on the phone to find out.  What I learned disgusted me.  We are all aware how the collapse of the housing market was a huge causative agent in the most recent recession.  We are all aware how those involved in the housing market were severely harmed by the economic impact of that collapse.  We are all aware how government should have reduced the tax and regulatory burden on housing in order to encourage recovery and growth of that economic sector.  So what does the state of New Mexico decide to do?  In order to increase their revenues, the politicians in New Mexico created a new tax that was specifically applied to the commissions earned by real estate agents.  A more counter-productive and harmful tax could not have been conceived.  Each real estate transaction was now to be subject to an 8.625% tax on the commission earned by the broker.  Of course, the broker was not about to pay that tax so it gets added to the fees paid by the buyers and sellers.  Incredible.
Las Vegas, Nevada was one of the hardest hit communities in the last recession.  The severely overbuilt housing market in Las Vegas was devastated by the recession.  Thousands of homes were abandoned and revenue derived from real estate taxes dropped precipitously.  Local politicians had to scramble to find other ways to fund their expanding operations of regulation and control of the citizenry.  One of the new ways they decided to generate revenue was by applying a reasonable law in an unreasonable fashion.  I believe most state and local governments have a law about leaving your car by the side of the road.  If you are driving down the highway and your car stalls and you pull off to the side of the road, you generally have a limited amount of time to come back and get your car before you will be ticketed and towed.  I have heard times of 48 and 72 hours before you would run afoul of the law enforcement authorities.  That seems like a reasonable rule to me.  It makes sense that you should not be permitted to leave your car by the side of the road indefinitely.  Since the government owns the roads it should be able to establish reasonable rules of conduct for those who use them.  The problem developed when the governing authorities decided to apply the rule originally designed for frequently traveled highways to residential neighborhoods.  Imagine the surprise of the remaining residents in the ghost town suburbs of Las Vegas when they would get up one morning and discover that their cars had been towed and impounded because they had been parked on the street for more than three days without being moved.  A friend of mine incurred a legal liability of over $400 due to the city of Las Vegas and the tow truck operator for just that reason.  And he acted quickly to get his car out of the impound lot.  Imagine the bill for the hapless soul that might have gone on a two or three week vacation.  Incredible.
While driving through southern Colorado a couple of weeks ago I encountered a new highway sign.  Or at least the highway sign was new to me.  The sign told me that I was now entering a "wildlife zone".  Given the fact that I had already been driving for hundreds of miles in a mountainous area that undoubtedly contained thousands of examples of wildlife, I was surprised to learn that the state of Colorado had declared this particular stretch of road to be a wildlife zone.  I asked my wife if she knew anything about it and she said that she did not.  As we drove along we tried to figure out what the sign might mean.  Being the jaded person that she is, my wife immediately concocted the idea that the wildlife zone had to be some sort of revenue producing program for the state.  Being the naive person that I am I silently thanked the state for alerting me to the potential presence of wildlife along this part of the highway.  I had a warm feeling come over me as I thought about how my elected officials took pleasure in alerting me to the presence of beautiful wild animals in our state.  Eventually a sign informed us that we had left the wildlife zone, although I do not remember seeing any wildlife along that stretch of roadway.  I breathed a sign of relief and made a mental note to Google it when I returned home.  An hour or so later we came across a similar sign.  This sign, however, had one additional item on it.  This sign informed us that any traffic citations earned in this zone would be subject to doubling.  We had our answer.  In order to increase the amount of revenue received via the practice of issuing citations for violations of the rules of the road the state had randomly selected various parts of the highway to be subject to "doubling" provisions.  I wondered to myself.....is the fine doubled because there are lots of wildlife in this area or is the fine doubled because there are lots of citations issued on this stretch of road?  I will probably never know.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another Reason Women Should Not Vote

Yesterday I greatly offended many members of the fairer sex by declaring that women should not be permitted to vote if they have made the voluntary decision to align themselves in a household arrangement with a man.  I was willing to allow a woman to vote if she was single and living alone or single and living with other women.  Today I am reconsidering my allowance.  I might have been too generous.  After reading several letters to the editor of the Denver Post this morning I am being driven to the logical conclusion that women are not logical and, therefore, incapable of making a logical decision.  If they are indeed incapable of making a logical decision they should be forbidden to vote.
