U.S. House of Representatives

Treasury Department Issues Reminder About Debt Limit Deal Expiration

“They are going to be in a crisis within weeks. The debt ceiling was suspended arbitrarily until March 15. When it comes back into effect there will be $20 trillion of debt. And before they can do anything on all of this stimulus they’re talking about they’re going to have to raise the debt ceiling and where are the votes going to come from? It’s going to make 2011, if you remember the debt ceiling crisis in 2011, look like a Sunday school picnic. We’re in bad shape.”

-David Stockman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan, speaking on the FOX Business Channel on January 25, 2017

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued the following reminder about the March 15 expiration of the debt limit deal reached two years ago. From a press release on their website:

The debt limit places a limitation on the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. The debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past.

The Bipartisan Budget Act suspended the debt limit through March 15, 2017. If Congress fails to increase or further suspend the debt limit by March 15, Treasury can take certain extraordinary measures to continue to finance the government on a temporary basis.

Extraordinary measures will allow the government to continue to meet its obligations for a period of time after March 15. That said, it is impossible to provide a precise forecast as to how long the extraordinary measures will last. Treasury will provide greater clarity at a later date regarding how long extraordinary measures will allow Treasury to continue to borrow…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So how is this setting up for the next couple of weeks?

According to MarketWatch’s Greg Robb on on February 1:

During the Obama administration, Republicans in Congress sought to use the debt limit vote to force spending cuts.

Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin said he would like to see Congress act to raise the debt limit “sooner rather than later.”

But Trump’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, was a leader of the House Republican effort to use the debt limit vote as a lever to reign in spending…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Stay tuned folks…

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

Source:

Robb, Greg. “Raising the debt ceiling is now Trump’s problem. MarketWatch. 1 Feb. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/raising-the-debt-ceiling-is-now-trumps-problem-2017-02-01). 7 Feb. 2017.

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Proposed Ban Of Common AR-15 Rifle Ammunition Suspended

In case you haven’t heard the latest about that proposed ban on common M855 ball ammunition (or SS109 as it’s sometimes referred to) for the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action reported on their website yesterday:

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association (NRA) was instrumental in stalling the Obama Administration’s initial attempt to ban commonly used ammunition for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15. The announcement that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will suspend its proposed framework to ban M855 ammunition validates the NRA’s assertion that this effort was nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass Congress and impose gun control on the American people.

“Today’s announcement proves what we have said all along — this was 100% political. President Obama failed to pass gun control through Congress, so he tried to impose his political agenda through executive fiat. But every gun owner in America needs to understand Barack Obama’s hatred of the Second Amendment has not changed,” said Wayne La Pierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association.

Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA-ILA criticized the dishonest campaign to ban this common ammunition: “The lies used to justify the ban were shameful. This proposal was never about law enforcement safety – it was about the Obama Administration’s desire to pander to billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his gun control groups. Since they haven’t been able to ban America’s most popular rifle, they are trying to ban the ammunition instead.”

Since the BATFE announced its plan to ban commonly used ammunition less than a month ago, the NRA rallied its five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country in strong opposition. In addition, the NRA worked with congressional leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate to oppose this misguided proposal.

“The NRA would like to thank House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson for leading the fight against this unconstitutional attack on our Second Amendment freedoms,” continued Cox. “This was a significant victory for our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country.

“Make no mistake, this fight is not over. We will remain vigilant and continue to fight against President Obama’s attempt to dismantle the Second Amendment,” concluded LaPierre.

To view the congressional letters to BATFE, along with the Member signatures, click here and here.

To view recent op-ed in the Daily Caller by Chris Cox on the proposed ammunition ban, click here.

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

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 Ammunition, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Hunting, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports Comments Off on Proposed Ban Of Common AR-15 Rifle Ammunition Suspended

Congressional Democrats Push ‘High-Capacity’ Magazine Ban

Like I blogged Monday, the gun “control” crowd is off-and-running several weeks into the new year. In addition to a ban on certain AR-15 rifle ammunition, they’re also pushing to ban “high-capacity” firearm ammunition magazines. From the website of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRA-ILA) last Friday:

Anti-gun U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), have introduced their Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (S. 407 and H.R. 752, respectively), in yet another attempt to ban magazines that accept more than 10 rounds. Similar legislation has been introduced in previous Congresses, and has repeatedly failed since the expiration of the Clinton “large” magazine ban in 2004.

