What They’re NOT Telling You About The Government Shutdown!
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ZeroHedge| It’s official: as of midnight Saturday, the US government has shut down following a failure in the Senate to strike a funding deal. Government funding was due to run out after Dec. 8 but was twice extended, most recently through Jan. 19, at which point the US encountered what’s officially called a “spending gap,” which triggers an official halt to Washington’s work.
In retrospect, this is hardly a novel development, as history shows there have been 18 previous closures starting in 1976, with the last one taking place in September 2013. Almost all of the funding gaps occurred between FY1977 and FY1995. During this 19-fiscal-year period, 15 funding gaps occurred.
Additionally, seven of the funding gaps commenced with the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1. The remaining 11 funding gaps occurred at least more than one day after the fiscal year had begun. Ten of the funding gaps ended in October, four ended in November, three ended in December, and one ended in January.
According to the CRO, funding gaps have ranged in duration from one to 21 full days, with six of the eight lengthiest funding gaps, lasting between eight days and 17 days, occurred between FY1977 and FY1980—before the Civiletti opinions were issued in 1980 and early 1981. After the issuance of these opinions, the duration of funding gaps in general shortened considerably, typically ranging from one day to three days. Of these, most occurred over a weekend.
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So now that the US government is taking some time off for only the second time this century, here is a summary of what actually is shut down until the funding gap is closed, courtesy of Bloomberg.
1. What happens if the government shuts down?
Many, though not all, federal government functions are frozen, and many, though not all, federal employees are furloughed. Agencies in the executive branch, the one with the largest workforce and budget, regularly review shutdown plans that spell out what work must continue, and how many employees will be retained, during a “short” lapse (one to five days) and one that lasts longer.
2. Which government functions cease?
The ones that draw headlines are closures of national parks, monuments and the Smithsonian museums in Washington. Other activities that may stop if the shutdown lasts more than a few days include the processing of applications for passports and visas; new enrollments in experimental treatments under the National Institutes for Health; and the maintenance of U.S. government websites, including ones used by businesses and researchers. Mortgage approvals can be delayed by furloughs at the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Housing Administration. The last shutdown, which lasted 16 days in 2013, delayed release of Labor Department monthly employment reports, Commerce Department data on retail sales and housing starts and a monthly Fed report on industrial production that uses Labor Department data. Also delayed was approval of drilling applications at the Bureau of Land Management, consideration of applications for small business loans and the start of the Alaska crab season, which relies on harvest levels apportioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A breakdown by organization:
The Treasury Department, which includes the IRS, will send home more than 83 percent of its 88,268 workers.
The Executive Office of the President will be dramatically pared down, according to a memo released on Friday night.
Securities and Exchange Commission
Operations at the Securities and Exchange Commission are set to be sharply curtailed.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission,
At the country’s main swaps regulator, the vast majority of activity will likewise grind to a halt.
Business and Economy
The shutdown is likely to postpone the release of market-moving economic data, depending how long it continues.
Workplace Safety & Labor
Many programs at the Department of Labor designed to help workers will stop. Other federal offices designed to protect workers’ rights will also close their doors.
Law Enforcement & Courts
The law exempts from the shutdown those employees who are deemed necessary to protect life or property. Most types of law enforcement and criminal justice fit into that category.
National Security & Foreign Affairs
The effects of a shutdown on foreign and trade policy may be minimal.
About half the staff at the Department of Health and Human Services will be furloughed, according to a plan posted on the department’s website Friday. The resulting changes will reverberate across a range of functions that affect the average person.
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3. Which government functions continue?
Activities related to national security (like the military services), safety and order (air traffic control, law enforcement) and medical care (veterans’ hospitals) are among the essential activities that carry on. So does the U.S. mail, since the Postal Service has its own funding stream. U.S. Treasury debt auctions continue, Social Security and Medicare checks get mailed, food stamps are distributed. Federal courts are open but their work is subject to disruption.
4. How many federal employees stay home?
In the 2013 shutdown, the number of executive-branch employees who were furloughed on a given day peaked at 850,000, or about 40 percent of the workforce.
5. Do federal employees get paid?
Eventually. When a shutdown happens, most federal employees — there are about 2.8 million of them now — are placed on unpaid furlough. Though there “appears to be no guarantee” that they will eventually be paid, in practice they always have been, retroactively, via legislation passed by Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service.
6. How often does this happen?
There have been 12 shutdowns since 1981, ranging in duration from a single day to 21 days, according to the Congressional Research Service. The 21-day one, in December 1995 and January 1996, was a famous budget showdown that pitted President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, and the Republican House speaker, Newt Gingrich. Shutdowns over budget disagreements are different (and less grave) than what would happen if the U.S. breached its debt ceiling and defaulted on some of its obligations. That’s never happened — though its specter, too, will grow if Congress doesn’t reach a budget deal in the next several weeks.
