Republicans

Illinois Millionaire Tax Hike Could Pass As Part Of Class Warfare Push By Democrats

While I’ve been putting a lot of time lately into my offshore Web projects, Illinois Democrats have been grabbing the local headlines as they replicate President Obama’s class warfare strategy to win votes in November. Monique Garcia, Ray Long, and Maura Zurick reported on the Chicago Tribune website last Friday:

Illinois Democrats went all-in Thursday with their election-year class warfare theme as Speaker Michael Madigan pitched the idea of asking voters to raise taxes on millionaires, Senate President John Cullerton advanced a minimum-wage increase and Gov. Pat Quinn compared wealthy opponent Bruce Rauner to TV villain Mr. Burns…

The newest front in the campaign battle came as Madigan held a rare news conference to announce he wants lawmakers to put a question on the Nov. 4 ballot asking voters whether the state should raise the income tax by 3 percentage points on those who make more than $1 million a year.

The powerful Democratic speaker said the tax hike on millionaires is a way to generate more than $1 billion for elementary and high schools. Madigan based his calculations on what he said are roughly 13,675 millionaires that lived in Illinois in 2011, brushing aside a question about whether such a tax hike might drive them out of the state.

“Well, if they’re in Illinois today, they’re probably so much in love with Illinois that they’re not going to leave,” Madigan said

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I’m not as optimistic as the 71-year-old Speaker of the House is about Illinois millionaires sticking around if they’re targeted with a tax hike.

After all, money typically gravitates to where it’s being treated the best.

And recent demographic data suggests Chicagoland and Illinois residents may not be “so much in love” with the area as Mr. Madigan claims.

That includes the rich as well.

“Cook County’s population grew by 17,000 people in 2012, about .3 percent- but much of that gain came from immigrants, according to Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.

The figures showed that about 32,000 more domestic residents moved out of Cook County than moved in. But a net increase of 17,000 immigrants, along with a high ratio of births over deaths, contributed to an overall gain for the county…”

-Chicago Sun-Times website, March 13, 2013

Moving Out
The top outbound states for 2013 were:

1. New Jersey
2. Illinois
3. New York
4. West Virginia
5. Connecticut
6. Utah
7. Kentucky
8. Massachusetts
9. New Mexico”

-United Van Lines press release, January 2, 2014

“As the Great Recession churned job prospects for many, Cook County lost about 13,000 residents with six-figure household incomes to other places, despite the widely hyped revival of downtown housing and jobs…”

-Crain’s Chicago Business website, February 14, 2014

“Roughly 13,675 millionaires that lived in Illinois in 2011”

Should Illinois Democrats jack up their income taxes, I suspect the number of Illinois millionaires right before the tax hike is implemented will plummet. Revenue will follow. Out-of-state vacation homes in Indiana and Wisconsin will be declared as primary residences.

“A way to generate more than $1 billion for elementary and high schools”

I highly doubt that.

So does the proposed millionaire tax hike have a chance of becoming reality?

Consider what Greg Hinz blogged on the Crain’s Chicago Business website Friday:

Springfield Democrats have such big legislative majorities that they won’t need any Republican votes to pass the measure if they hang together. And Springfield insiders are saying that odds are much better that Democrats will unify behind the speaker’s proposal- which, after all, would affect only millionaires like Bruce Rauner- than behind another plan being pushed by Senate Democrats to implement a graduated income tax, which would affect far more voters.

Stay tuned. If you can stomach it.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Garcia, Monique, Long, Ray, and Zurich, Maura. “Illinois Democrats go all-in on class warfare theme.” Chicago Tribune. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-21/news/chi-speaker-madigan-proposes-asking-voters-to-raise-taxes-on-wealthy-20140320_1_tax-hike-bruce-rauner-income). 24 Mar. 2014.

Hinz, Greg. “GOP leaders blast Madigan’s millionaires tax, but idea likely has legs.” Greg Hinz On Politics.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140321/BLOGS02/140329950/gop-leaders-blast-madigans-millionaires-tax-but-idea-likely-has-legs). 24 Mar. 2014.

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Republican Candidates For Illinois Governor Split On ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban?

This November, an election will be held for Governor of Illinois. The four Republican candidates for the office- State Senators Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and businessman Bruce Rauner- were recently given campaign questionnaires by the Associated Press, in which gun rights was one of the topics.

According to the AP, two of the four candidates may support a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

From last Tuesday:

In a campaign questionnaire for The Associated Press, the four candidates — state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and businessman Bruce Rauner — all said gun rights need to be protected but that some public safeguards should exist.