Firearms designed to use magazines that hold more than ten rounds have been around for more than a hundred years. Today they constitute a majority of all new firearms manufactured, imported and sold in the United States, for what the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), called the central purpose of the Second Amendment: self-defense. While gun control supporters claim that the magazines are unnecessary for self-defense, millions of Americans disagree, and the Supreme Court has ruled in Heller that laws are unconstitutional if they prohibit firearms that are in common use for defensive purposes.

Moreover, studies have shown that magazine bans don’t reduce crime. The congressionally-mandated study of the 1994-2004 federal “large” magazine “ban” concluded that its 10-round limit on new magazines wasn’t a factor in multiple-victim or multiple-wound crimes. A follow-up study concluded that “relatively few attacks involve more than 10 shots fired,” and “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” And a majority of law enforcement in the United States acknowledges that banning standard-capacity magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds will not increase public safety.

A person attacked in a parking lot, or at home in the middle of the night, will probably have only the magazine within the firearm. No one should be arbitrarily limited in the number of rounds he or she can have for self-defense.

The NRA opposes this legislation and will continue to fight attempts in Congress to limit magazine capacity.

As I type this, each and every co-sponsor of this legislation is a Democrat (16 in the Senate and 107 in the House).

You can track the status of Senate Bill 407 here and House Bill 752 here via Congress.gov.

Permission has been granted by the NRA-ILA to reproduce the above.

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

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 Ammunition, Crime, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Hunting, Legal, Political Parties, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports Comments Off on Congressional Democrats Push ‘High-Capacity’ Magazine Ban

Quote For The Week

“To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country.”

-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, at a House Democratic Retreat in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 29, 2015

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

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Sunday, February 1st, 2015 Government, Political Parties, Quote For The Week Comments Off on Quote For The Week

Democrats Push ‘New Message’ Of Rebounding U.S. Economy

Big eye roll on my part when I spotted the following on my Internet service provider’s home page this afternoon. Charles Babington of the Associated Press reported Friday:

Democrats’ new message on America’s economic recovery is: We told you so, and we’re going to keep telling you so.

The economy is rebounding on nearly every front, even if the middle class still needs help, and it’s time to tell that story loudly, top Democrats say. That’s the key to reversing their midterm election setbacks, according to a host of House Democrats, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, all of whom came to Philadelphia this week for pep talks and strategy sessions.

“Democrats have to stand up, you’ve got to explain what we did,” Biden said to loud applause Friday. “Be proud of it… We can’t let the Republican Party rewrite history.”

Obama said much the same the night before. “The record shows we were right” the president said, referring to the 2009 stimulus, the bank and auto industry bailouts, and other strategies to pull out the great recession of 2008…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A couple of thoughts here:

1. The true state of the U.S. economy and larger financial system is worrisome, as the “great recession of 2008” was merely “papered over” (I talk about that enough on this blog on a regular basis that I don’t feel the need to go into it today).

The news radio station I listen to most often in Chicago has been going on and on this week about the U.S. economy being on such strong footing these days. It’s almost as if they (like others in the mainstream media?) are carrying out the marching orders of the Democratic spindoctors to promote this “new message.” It’s been so ridiculous that if you didn’t know any better, you might think you were listening to old newsreels laying it on thick with the propaganda of the day:


“Vintage 1930s Inflation Propaganda”
YouTube Video

2. “We can’t let the Republican Party rewrite history.” “The record shows we were right.” Democrats vs. Republicans. Us vs. Them. Liberals vs. Conservatives. Left vs. Right. Coke vs. Pepsi…

Personally, I prefer RC.

And like that situation with the sodas, two choices often aren’t ideal for me. Particularly when it comes to the major U.S. political parties, who I’ve come to see as merely two “heads” belonging to the same monster (special interests of the rich and powerful).

3. Finally, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating:

Use this economic “rebound”- as much of an illusion as it may be- to your advantage.