The "Open Forum" section of today's Denver Post is entitled "Romney vs. Obama:  The second presidential debate."  It is followed by five letters from Colorado citizens.  The title of the open forum is very misleading.  There was no debate between Obama and Romney the other night.  It was a press conference and photo opportunity.  None of the formal parts of a debate were present.  None of the formal structures of a debate were followed.  It was simply a silly woman moderating a discussion with two silly men, neither of whom really wanted to field any difficult questions.  For instance, as Dennis Stewart of Aurora writes, "I was also disappointed in the questions.  How about, 'Mr. President, How big is too big for the federal government?' and, 'Governor, how small is too small for the federal government?'  That is the crux of this election."  Dennis, a man,  makes a very good point.  The questions he raises get to the very heart of the issue.  How large should the federal government be and why?  Neither candidate wants to answer that question because the very question exposes the weakness of both of their positions.
A question I would like to ask of both candidates was also not asked.  My question is also very simple.  "Mr. President and ex-Governor, what is the moral justification for using the coercive power of government to take money from one person and give it to another?"  As a follow up I would ask, "please defend your answer to my question with direct references to the Constitution you have sworn to believe and uphold."  I know it is totally unrealistic for me to expect that real questions might be asked of presidential candidates during press conferences, but I am an idealist sort of guy and can't help it.  But, that is not the point of today's posting.  Let me get back to my growing concern about allowing women to vote.
Kathi Goff of Arvada wrote a letter to the editor in which she says many things that are familiar arguments to me.  I have heard the arguments that she makes on hundreds of occasions and I believe, if my memory serves me accurately, that the great majority of those who use these arguments are female.  Kathi begins by asserting that "President Obama was the clear winner  Tuesday night.  He challenged Mitt Romney and actually had him spitting and sputtering.  We must remember the president's challenger is a man who is used to being in charge, used to being catered to, used to always having his way."  The quote I have reproduced above is the sole argument Kathi presents in defense of her conclusion that Obama won the press conference discussion.  According to Kathi, Obama won the press conference discussion because he somehow made Romney spit and sputter.  Furthermore, Obama won the press conference discussion because Romney is a man who is used to having his own way.  (Isn't that just like a man....always bullying and being bellicose?)  What in the world do these statements have to do with her primary assertion?  Kathi does not say.  We are just expected to believe her.  Her irrationality is extreme.  I am spitting and sputtering all over my keyboard as I try to figure out how her statements justify her conclusion.  In fact, I can't see how the statements relate to each other at all.  It is as if Kathi's brain is acting as a random thought generator and she is just writing down whatever comes out.
Kathi then moves on to give readers her subjective thoughts about Romney.  She says, "I heard nothing from him in either debate that assured me, the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of two granddaughters, that he has any concern about their shot at the American dream."  Wow, that is a lot of X chromosomes!  Are there any men in the Goff family?  Still, when Kathi considers the merits of Romney as a presidential candidate she concludes that the key requirement to be president of the United States is the ability to convey an impression that one is concerned about the ability of the citizens of the land to get a job and buy a home.  Since Romney did not make Kathi feel like he cares about her home and job situation, she believes he is not a qualified candidate for president.  Am I missing something here or is Kathi completely disconnected from reality?  What is the "American dream?"  What does it mean for a politician to "care" about the "shot" each citizen has in reaching that dream?  None of these words are defined.  Kathi simply seems to be saying that she feels good when she watches Obama but she feels bad when she watches Romney.  She would probably say that she has a real peace about voting for Obama but feels no peace when she thinks about voting for Romney.  Kathi seems to be living her life based entirely upon how she feels about the things that surround her.  Rational thought does not appear to exist in her life.