The four differed over assault-style guns — high-capacity weapons that have been used in some of the deadliest mass shootings. They currently aren’t illegal statewide, and a proposed statewide ban backed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn was pulled from consideration last year in Springfield…

Dillard, of Hinsdale, and Rauner, of Winnetka, both left open the possibility they would support a ban. Rutherford, of Chenoa, and Brady, of Bloomington, oppose such a ban

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

However, the Chicago Sun-Times website is reporting that only one of the four candidates may be open to an “assault weapons” ban. Natasha Korecki wrote last Thursday:

Three of the four Republicans competing in the gubernatorial primary say they believe all Illinois residents have the right to own assault weapons.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa, state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner of Winnetka said Thursday night that they believe it’s a right…

Only Dillard sidestepped the question — saying he believed it was better left up to the federal government to decide…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

So what about Rauner? The Associated Press did think his questionnaire answer was “more vague” than Dillard’s. Turning back to their piece:

Rauner gave a more vague answer, saying he supports background checks that keep guns away from criminals and people with mental illness.

“Going beyond that requires a very careful balance between promoting public safety and protecting constitutional rights,” Rauner wrote…

Unless Kirk Dillard and Bruce Rauner actually come out and say they are against a state AWB, I would chalk them up as possibly being in support of an “assault weapons” ban if the political winds were blowing in that direction.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Governor candidates split on gun control measures.” Associated Press. 25 Feb. 2014. (http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140225/News/140229532). 1 Mar. 2014.

Korecki, Natasha. “Owning assault weapons a right, three GOP candidates say.” Chicago Sun-Times. 27 Feb. 2014. (http://www.suntimes.com/25882530-505/owning-assault-weapons-a-right-three-gop-candidates-say.html). 1 Mar. 2014.

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Quote For The Week

“I’ve said it before, but if Barack Obama had been president instead of Ronald Reagan, I’d still be a citizen of the Soviet Union.”

-Garry Kasparov, Russian (formerly Soviet) chess Grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, in a February 22 “tweet”

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Ready For Hillary?

This afternoon I pulled up the Chicago Tribune website to see what’s going on locally. The home page loaded up, and lo and behold, I was treated to the following:

Ready For Hillary Ad
“Ready For Hillary” Ad

Interesting. And nicely designed if you ask me.

Clicking on the ad brings you over to the “Ready For Hillary” website (readyforhillary.com). From that site:

Started by two volunteers in January 2013, Ready for Hillary quickly became a nationwide grassroots movement encouraging the former Secretary of State to run for president in 2016. Now, with over one million supporters and over 25,000 grassroots donors, Ready for Hillary is the vehicle through which Americans of all walks of life are expressing their support for a potential Hillary run. Every day, thousands more people are joining this movement, signing the petition encouraging Hillary to run, and showing her that if she decides to run for president, she will have a grassroots army of supporters behind her who are ready to help her win.

I’ve heard increased chatter about Hillary Rodham Clinton and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie being the frontrunners for their respective political parties in the next presidential election. I can’t help but wonder what difference it makes (pun intended) which of these two politicians is elected U.S. president in November 2016, as I suspect there’s a good chance the financial crash I’ve been warning about could rear its ugly head during the next administration, with the actions taken to combat it probably being similar between the two camps (Governor Christie doesn’t particularly strike me as being a dedicated follower of the Austrian School of economics). And I suspect the nation’s finances will significantly preoccupy whoever sits in the Oval Office from 2016 to 2020- and beyond.

Regardless, from what I spotted on the Tribune website this afternoon, it seems it’s just a matter of time before “Hillary” throws her hat in the ring.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties No Comments

WSJ Calls Proposed ‘Fix’ To Illinois Public Pension Crisis ‘Fake’

Today’s the day Illinois lawmakers may vote on SB0001 to “fix” the state’s $100 billion public pension crisis.

But according to the Wall Street Journal last night, the whole thing’s a “fake.”

From the WSJ website Monday evening:

Illinois’s Fake Pension Fix

Democrats in Illinois have dug a $100 billion pension hole, and now they want Republicans to rescue them by voting for a plan that would merely delay the fiscal reckoning while helping to re-elect Governor Pat Quinn. The cuckolded GOP seems happy to oblige on this quarter-baked reform.

Legislative leaders plan to vote Tuesday on a bill that Mr. Quinn hails as a great achievement. But the plan merely tinkers around the edges to save a fanciful $155 billion over 30 years, shaves the state’s unfunded liability by at most 20%, and does nothing for Chicago’s $20 billion pension hole.