Is your employment status less than ideal? You may want to consider improving that situation while “the getting’s good.” Need some extra income? You may want to look at taking on a part-time job while they’re available. Looking to purchase some emergency preps? “The shadow of crisis has passed.” President Obama said so in his recent State of the Union speech. Shop around for discounted gear, supplies, and other items while demand isn’t as strong as it has been lately and will be when hard times arrive down the road.

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

Source:

Babington, Charles. “House Democrats’ new message on the economy: We told you so.” Associated Press. 30 Jan. 2015. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/house-democrats-message-economy-told-183956034.html). 30 Jan. 2015.

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Friday, January 30th, 2015 Demographics, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Gear, Government, Income, Inflation, Mainstream Media, Monetary Policy, Political Parties, Preparedness, Propaganda, Recession, Recovery, Special Interests, Stimulus, Supplies Comments Off on Democrats Push ‘New Message’ Of Rebounding U.S. Economy

Quote For The Week

“Have you met Joe Biden?”

-U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC 4th District), on impeaching President Obama for issuing an Executive Order granting amnesty to illegal immigrants in the United States

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

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Sunday, November 16th, 2014 Government, Humor, Immigration, Political Parties, Quote For The Week Comments Off on Quote For The Week

Specter Of 1994 Looms Over Democrats In Renewed Push For Gun ‘Control’

Speaking of Barack Obama and gun “control” this morning, I hear the Democrats are doubling-down on the issue months before the crucial November mid-term elections. Ned Resnikoff reported on the MSNBC website last Thursday:

Gun control, long a dormant issue in American politics, surged to the forefront of the Democratic agenda following December 2012’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Yet in the following months, as bill after bill failed to pass through Congress, the renewed push for gun control once again subsided – until now.

One hundred sixty-three House Democrats – over 80% of the entire caucus – signed onto an open letter Thursday addressed to Republican House Speaker John Boehner demanding that he allow “a vote on substantive legislation to address gun violence.” The timing of the letter suggests that Democrats are prepared to make gun control in an issue in the 2014 midterm elections…

“The timing of the letter suggests that Democrats are prepared to make gun control in an issue in the 2014 midterm elections”

Just like they did in the lead up to the 1994 mid-term contests?

I’ve suggested it before on this blog- history could “rhyme” again soon for the Democrats.

On September 13, 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which included a 10-year ban on so-called “assault weapons.” U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the legislation into law the same day.

In the months that followed, Democrats were being swept out of office left and right during the “Republican Revolution.”

Now, some doubt the impact of the gun “control” push on this turnover. Here’s what the former president had to say about that period of his administration in his 2005 autobiography My Life:

Ironically, I had hurt the Democrats by both my victories and my defeats. The loss of healthcare and the passage of NAFTA demoralized many of our base voters and depressed our turnout. The victories on the economic plan with its tax increases on high-income Americans, the Brady bill, and the assault weapons ban inflamed the Republican base voters and increased their turnout. The turnout differential alone probably accounted for half of our losses, and contributed to a Republican gain of eleven governorships

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

This, from the man himself.

As I pointed out in that 2013 post and an earlier September 2012 piece about the Democratic Party’s adopted National Platform, the Democrats own gun “control.”

And evidently, they’re trying to remind the American people of that fact in the months leading up to November.

Political hara-kiri all over again?

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

Source:

Resnikoff, Ned. “Democratic House members demand gun control vote.” MSNBC.com. 26 June 2014. (http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/democratic-house-members-demand-gun-control-vote). 30 June 2014.

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Monday, June 30th, 2014 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Political Parties Comments Off on Specter Of 1994 Looms Over Democrats In Renewed Push For Gun ‘Control’

Al-Qaeda Poised To Strike U.S.?