Kathi concludes her letter by defending her feelings for Obama.  She says, "Our president does care about the middle class, the working poor, the poor, the sick and disabled.  A great country requires its citizens to care about each other, no matter their circumstances in life."  Amazing, isn't it?  How does Kathi know that Obama cares for all of these classes of people?  Even more important, what does it mean for him to "care" for the middle class, the poor, the sick, and the disabled?  I think we all know the answer to that question. For Kathi "care" is defined in financial terms.  Obama cares for these people because he endeavors to take money from one group of  taxpayers (the "rich") and give it to these groups of people.  According to Kathi, it is a caring thing for a president to use the coercive power of government to steal money from one group of people and give it to another group of people, in exchange for a vote of course.  Surprise, surprise, Kathi is shot through with envy and greed.  I wonder how many of the women in her family are on the government dole?
Like all greedy and envious socialists, Kathi attempts to justify her sin with all sorts of fancy ideas about how the poor have a moral claim on the wealth of the rich.  Notice her concluding statement.  She says, "A great country requires its citizens to care about each other, no matter their circumstances in life."  Kathi's envy is powerfully demonstrated in her concluding sentence.  We now know what she means by "care".  To Kathi "care" means to transfer money to.  A great country is characterized by the fact that its leaders forcibly extract the wealth of the politically unprotected minority of people who make the most money and give it to those on the government's list of friendly voters.  Kathi tells us that this wealth transfer scheme should go on regardless of the "circumstances in life" of the participants.  That is not quite true.  The "circumstances in life" matter a lot to Kathi.  A person who's circumstances involve having a lot of wealth make him a target for organized theft.
Also notice how a "great country requires its citizens" to do something.  Citizens in a great country are not free to do what they want.  The country is great, according to Kathi, when those in power force those in the minority to do what those in power want them to do.  That is Kathi's definition of 'great'.  It is the exact opposite of the founding father's conception of national greatness.  According to the founding fathers our country could be great because it would not force anybody to do anything and it would valiantly protect the rights of the minorities found within it.  Kathi's conception of greatness is different.  For her Obama is great because he uses the power of the majority vote to force higher income earners in the minority to part with their wealth, under penalty of law for non-compliance, and then transfers that wealth to those on the government payrolls.  The more socialist a country is, the greater the country is.  Obama is more socialist than Romney so he is the greater man for president. 
Insofar as Kathi's comments resonate with female voters, and I believe they resonate a great deal, I believe I have made my case for forbidding women to vote.  Anyone incapable of producing a rational thought or even considering a rational argument should not be allowed to vote.  Many women have admitted to me on various occasions, or at least those who will talk to me despite my misogynistic tendencies, that they are disgusted with other women who vote for candidates based exclusively upon how physically attractive they are.  By voting with their soft, envy filled hearts rather than their hard, rational heads women have disqualified themselves from the political process and should not be permitted to vote.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Women Have No Rights

I am amazed that nobody ever appears willing to challenge the feminists when they begin to drone on and on about how they have "rights" that are unique and peculiar to them. This is particularly true during elections seasons when socialist women come crawling out of the woodwork to assert that they have a right to the wealth of just about everyone on the face of the earth in order to pay for just about anything they want to purchase.  Where in the world do they get their sense of entitlement?
I am told that women have a right to free birth control products.  Why do men not have a right to free birth control products?  After all, if all men were properly using their government provided birth control device there would be no need for women to manufacture a right to their own birth control products.  It seems to me that a man's right to birth control is infinitely more important than a woman's right to birth control.  Why is no politician campaigning on that platform?
I am told that women have a right to use the coercive power of government to force their employers to purchase insurance that will pay for their abortions.  If that is true, where is the commensurate right for men?  If an abortion is just getting rid of some unwanted tissue, then men should have a right to use the coercive power of government to force their employers to purchase insurance that will pay for their liposuction, appendectomy and colon polyp removal procedures.  All of those surgeries also simply remove unwanted tissues from a man's body.  I demand equal rights for men.  Men, stand up!  You are being discriminated against by the women.