Most of the putative savings would come from trimming benefits for younger workers. The retirement age for current workers would increase on a graduated scale by four months for 45-year-olds to five years for those 30 and under. Teachers now in their 20s would have to wait until the ripe, old age of 60 to retire, but they’d still draw pensions worth 75% of their final salary.

Salaries for calculating pensions would also be capped at $109,971, which would increase over time with inflation. Yet Democrats cracked this ceiling by grandfathering in pensions for workers whose salaries currently top or will exceed the cap due to raises in collective-bargaining agreements.

Democrats are also offering defined-contribution plans as a sop to Republicans who are desperate to dress up this turkey of a deal. These plans would only be available to 5% of workers hired before 2011. Why only 5%? Because if too many workers opt out of the traditional pension, there might not be enough new workers to fund the overpromises Democrats have made to current pensioners.

At private companies, such 401(k)-style plans are private property that workers keep if they move to a new job. But the Illinois version gives the state control over the new defined-contribution plans and lets the legislature raid the individual accounts at anytime. That’s a scam, not a reform.

Even under the most optimistic forecasts, these nips and tucks would only slim the state’s pension liability down to $80 billion— which is where it was after Governor Quinn signed de minimis fixes in spring 2010 to get him past that year’s election…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Would only slim the state’s pension liability down to $80 billion.”

Sounds like this legislation would only “kick the can down the road” as the public pension crisis is concerned- once again.

I shouldn’t be surprised to read any of this.

After all, it’s what Illinois state legislators have been doing for quite some time now on this issue.

At the end of the day- including today, if a pension “fix” is signed into law- it looks as if public sector retirees participating in these particular pensions are the ones who will be most screwed.

Illinois taxpayers won’t be far behind.

Consider what Kenneth Griffin, the richest Chicagoan and Illinoisan who’s also CEO of the global financial institution Citadel Group, had to say in a Chicago Tribune piece on November 29:

The bitter truth is that our politicians have sold government employees a fraudulent bill of goods. Absent extraordinary economic growth, our state is going to collapse under the weight of generous pension promises made by union leaders and politicians. And with each passing day, the $100 billion gap between what has been promised and what is provided for grows by roughly $5 million.

Here is where this story will inevitably end: Our state is going to be forced to break its promises to our government employees and retirees. They will receive less than they bargained for. Our state’s taxpayers will see the 67 percent “temporary” tax increase converted into a permanent tax increase. And soon we will hear that even further tax increases are needed to meet our obligations. This is the price we are all going to pay for sending the wrong leaders to Springfield for too many years.

I don’t think shaving $20 billion off that total will change Griffin’s prognosis much.

An $80 billion public pension funding gap.

Wonder if that will fake out the credit rating agencies?

Something tells me it won’t, and rewinding the clock only three-and-a-half years will still leave us with an ongoing public pension crisis.

The Wall Street Journal did a nice job picking apart the proposed “fix.” You can read the entire article on the WSJ website here or on the Illinois Policy Institute’s website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Griffin, Kenneth. “Guaranteeing financial ruin in Illinois.” Chicago Tribune. 29 Nov. 2013. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-11-29/site/ct-illinois-pension-reform-financia-ruin-1129-20131129_1_tax-increase-state-income-tax-bill). 3 Dec. 2013.

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Why Illinois Lawmakers Chose Tuesday To Possibly ‘Fix’ The State’s Public Pension Crisis

Yesterday, I blogged about Illinois lawmakers possibly voting on legislation Tuesday to “fix” the state’s $100 billion public pension crisis.

Why did the Democratic leadership in the Illinois General Assembly- in concert with Republican leaders- decide tomorrow might be a good time to tackle this problem?

From an editorial that appeared on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

This week Illinois lawmakers may reform the nation’s worst-funded state pension system. After Monday’s deadline for candidates to file petitions for the March 2014 Illinois primary, incumbents might vote for a pension bill, secure that angry public employee unions no longer could recruit candidates to challenge them.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I’m guessing these particular unions are pretty angry right now, seeing that the political party they’ve traditionally bedded down with looks to be turning its back on them.

Perhaps we’ll have a better idea if that’s really the case tomorrow.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“Editorial: The Illinois reckoning.” Chicago Tribune. 2 Dec. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-illinois-election-edit-1202-20131202,0,210180.story). 2 Dec. 2013.