7. What happened prior to 1981?
Until then, “funding gaps” didn’t result in shutdowns; agencies operated mostly as normal, and their expenses were covered retroactively once a deal was reached. Benjamin Civiletti, attorney general under President Jimmy Carter, put an end to that. With legal opinions issued in 1980 and 1981, he established that government work generally must cease until Congress agrees to pay for it. His rulings were codified in the Antideficiency Act, which, in theory at least, authorizes fines or prison terms to federal employees who dare work for free during a shutdown.
8. How Do Markets React
Markets have tended to shrug off shutdowns as long as the debt limit is not involved. The 1995, 1995-96, and 2013 government shutdowns had a modest effect on financial markets. The dollar weakened slightly in all three cases in the few days following each shutdown, with a further leg down in 2013 as the debt limit deadline approached. Treasury yields did not react meaningfully at the start of these shutdowns. The equity market reaction was inconsistent, with a slight decline in the early days of the December 1995 and October 2013 episodes, but no real change around the November 1995 shutdowns.
This time around, the debt limit deadline is around six weeks away from the Treasury’s target, and even farther from our own estimate, so unless the shutdown lasts for over a month, the market should largely ignore it.
NOTE: The forward of this article was written by economist and survivalist, Brandon Smith, who will be watching the latest game being played out by this US government entity so please follow his website to get updates as the situation continues to unfold at Alt-Market.com.
After years of fake drama in D.C. over government spending impasses (when we know both parties actually love the idea of bigger government), it finally happened: Shutdown. Now, this shutdown in itself is not necessarily an issue, especially if it lasts less than a couple weeks. However, if this drags on for a considerable amount of time (months), then there are some serious implications which many people wrongly downplay. For example, US debt issuance and the foreign purchasing or holding of Treasury bonds may suffer a blow at a time when the Treasury market is highly sensitive to crisis. Also, the moment is potentially ripe for a false flag attack, as “government shutdown” can be blamed for Federal inability to “stop the terrorists”, and the call for MORE government might suddenly resonate with the public. Alt-Market will be watching this development carefully to see if it fizzles, or escalates…
The U.S. Senate was short of the votes needed to approve a bill to keep the federal government running as a midnight deadline loomed on Friday night, although high-level negotiations continued.
In a dramatic late-night session, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell left voting open despite appearing to fall well short of the 60 votes needed to keep alive a stopgap bill that would fund the government through Feb. 16.
As the clock ticked toward midnight, McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer huddled in negotiations in a room just off the Senate floor.
Without some type of funding bill, the U.S. government technically will run out of money right after midnight, on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. That would leave scores of federal agencies across the country unable to continue operating, and hundreds of thousands of “non-essential” federal workers would be put on temporary unpaid leave.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a stopgap funding measure on Thursday. But Republicans then needed the support of at least 10 Democrats to pass the bill in the Senate.
ZeroHedge| The new year has only just begun, but already Democratic politicians in the country’s largest high-tax states are threatening lawsuits and publicly touting proposed workarounds to help compensate tax payers for the elimination of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions which were dramatically rolled back, along with deductions for mortgage interest, as part of the White House’s tax reform plan.
During his state of the state address earlier this week, New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo threatened to sue the federal government over the tax bill, claiming that the plan is unconstitutional and overly burdensome to New Yorkers.
Cuomo said that the new law could raise some families’ taxes by as much as 25% and said the plan amounted to “double taxation.” He later accused President Donald Trump of waging “economic civil war” on states that didn’t back him during the election, and promised to consider workarounds that would help lower residents’ federal tax bills, according to Bloomberg.
Then, on Thursday, California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon introduced a bill that the Washington Post said could become a model for how blue states push back against the Trump tax plan.
According to the Trump tax plan, which took effect in January, taxpayers can only deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes when they file their federal return.
De Leon’s bill, if it became law, would essentially allow Americans to deduct much more than the $10,000 limit by redirecting state tax payments into a type of charitable contribution that would be later redirected to the state. The new federal tax law, which was supported only by Republicans, went into effect in January and does not include any caps on charitable deductions.
“The Republican tax plan gives corporations and hedge-fund managers a trillion-dollar tax cut and expects California taxpayers to foot the bill,” de León said in a statement. “We won’t allow California residents to be the casualty of this disastrous tax scheme.”
Several states have said they are looking for ways to challenge or work around the law, particularly states such as California and New York where residents pay a higher level of local taxes that they have traditionally been able to deduct without any limits. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has said he is looking at a way of challenging the new law in court.