I am told that women have a right to use the coercive power of government to force their employers to pay them more money than the free market would dictate they be paid.  I spent five years working as a janitor in a building filled with people who made much more money than I did.  Nobody came to me and told me that I had a right to make as much as those for whom I worked.  Nobody told me that my employers were evil people because they paid me less than they made.  Yet now I have come to realize that, like women, I have a right to use the coercive power of government to force my employer to pay me more money than my labor is worth.  I like that.  Like women, I demand my right to be paid more than my labor is worth!
When this country was founded women did not have the right to vote.  I like that principle when it is properly understood.  It seems to me that there is something fundamentally wrong with a wife being legally permitted to cancel out the vote of her husband by voting the other way in an election.  I have no problem with a woman voting if she is not married or shacked up with some loser.  If she is married or shacked up with some loser she should lose the right to vote.  One vote per household is my mantra.  Oh, I can just hear the high-pitched shrieks emanating from the wide mouths of the feminists as they react to what I just wrote (they are so easy to manipulate).  If we are to have just one vote per family, why did I unilaterally decide that it should be the man who represents the family?  Does the woman not have an equal right to represent the family?  My answer is simple.  No, a woman does not have the right to represent her family, the husband/loser live in does.  Men need some rights.  Why should women get all the special rights?  Come on ladies, toss us a bone on this one.
I am told that women around the world are being denied their fundamental right to a government financed education.  Why anybody would want a government financed education is a mystery to me.  But, assuming that people do, I am told women should not be excluded from the privilege.  Women can have an education, if they want one, just like they can have a purse, if they want one.  Ladies, do you want a purse?  Go to the store and buy one.  I would recommend something from Coach.  Ladies, do you want an education?  Go to the school and buy one.  Women need to learn (maybe they don't understand this because they are uneducated) that they have to pay for their own education just like they pay for their purses, shoes and make-up.  Women get this point completely wrong.  No woman has a right to evict me from my home because I refused to pay a portion of the school expenses for her daughter. 
Looking back at this posting I guess I have exaggerated things a little bit.  I do that sometimes.  I should never have written that women have no rights.  Women do have rights.  They have exactly the same rights that men have.  When it comes down to rights men and women are one hundred percent equal.  Both sexes have a right to their lives, freedom and property.
Certain things follow from the fact that both men and women have a right to their lives, freedom and property. The first thing to follow is that a woman's right to exercise her freedom does not give her the right to do so on my property.  Women are free but they are not free to do anything they want.  I think most ladies, even the most strident feminists, would admit that it is morally wrong to knock on my door, point a gun at my head, and tell me to hand over the cash in my wallet so she can raise funds for an abortion or pay for her college tuition bills.  Furthermore, I think most women would admit that it is morally wrong to pay somebody else to knock on my door, point a gun at my head, and tell me to hand over my money with the intention of giving that money to the woman to pay for her abortion and college tuition bills.  I think we all recognize that is known as "organized crime" and is highly immoral.
Yet, when three women get together and two of them decide to hire somebody else to steal the property of the third, it is deemed to be a civic-minded action of the highest moral authority.  It is called democracy and it is such a great political system the Socialist Democracy of America declares war on other countries just to give them the privilege of experiencing democracy for themselves.  The act of voting is one of the most sacred activities a human being can engage in. In my illustration two of the women vote to take the property of the other and hire the government to do so.  To justify their theft the two women who make out like bandits have to change the terminology associated with their immoral actions.  Rather than calling it hiring a thief to rob the minority, they call it an election.  Rather than admitting that they have stolen money from the person who lost the election they say that they have a "right" to that person's property.
A second thing that follows from the fact that both men and women have a right to their lives, freedom and property is the fact that no woman has the right to confiscate my property for her own personal use, even if she has the backing of the government to do so.  Since most of the items that pass for "women's rights" these days involve taking some of my money, I am fairly confident that I am right when I say that women have no rights other than life, freedom and property. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Galt/Rearden 2012

Atlas Shrugged, Part II, was released to theaters this past Friday.  Naturally I was first in line to see the the second installment of the movie version of Ayn Rand's classic book.  Because the movie tells the story of the virtues of free market capitalism, it was negatively received by socialist film critics.  The first installment of the movie (three total movies being planned) was released a year or so ago, also to generally negative reviews.  Big surprise!  The producers, following good free market principles, had determined that if the first movie did not make money a second would not be produced.  The first movie did not make money.  Nevertheless, several angel investors stepped up and funded the production of the second movie.  We were promised better actors (almost all of the actors portraying the main characters in the first movie were fired), better cinematography, and better special effects.  The producers did not deliver on that promise.