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State Of Illinois Unpaid Bills Could Reach $9 Billion By End Of December

More bad news for the State of Illinois on the financial front.

In January 2011, the state government was on the hook for an estimated $8 billion in unpaid bills. That month, massive personal and corporate income tax hikes went into effect in the “Land of Lincoln.”

This morning, I read that the backlog is now approaching $9 billion.

Doug Finke reported on The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois) website Sunday:

According to Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s office… payment delays are once again getting longer. The backlog of bills waiting to be paid in the comptroller’s office has grown by $3 billion since the spring, when the state was flush with tax revenue…

[Topinka spokesman Brad] Hahn said the office believes the total will hit $9 billion by the end of December, exactly where Topinka predicted it would be last summer. It is the second year in a row the backlog will sit at about $9 billion at the end of the calendar year.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Any other Illinois readers starting to think those January 2011 “temporary” tax hikes won’t be so temporary after all?

I blogged back on January 13, 2011:

The legislation that was pushed through by Democratic lawmakers, who have controlled Illinois state government since 2003, hikes the 3 percent personal income tax rate to 5 percent until 2015, when the rate is supposed to drop to 3.75 percent. However, the last time income tax rates in the “Land of Lincoln” went up in 1989, politicians also claimed it was as a temporary increase to combat a financial “rough patch.” But the rates never came down and by 1993 were designated permanent. Until now, that is.

In an attempt to gain more support among Democrats (no Republicans in the Illinois House or Senate backed the legislation), the measure calls for lowering the personal income tax rate in 2025 to 3.25 percent.

For businesses, the 4.8 percent corporate income tax jumps to 7 percent until 2015, when it would drop to 5.25 percent. In 2025, the corporate rate is then supposed to fall back down to 4.8 percent.

If those “temporary” tax hikes in Illinois are indeed repealed in 2015, look for the State of Illinois to find some other way(s) to make up for that lost revenue.

Source:

Finke, Doug. “Bill backlog growing again and so are payment delays.” The State Journal-Register. 24 Nov. 2013. (http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x450320106/Bill-backlog-growing-again-and-so-are-payment-delays?zc_p=0). 25 Nov. 2013.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Quote For The Week

“Well, the whole thing is quite simple. We have one party that promisess endless freebies from education, healthcare, to food stamps, and even contraceptives. Then we have another party that promises austerity, cutting social security benefits, spending…etc. Guess who the voters go for? It doesn’t matter what you believe in, because the force of enticing you with ‘free stuff’ is just too overwhelming.

Even places like AZ and TX, traditionally conservative are all trending towards liberals. That’s the direction period.

I’v already tried to fight the devils for years, but honestly I’m exhausted. Now my vote goes to anyone that promises to give me more free stuff.

Screw the Constitutions, self reliance…”

-Comment left on Reuters article that appeared on the Yahoo! News website early this morning

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Economists Wrong On September ‘Tapering’ Of Fed Stimulus

Look at stocks and commodities blast off this afternoon. Especially gold, which plenty of mainstream financial news outlets have been talking smack about lately.

From Greg Robb and Jeffry Bartash on the MarketWatch website a short time ago:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held its asset purchase program steady, putting off any decision for tapering until later in the year in a decision that surprised markets.

By a vote of 9-to-1, the Fed held its bond-buying program at $85 billion, citing tighter financial conditions

The move surprised economists…

“Surprised” is likely an understatement. Get a load of the following from the past week or so:

Nearly three-quarters of the 69 economists polled after Friday’s mixed jobs data expect the Fed to announce a taper to its quantitative easing (QE) program after its September 17-18 meeting.

-Deepti Govind, Reuters website, September 10

A majority of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal—66% of the 47 who responded—expect the Federal Reserve to say at next week’s policy meeting that it will begin cutting back its bond purchases, a widely anticipated milestone in a period of extraordinary monetary policy.

-Phil Izzo, The Wall Street Journal website, September 12

More than 60% of 44 economists say Fed policymakers will dial back their $85 billion in monthly government bond purchases when they meet Tuesday and Wednesday. Almost a third pick either October or December.

-Paul Davidson and Barbara Hansen, USA TODAY website, September 15

Among 64 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, 33 predict the Fed will reduce its purchases of Treasuries by $5 billion or less, with 31 forecasting a cut of $10 billion or more.

-Emma Charlton and Lukanyo Mnyanda, Bloomberg, September 18, 2013

Too funny. I particularly like that last bit on Bloomberg.com. All 64 economists surveyed got the September “tapering” call wrong.