Then on Friday, incoming New Jersey Gov. Democrat Phil Murphy said he’s working on a plan similar to California’s that would allow taxpayers to pay a percentage of their state income taxes as if they were a charitable donation. The money will eventually be redirected to the state. And there’s nothing in the Republican tax plan that limits charitable deductions.
Predictably, the White House has threatened to push back against these strategies. During a televised interview this week, Gary Cohn said the administration would be looking into ways to stop states from implementing these work-arounds.
Even the Republicans’ rosy projections show the cuts will add nearly $1.5 trillion to the national debt in the coming decade. That number could grow if Democratic states succeed in their workarounds.
Phil Murphy, a Democrat who will be sworn in as New Jersey’s governor on Jan. 16, said Friday he’s working on a plan that would effectively convert property taxes into charitable gifts. Murphy joins New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who have also said they’re considering ways to shield their constituents from a new $10,000 federal cap on state and local tax deductions.
Murphy’s announcement came just hours after White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said the Trump administration may try to block any potential avoidance strategies by high-tax states.
“I understand what they’re trying to do for their cities and their states and their taxpayers,” said Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, during a Bloomberg Television interview Friday. “We at the federal government still have to collect revenue.”
The state actions and Cohn’s response suggest a looming showdown or the beginning of a cat-and-mouse game between state and federal policy makers, experts said.
Before the Republican Congress’s tax overhaul took effect Jan. 1, most filers could deduct state and local taxes from their federal returns, a benefit that applied to property, income, and other levies. But the new law that President Donald Trump signed last month caps the so-called SALT deduction at $10,000, a change that could cost residents of high-tax states billions of dollars.
Even before the tax bill passed, states have been squabbling with the IRS over what their tax payers can do to pay as much of their upcoming tax burden under the previous tax regime.
A precursor to tension between the federal government and states first emerged at the end of December over the prepayment of state and local property taxes. Some officials in states including New York and New Jersey encouraged homeowners to prepay their 2018 property taxes before the end of 2017 so that they could claim those deductions under the previous tax code – without the $10,000 cap.
But the IRS issued guidance that would effectively limit or kill the prepayment benefit for millions, saying the taxes in question would have to have been assessed by local tax authorities in 2017 to qualify for deductibility on 2017 returns. Many jurisdictions hadn’t yet done such assessments for 2018 property taxes – putting prepayments in question and stirring anger and confusion across the country.
The new limit hits California and New York hardest, due to their high state taxes and large populations. Connecticut, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia round out the top five jurisdictions where individuals claimed the largest average SALT deductions. In each of these states, the average itemizer paid nearly double the cap that the new Trump tax plan imposes.
But whether Murphy’s plan – and the plans being implemented by blue states on both coasts – succeeds is a matter of debate, even though a 2011 IRS memo seems to approve taxpayers claiming writeoffs for these types of gifts.
Murphy said there’s precedent for the charity approach, but the IRS memo shouldn’t be considered as such, Andy Grewal, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, told Bloomberg.
“If somehow this did succeed, Congress could just pass a one sentence statute,” said Grewal. “It’s too good to be true.”
New York Governor Cuomo also said he’s developing a plan to shift the state from a personal income tax to a system of payroll taxes levied on employers, who’d still be allowed to deduct such levies on their federal taxes by law. Tax officials in Connecticut are considering a similar plan.
Replacing state income taxes with payroll taxes would be complicating, requiring employers to adjust wages and potentially create a system of tax credits. It would also offer a more widespread economic benefit than would the charitable-giving strategy, since a shift to payroll taxes would also apply to taxpayers who don’t itemize, according to David Kamin, a New York University School of Law professor.
Proposals from New York and California are “interesting, but unlikely to succeed for both legal and practical reasons,” Jared Walczak, a senior policy analyst at the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation, said in a report Friday.
“If states are genuinely concerned about the effects of their tax codes absent an uncapped state and local tax deduction, they should consider revisiting their tax rates rather than devising increasingly convoluted and legally suspect workarounds,” Walczak wrote.
However, with many blue states like Connecticut already grappling with dangerously underfunded public employee pension obligations, the pressure on these states to stop wealthy taxpayers from leaving – as we noted yesterday – has never been greater.
The following article was written by Tim Brown and originally published at Freedom Outpost.
Sometimes, in the process of covering so many things and in the attempt to provide as much information and commentary as possible, we simply are not able to provide all that we wish to do so to the public.
However, that does not mean other stories and commentary are not important. In fact, many things coming out of alternatives media today are vitally important for those coming off the government-controlled media.
One of those items that didn’t hit the mainstream media, and sadly didn’t hit much of the alternative media, was the opening statement of Cliven Bundy’s son, Ryan, as the trial of the century began nearly two weeks ago.
In light of that, I’ve been meaning to post his opening statement because it is certainly on that Americans should familiarize themselves with and quite possibly, should a fair history book be written, may go down in a Patrick Henry-esque fashion.