It is difficult to see how Part II is also not a "B" movie.  It is also difficult to see where the additional funding was spent.  I could perceive no difference in production values between the first and second movie.  The only appreciable difference that I could see was that the most recent installment made a concerted effort to show a lot more cleavage than the first.  I did not consider that to be an improvement.  Despite the film's lack of production values and excessive use of cleavage, it remains a great movie simply because of the story it tells.  
For those who do not know, Atlas Shrugged tells the story of a mysterious man by the name of John Galt.  It is set in the Socialist Democracy of America and tells the story of Galt's dedication to convincing the captains of industry to go on strike against government parasites.  One by one, the most productive members of society simply disappear overnight.  As they disappear the response of government is increasingly oppressive.  Government's response, as it always is, is to make more laws in a vain attempt to force people to be productive so government can continue to tax.  It does not work.  Throughout the book Rand describes the predatory nature of government bureaucrats as they seek to fleece the entrepreneurs around them to maximize government revenues and power.  It is the best economic description of the war between free market businessmen and socialist governments since the tale of The Little Red Hen we all learned as schoolchildren.  Written in the 1950s, Rand foresaw many of the oppressive laws and regulations we live under today.  Although I do not endorse the philosophy of "objectivism" expounded by Rand, her insights into economic reality are spot on.  Objectivist philosophy is morally bankrupt when it comes to sexual ethics.  It is also highly suspect when dealing with doctrines related to the self and ego.  However, when Rand writes about the nature of collectivist socialism and its deleterious impact upon all people who love individualism, freedom and the free market she is amazingly good. 
A friend of mine has a bumper sticker that says, "Galt/Rearden 2012".  Hank Rearden is one of the capitalistic heroes in Rand's book.  As bumper stickers go hers is pretty innocuous.  It is hard to see how it can be considered offensive, especially in light of some of the profane and obscene things I have seen on bumper stickers in recent years.  I suspect most people who read it have no idea who Galt/Rearden are.  That is OK.  Most people do not read.  I would expect that those who do know who John Galt is would be quick to classify my friend as a believer in free markets and limited government.  That would be the reasonable thought to have when reading her bumper sticker.  Sadly, many people are not reasonable.
One day, while sitting at her desk in her office, a man she did not know suddenly burst into her office and, with a menacing look on his face and an angry posture to his body, shouted, "So you don't believe that we should help those who can't help themselves?"  Although she did not immediately realize it, she had just been verbally assaulted by a man who religiously believes in the omniscient power of the state.  Yes, she was being accosted by a statist.  Being deeply involved in her work, his attack took her totally off guard and she really had nothing to say.  After his verbal barrage the statist also had nothing to say.  After an awkward silence he crawled away.  It was then my friend began to realize what had happened.
This stupid statist was angry with her because she believes in individual freedom. More precisely, this stupid statist was angry with her because she does not share several of his most emotionally significant doctrines.   Because he suspected that she did not agree with him he was compelled to burst into her office, totally uninvited, and tell her that she was wrong.  This man, with the emotional self control of a two year old, expected her to comply with his religious demands.   Allow me to point out several of his religious demands:
  1. The statist believes in the collective "we".  In the statist world there is no individual.  When he asked her why she did not believe that "we" have a responsibility to give money to other people he was making an important point.  I can guarantee you that this statist does not believe that he should give money to others.  No statist ever does.  Statists specialize in giving away the money of others.  They are selfish, greedy and immoral.  Yet he had the audacity to accuse my friend of immorality simply because she believes that what is hers is really hers. 