“Thanks to the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al-Qaeda has been decimated…”

-U.S. President Barack Obama, while campaigning in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on November 1, 2012

Not only is Al-Qaeda alive and well according to some former Pentagon officials and counter-terrorism analysts who just appeared before Congress, but there’s even chatter of the Muslim extremists possibly striking the “homeland” not too far off in the distance. Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon Correspondent, reported on the TV news station’s website Wednesday:

A series of al Qaeda-based threats to attack American and Western targets in Europe, as well as threats to launch attacks inside the United States, has caused significant concern inside the U.S. intelligence community, CNN has learned…

U.S. officials as well as analysts have long said they believe al Qaeda is focused on attacking outside the United States because of the difficulty in penetrating U.S. homeland security. But these latest threat streams suggest domestic U.S. targets also continue to be looked at by al Qaeda.

Worry No. 1: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

One of the biggest concerns right now remains efforts by Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack inside Yemen, in Europe and inside the United States

While it’s believed AQAP is mainly focused on targeting inside of Yemen, officials say an attempt to attack inside the United States or to recruit others to carry out such an attack cannot be ruled out.

Worry No. 2: Core group in Pakistan

Separately, still another official confirms to CNN that the core al Qaeda group in Pakistan is also seeking to place operatives in places to attack U.S. targets overseas and domestically

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

On the topic of “core” Al-Qaeda, Rob Crilly reported on the website of The Telegraph (UK) Wednesday:

Al-Qaeda is not a spent force in Afghanistan and is using a shadow army to hide its true strength, according to testimony presented by former Pentagon officials and counter-terrorism analysts to a US Congressional committee.

Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, said Osama bin Laden’s heirs had successfully hidden their strength as they spread their influence throughout the Middle East.

As a result, Afghanistan risks becoming a terrorist haven once again when Nato-led combat troops leave the country this year.

His evidence contradicts repeated claims that the movement had been “decimated” – particularly in Afghanistan – and Barack Obama’s public assessment earlier this year that its current leaders were junior varsity basketball players dressed up as superstars of the NBA after replacing senior commanders killed in drone strikes or other actions.

“Part of the reason these assessments have been flawed is that al-Qaeda has a ‘deep bench’ to draw from, both from within its own organisation and allied groups,” said Mr Joscelyn, pointing out the secrecy of the movement’s structure and personnel.

“Al-Qaeda is constantly in the process of recruiting new talent as well.”

Other witnesses gave similar evidence to the House of Representatives subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade on Tuesday.

David Sedney, former deputy assistant defence secretary, said focusing on the core al-Qaeda leadership missed the bigger strategic picture, which showed the group as decentralised.

“My view is that al-Qaeda, despite our tactical counter-terrorism successes, continues to be a major strategic threat to the United States and its allies,” he said. “Tomorrow, al-Qaeda will be an even greater threat because of its ongoing evolutions.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

One of these days, I’m convinced Al-Qaeda, an affiliate, or sympathizer(s) is going to launch another attack inside the United States.

It would be a real shame if the U.S. counter-terrorism apparatus underestimates the threat posed by present-day Al-Qaeda.

To think of this jihadist movement as “decimated” may be committing a huge strategic blunder that could come back to haunt America down the road.

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

Sources:

Starr, Barbara. “Stream of al Qaeda threats has U.S. intelligence concerned.” CNN.com. 21 May 2014. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/20/us/al-qaeda-threats-intelligence/). 23 May 2014.

Crilly, Rob. “Al-Qaeda ‘not defeated’ in Afghanistan.” The Telegraph. 21 May 2014. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/10846151/Al-Qaeda-not-defeated-in-Afghanistan.html). 23 May 2014.

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Friday, May 23rd, 2014 Europe, Foreign Policy, Government, Middle East, Public Safety, Religion, Terrorism, War Comments Off on Al-Qaeda Poised To Strike U.S.?

U.S. Special Ops Chief Warns Of ‘Broader Threat’ From Al-Qaeda

U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven, commander of Special Operations Command (SOCOM), talked to the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday about the threat of terrorism posed by Al-Qaeda. SOCOM is charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Component Commands of the various braches of the U.S. armed forces. Admiral McRaven warned:

Core Al-Qaeda has gotten markedly weaker. The threat that was emanating out of the federally-administrated tribal areas with the support of other government agencies and the support of the Pakistanis- we have really decimated the core Al-Qaeda. So I would tell you, that threat is significantly decreased.