Now, I, for one, wasn’t surprised that the Federal Reserve didn’t dial back on the quantitative easing. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity shouldn’t have been either. Why’s that? As I’ve been saying since November 22, 2010, in this blog and Memorial Day Weekend, 2007, in its predecessor (Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street”)…

The U.S. economy and larger financial system are significantly worse off than the government and the Fed are letting on.

Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve are particularly aware of this, which leads me to believe that any tapering down the road, if it happens, is likely to be a drop in the bucket. If a significant decrease in bond purchases does per chance occur, it will likely be cancelled out by additional buying down the road once the economy and larger financial system show visible signs of faltering.

I’m starting to believe it’s QE∞ from now until America finally hits the proverbial brick wall. It’s been decades in the making (1982-2007 credit binge sticks out here), with both major national political parties in on it, and I’m pretty sure there’s no way of stopping the financial crash at this point in time.

Only preparing for it looks to be the remaining smart option left.

What a shame.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Robb, Greg and Bartash, Jeffry. “In surprise, Fed decides not to taper.” MarketWatch. 18 Sep. 2013. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/in-surprise-fed-decides-not-to-taper-2013-09-18). 18 Sep. 2013.

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Bill O’Reilly: ‘The Most Important Story In America Today Is Our Declining Economic Power’

I rarely tune in to The O’Reilly Factor on the FOX News Channel (good material, but too much talking/shouting over one another). However, what host Bill O’Reilly said in his “Talking Points” segment on last night’s show struck a chord. O’Reilly warned:

There is no way that America will remain the most powerful nation in the world if we continue to promote weakness. The Nanny State mentality embraced by the Democratic Party is a direct and dire threat.

And the reason the Democrats have been able to do so much damage to the economy, is because the Republican Party didn’t solve key problems when it was in power.

Illegal immigration, one of the big examples of that. Dangerous speculative bank investments, another. The GOP failed to deal with those situations.

So the country elected Barack Obama. And his liberal philosophy has taken deep root.

The result, as I told the CBS crew? Economic chaos. And a change in the most important mindset this country once had- self reliance.


“America’s power in decline”
FOX News Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Quote For The Week

With virtually zero support from the Republicans, the president and I have moved the country from the worst recession since the Great Depression to 38 months of private-sector growth.

-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, at a Virginia Democratic fundraiser on Saturday, June 29 (Source: Associated Press)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Standard-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban Passes Out Of Illinois Senate Executive Committee

Gun “control” is on the move again in Illinois as legislation banning standard-capacity ammunition magazines has passed out of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee, setting up Senate Bill 1002 to be voted upon by the full chamber. Lauren Leone-Cross reported on Springfield’s The State Journal-Register website late yesterday:

The Democrat-controlled Senate Executive Committee passed the measure 12-3, with two Republicans, Minority Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont and Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine, voting “yes.”

“I think this is a chance that this bill could save lives, and I think it’s worth taking that chance,” Murphy said.

Leone-Cross added later in the article:

Sponsoring Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, said that while he doesn’t know when he’ll call SB 1002 for a vote in the full Senate or whether he has the votes, it “looks promising.”

Illinois residents who think their Republican state senator will oppose this legislation might be in for a rude shock, seeing that Senators Radogno- the Minority Leader no less- and Murphy have now aligned themselves with the gun “control” camp on this bill.

In the meantime, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action has sent out the following:

Illinois: Anti Self-Defense Amendment to be Considered in Senate as Early as Tomorrow

Contact your state Senator IMMEDIATELY and urge him or her to oppose Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 1002!

Today, in another attempt to further disarm the law-abiding residents in Illinois, an amendment offered by state Senator Dan Kotowski (D-28) to Senate Bill 1002, was heard by the Senate Executive Committee. Amendment 2 to SB1002 would limit the sale and transfer of all standard capacity magazines. Rather than addressing criminals engaging in gang violence, Chicago politicians want to limit the ability of law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves against those criminals.

In a state that is under court order to enact concealed carry reform laws for the self-defense of its residents, this restriction on standard capacity magazines is a step in the wrong direction. This legislation will only remove the ability of responsible gun owners to defend themselves and their loved ones.

It is critical that you contact your state Senator and urge him or her to resist this legislative attempt to disarm and punish law-abiding citizens. Contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to uphold Illinoisans’ right to self-defense by opposing Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 1002.

Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Leone-Cross, Lauren. “Illinois Senate panel endorses ammunition limit.” The State Journal-Register. 20 May 2013. (http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x776192437/Senate-committee-to-vote-on-proposed-high-capacity-magazine-ban?zc_p=0). 21 May 2013.