  2. Like all statists, this ignorant and foolish man was a hypocrite.  He was incapable of distinguishing between government enforced transfer payments and individual charity.  By accusing her of being opposed to charity he opened himself up to the same charge.  As my friend told me the story I immediately thought of a snappy answer I wish she had given him.  Even if she had thought of it she would have been too humble to do it.  I would have loved to have her respond to him by saying, "OK, so you believe I am uncharitable.  What do you say we each produce a copy of our previous year's tax returns and compare how much we gave away to others?"  My friend is not rich but she, and her husband, are extremely generous.  I can guarantee you that they have given more to "those who can't help themselves" than her accuser has.  Oh, that would have shut his profane mouth in a glorious fashion. 
  3. The statist arrogantly refuses to acknowledge that when you give sinful human beings a financial incentive to be dependent upon government transfer payments, you always end up with a longer list of people demanding government transfer payments.  This truth is ironclad. There are no historical example where it proves to be false.  The statist's insistence that she should agree with his religious belief that the state is to take more and more money from those who produce and give it to those who "can't take care of themselves" would only result in the creation of more financial parasites.  True and effective assistance to those in need is always done individually, personally and privately. Always.
Socialists and statists are defined by the fact that they are filled with hatred and envy for those who mind their own business and work to serve others, thus realizing profits.  Socialists believe they are on the moral high road and they arrogantly believe that they know better than anyone else what is good for their neighbor.  Socialists are the ultimate in business-minders.  They need to mind their own business.  They need to repent of their unrighteous anger.  They need to repent of their sinful envy.  They need to leave others alone and enter the marketplace.  They need to figure out some way to serve others rather than attempt to rule others by government coercion.  Socialists, like the one who accosted my friend, are accurately portrayed in Atlas Shrugged, Part II.  Check it out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

King Obama's Expense Account

I realize that it is not easy being king.  People have all sorts of unrealistic expectations of their king.  There are dozens of expectations put upon the King of the Socialist Democracy of America.  Some folks expect the king to make their mortgage payments for them.  Several women expect the king to use his power to force their neighbors to pay for their abortions.  Others believe that the king can create and grant them a high paying union job.  Many believe that the king is capable of running the political and economic affairs of the country and simultaneously operate the country's automobile businesses.  Still others believe the king is capable of unilaterally running an entire economy for the benefit of those who elected him to the position of chief executive of the kingdom.  It does seem as if most people believe that the king really does have god-like power.  Given that the king is practically a god, it does not come as a surprise to me that the king should have a humongous expense account.  It takes a lot of money to play god.
In an article posted on thetruthwins.com on September 27th of this year a fellow by the name of Michael listed some of the expenses incurred by our beloved and most magnificent king in 2011.  I discovered that his royal highness would find it difficult to live within the budgets that most of us somehow manage to live within.  As I sought additional information on the king's expense account I came across an important book.  It turns out that the assertions made in the posting I had read were from a book by Robert Keith Gray entitled "Presidential Perks Gone Royal".  Mr. Gray begins his analysis of the king's expense account by drawing a stark contrast between our king and the British queen.  He says, "The British spent $57.8 Million on its royal family last year.  We Americans spent nearly $2 Billion housing, transporting, entertaining, staffing, our First Family and paying a hefty portion of the president's campaign expenses."  Wow!  He had my attention.  As it turns out, the assertion that Obama's expense account ran to $2 billion dollars is a bit of a stretch. But it was not too far from the truth.  Here are some of our king's expenses for 2011:
  1. There are 26 flight attendants on Air Force One, including 5 chefs.  Air Force One is in the air virtually non-stop.  Unlike commercial airlines however, Air Force One does not have to be full to fly.  I guess a ratio of 10:1 for flight attendants to royal family and guests is a reasonable number.  I would hate to think that our king would actually have to get up to pour his own drink.
  2. The White House (read "King Obama")  employes two full-time film projection operators.  They each work 12 hour shifts.  This way any member of the royal family can watch a movie anytime he/she might want without having to wait.  Apparently the members of the royal family do not know how to go down to McDonalds, rent a DVD, and put it into their DVD player.