But of course, what we’ve seen is the franchise elements begin to pop up… So these franchises are beginning to grow up. However, having said that, I think what we see is a broader threat. But the high-end piece that we saw from Al-Qaeda is not as prevalent as it used to be.

So the threat is metastasizing. It is much more broad. But I would tell you that the threat to the homeland- with one or two exceptions- is less today than it was certainly five or ten years ago when core Al-Qaeda was stronger.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I did a quick search on the Internet this morning for those “one or two exceptions,” but found nothing. Wish Admiral McRaven could have elaborated on these in the interest of public safety.


“Special Ops Chief: Threat From al Qaeda is ‘Much More Broad’ Today”
YouTube Video

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

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Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 Foreign Policy, Government, Middle East, Military, Public Safety, Religion, Terrorism, War Comments Off on U.S. Special Ops Chief Warns Of ‘Broader Threat’ From Al-Qaeda

Democratic Congressmen Push For 20 Percent Federal Excise Tax On Firearms, 50 Percent Tax On Ammo

Back when Danny Davis (D-IL) was my congressman, I don’t recall hearing too much from him- unless he was coming up for re-election.

Well, November 4, 2014, is fast-approaching, and he and another Democratic congressman- William Pascrell (D-NJ)- whose seat is up for election have both decided to take it upon themselves to remind Americans that Democrats stand for gun “control.”

You see, Representatives Davis and Pascrell introduced HR 3018- the “Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act”- last week, which would hike federal excise taxes on firearms from 10-11 percent up to 20 percent, and hike taxes on ammunition from 11 percent to 50 percent.

I’m guessing a number of pro-gun Democrats, especially those holding office whose seats are also up for election in 2014, are livid right now.

From GovTrack.us this evening:

A BILL

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the excise tax and special occupational tax in respect of firearms and to increase the transfer tax on any other weapon, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2013’.

SEC. 2. INCREASE IN EXCISE TAXES RELATING TO FIREARMS.

(a) In General- Section 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 4181. IMPOSITION OF TAX.

‘There is hereby imposed upon the sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the following articles a tax equivalent to the specified percent of the price for which so sold:

‘(1) Articles taxable at 20 percent:

‘(A) Pistols.

‘(B) Revolvers.

‘(C) Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers).

‘(D) Any lower frame or receiver for a firearm, whether for a semiautomatic pistol, rifle, or shotgun that is designed to accommodate interchangeable upper receivers.

‘(2) Articles taxable at 50 percent: Shells and cartridges.’.

HR 3018 would also increase the transfer tax on firearms covered under the National Firearms Act (“machine guns,” for example) from $200 to $500 and the transfer tax on all other guns from $5 to $100.

Other blogs/websites are reporting that besides ammo, this legislation hikes just handgun- not long gun- taxes, but based on the following- “Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers)”- I take this to mean rifles and shotguns as well.

Consider the following analysis of the gun “control” legislation by Michael Cohn over at AccountingToday.com:

The bill, known as the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act, is co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J., and Danny Davis, D-Ill. It would increase the excise taxes on firearms from the current range of 10 percent to 11 percent and raise it to 20 percent. The bill would also increase the excise tax on ammunition from 11 percent to 50 percent. It would also increase the Special Occupational Tax on firearm importers, manufacturers and dealers; include assault pistols in the definition of firearms covered under the National Firearms Act; increase the transfer tax on all weapons (except antique guns) covered under the National Firearms Act (excludes most common guns) from $200 to $500 and index to inflation; and increase the transfer tax for any other weapon from $5 to $100 and index to inflation.

All government agencies would be exempted from the tax, including federal, state and local agencies, such as police departments.

Here’s my analysis. The legislation won’t become law. And I think Congressmen Davis and Pascrell know that.

But it did get them some valuable face time for next year’s election.

You can read the entire text of HR 3018 on GovTrack.us here.

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

Source:

Cohn, Michael. “Congressmen Introduce Bill to Increase Taxes on Guns and Ammunition.” AccountingToday.com. 27 Aug. 2013. (http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/Congressmen-Introduce-Bill-Increase-Taxes-Guns-Ammunition-67848-1.html). 27 Aug. 2013.

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