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Poll: 29 Percent Of Americans Think Armed Revolution Might Be Necessary In Next Few Years

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

-Thomas Jefferson (Founding Father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and 3rd U.S. President) to William Stephens Smith, Paris, November 13, 1787

Armed revolution in the United States.

I heard it being talked about yesterday in the mainstream media after the release of some new poll findings, so I decided to go to the source this morning. From a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind news release Wednesday, concerning their most recent national survey of 863 registered U.S. voters from April 22 through April 28, 2013:

The poll finds that 29 percent of Americans think that an armed revolution in order to protect liberties might be necessary in the next few years, with another five percent unsure. However, these beliefs are conditional on party. Just 18 percent of Democrats think an armed revolution may be necessary, as opposed to 44 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of independents.

“29 percent of Americans think that an armed revolution in order to protect liberties might be necessary in the next few years.”

Wild.

Well, I’ve come across increasing chatter of a Second American Revolution for a number of years now on various blogs/websites, so I can’t say I’m too surprised to read of these findings.

You can view the entire Fairleigh Dickinson University news release here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Columbia University Economist Decries Criminal Behavior On Wall Street, ‘Corrupt Politics To The Core’

Stumbling on the following made me reminisce about the “good old days” as editor of Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street,” when I would following the shenanigans on Wall Street a lot more than I’m able to today. From Jeffrey Sachs, an economist and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, at the 31st Annual Monetary & Trade Conference on April 17:

A lot of what’s happened actually and what’s been revealed is in my view prima facie criminal behavior. It’s financial fraud on a very large extent. There’s also a tremendous amount of insider trading, and you can even watch it when you’re living in New York, how that works…

I believe we have a crisis of values that is extremely deep, because the regulations and the legal structures need reform. But I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now. I’m going to put it very bluntly. I regard the moral environment as pathological. And I’m talking about the human interactions that I have. I’ve not seen anything like this, not felt it so palpably. These people are out to make billions of dollars and nothing should stop them from that. They have no responsibility to pay taxes. They have no responsibility to their clients. They have no responsibility to people, counterparties in transactions. They are tough, greedy, aggressive, and feel absolutely out of control, you know, in a quite literal sense. And they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent, and they have a docile president, a docile White House, and a docile regulatory system that absolutely can’t find its voice. It’s terrified of these companies.

If you look at the campaign contributions, which I happened to do yesterday for another purpose, the financial markets are the number one campaign contributors in the U.S. system now. We have a corrupt politics to the core, I’m afraid to say, and no party is – I mean there’s – if not both parties are up to their necks in this. This has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. It really doesn’t have anything to do with right wing or left wing, by the way. The corruption is, as far as I can see, everywhere. But what it’s led to is this sense of impunity that is really stunning, and you feel it on the individual level right now, and it’s very, very unhealthy.

I have waited for four years, five years now, to see one figure on Wall Street speak in a moral language, and I’ve not seen it once. And that is shocking to me. And if they won’t, I’ve waited for a judge, for our president, for somebody, and it hasn’t happened. And by the way it’s not going to happen anytime soon it seems.


“SR 76 Wall Street”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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List Of U.S. Senators Who Crossed Party Lines On Manchin-Toomey-Schumer Amendment

The following is a list of U.S. Senators who crossed party lines on the Manchin-Toomey-Schumer proposal to expand firearm background checks. The amendment failed in the Senate Wednesday on a 54-46 vote.

Republicans who voted “yes” on expanding checks:
• John McCain (AZ)
• Mark Kirk (IL)
• Susan Collins (ME)
• Pat Toomey (PA)

Democrats who voted “no” on expanding checks:
• Mark Begich (AK)
• Mark Pryor (AR)
• Max Baucus (MT)
• Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
• Harry Reid (NV)

Harry Reid voted “no”?

According to the FOX News website yesterday:

Reid only voted no for procedural reasons, so that Democrats can call up the provision later on.

By the way, I’m not sure I’d call Senator Kirk from Illinois “Republican” anymore. The word is out around Illinois he’s really a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”). I’ve got to believe he’ll have his hands full trying to fend off both Republican and Democratic challengers for his seat when his term expires in 2016.

Anyway, take note and factor into your vote the next time these candidates come up for election.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“Senators who crossed party lines on background check vote.” FOX News. 17 Apr. 2013. (http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2013/04/17/senators-who-crossed-party-lines-background-check-vote/). 18 Apr. 2013.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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