  3. Taxpayers pick up the $102,000 annual salary for the king's dog trainer.  The First-Dog is treated well.  One flight in the king's fleet of jets was occupied exclusively by the dog and his/her trainer.  I wonder where the dog was going?
  4. King Obama has 46 full-time paid staff supporting his daily activities.  His cabinet staff is far larger than any previous king.  I guess that makes sense since expectations about his abilities are far greater than any previous king.  These staff members are called "Czars".  I find that amusing.  I wonder if our king knows what happened to a czar by the name of Nicholas when he ran up an audacious expense account?
  5. In addition to his cabinet, King Obama also has a force of personal servants numbering 469 people.  These folks include the film projectionists and dog trainer mentioned above.  226 of these vital personnel earn over $100,000 per year.  77 of them make over $172,000 per year.  The king should not have to wait for a haircut.  Furthermore, he should have somebody to run down to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes anytime he wants a smoke. After all, the office should come with some perks.
  6. Mrs. Obama spent 42 days on vacation in 2011.  One trip to Spain with some of her old sorority sisters cost taxpayers $375,000.  On a four day ski trip to Vail she checked into the Sebastian Hotel and billed taxpayers $2,000/night for the room.  I saw pictures of her skiing the slopes of Vail.  I think she should have spent some of that money on ski lessons.
  7. The royal family took a nine day trip to Martha's Vineyard.  There they rented a place to stay called the "Blue Heron Farm".  Taxpayers were billed $50,000/ week for that trip.  I have never been to Martha's Vineyard but I hear it is very nice.  I hope they got out of their expensive home a little bit to enjoy the area.  Then again, after paying fifty grand a week maybe I should hope that they would stay in the house and enjoy the amenities.  It is so hard to be king.
  8. According to Judicial Watch, Mrs. Obama and the royal daughters took a trip to Africa (South Africa and Botswana) that cost $424,000 just for the expenses of the flight and flight crew.  I could not find any information on how much the queen spent once she got there.  I hope she bought the Mandelas a nice gift.  We don't want to appear to be rude Americans, do we?
  9. Although I doubt he is ever charged for a green fee, since being elected King Obama has played over 100 rounds of golf.  I wonder if he has improved his handicap?  We all know how important it is to have a low handicap when negotiating with Al-Qaeda. 
  10. The greatest percentage of expenses related to our king has to do with his personal security.  The royal entourage is immense and very expensive.  The life of the king must be preserved at all costs.  Both present and past kings are given security protection.  It does seem strange to recall the day a previous king left office.  The story is told about how when Harry Truman left the White House he simply packed up his suitcase, had his car brought around, and drove home to Missouri.  Can you imagine former King George doing that?  So, when all of the royal expenses are totaled up for 2011 we discover that the serfs in the SDA paid $1.4 billion dollars worth of royal expenses.  
In the government schools I was taught that our forefathers fought a war of revolution to free themselves from virtual enslavement to the King of England.  Funny how things turn around over time, isn't it?  We now live in a country in which our king is far more oppressive of our behavior than the king the colonists knew.  Our king issues lawful decrees telling the automobile industries he rules over (did I mention that he is the best automobile executive ever?) to double the distance a car can go on a gallon of gas.  He is omniscient so he knows that it can be done.  He is also beneficent so he does not tell the automobile engineers how to do it.  He likes to see his inferiors figure it out for themselves. Truly, in the SDA it is good to be the king.
I have a proposal.  How about we abolish the office of president and have a king instead?  We can still have elections for a new king every four years since it is so much fun watching the television commercials produced by the candidates.   Then, once the king is elected, we should just pay him $1 billion/year, with two caveats.  First, in order to receive his $1 billion/year he must promise to be like the royalty of Britain.  In other words, he should do nothing.  He should be a figurehead.  He should walk around and look good and make speeches and talk about how great the SDA is but he would be expressly prohibited from issuing Executive Orders and making law.  Everyone would tell him he is great and heap praise upon his every word.  Second, he must pay his own expenses.  Every expense incurred by the king must come out of his $1 billion salary.  I wonder how that would impact his behavior?