Thanks to the jurors for being here. I told you a little about myself at voir dire, but I’d like to introduce myself a little more, and tell you about my heritage and how that affects my case. (Projects a picture of his family – AND leaves it up throughout his statement!) [Note: the picture shown above.]
This is my ID! Not my driver’s license. This is who I am, a man with a family and I’ll do whatever it takes to provide for them. I want you to picture in your minds…you’re out on the land… I’ll take you to our ranch, you can see all the beauty of the land, the fresh air, sunsets and sunrises, the brush, you’re on a horse in front of the cattle – place yourself there – feel the freedom – out of the congestion of the cars – that’s how I was raised, playing in the river, we were called river-rats and that is where my life began and I hope ends.
My family has been on that land 141 years, my pioneer ancestors settled there in 1877 – there was nothing there. They carved out a living… they brought a horse and wagon and some provisions… this case, the government mentioned is “not about rights”, but it is – those rights do mean something – rights are created through beneficial use. When my ancestors arrived, undoubtedly the horse would need a drink, so they led him to the water and that is beneficial use. The horse and perhaps a cow that had been led behind the wagon need to eat some brush in the hills, that is beneficial use. That established rights. The water rights are real! So real, the State of Nevada has a water rights registry including livestock watering rights. A law was created to protect those rights. The water rights that my father owns were first registered in 1891 by the State of Nevada – the State of Nevada is important, a sovereign state, its own unit, which entered the union in 1864. It entered equal to the original states, it is its own entity and state laws are important.
My family and I are charged with some grievous things and they are not true and evidence will show they are not; force, manipulation, extortion, violent—my family is not a violent family and I am not a violent man. For 20+ years we turned to local law enforcement. Rights are real property. The fact is that we create government to protect rights.
To have rights you must claim, use and defend… man only has rights he is willing to claim, use and defend. There is a difference between rights and privileges. Rights you own. Privilege is afforded. Like renting or owning a house. Government asserts there are no rights, only privileges and unless we pay, we can’t be there. The State of Nevada says differently. These are my father’s rights. Everything we have comes from the land. That is wealth, not the dollar bill. The things we use all come from the land. Who controls the land, controls the wealth.
We create government to preserve and serve us. These are some of the beliefs of my family. That we have said we will do whatever it takes to defend is not a threat, it is a statement. Being right here before you today is part of doing whatever it takes. The Founding Fathers pledged whatever it would take… their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, to defend rights. With the evidence you will see that is what we were doing; there was no conspiracy to impede, to harm… but, to protect our heritage that our pioneer ancestors established. We were attacked, surrounded by what appeared to be mercenaries, snipers pointed directly at me. You will hear a report from a sniper that he was keeping watch of me in my van, with my wife and two of my daughters with me.
Our ranch – children are always welcome – it is a place to play, play in the river, the pond, chase or hunt rabbits, burn your toes in the hot sand in summer—always free. Never before did we feel like someone was always watching. In early spring of 2014 we felt like someone was always watching… the dogs were watching the hills, when you are always with a dog you get to know what they are saying with their bark… you can tell by their bark what they are seeing… surveillance cameras on one hill, but the dog looking at another and growling… (tearfully) This is not what America is supposed to be. Supposed to be a land of liberty. The Founding Fathers fought and bled so we wouldn’t have to and now we find ourselves in a similar situation.
They say this issue is over grazing fees… it’s terrible, terrible, he must be a freeloader – it’s only rhetoric – I’ll tell you why – You don’t pay rent when you own your home! We own those rights! Not the land, I know we don’t own the land, but access…you and others have rights on that land. We own water and grazing rights. We don’t pay rent for something we own.
The BLM was formed in 1960. Our rights were established in 1877, long before BLM. The original states own 100% of their land and all states were to come in on equal footing. The crux of the issue is, are we a state or not? They say grazing is a privilege they can revoke and charge fees. If it is only a matter of money it is no problem. In fact, Mr. Whipple showed a copy of a check made out to Clark County. If the whole purpose is to show we owe a fee, then we’ll pay to the proper owner of the land. That was not the only check written to Clark County, we sent several. Also, in Clark County, there were 53 ranchers who owned rights. There is only a single one still out on the range. The BLM is not gaining revenue, it’s not important to them. My father could see they were there to manage him out of business. It’s not about grazing fees. In the BLM office there were signs that read: No more Moo by ‘92 and Cattle Free by ‘93! If it were only about the grazing fees, the fees would have been under $100,000 over 25 years. It is rumored, it may not be seen in evidence, but it is rumored that they spent $6 million on the operation. Who spends that and court costs rumored to be over $100 million to collect $100,000?
What is this about? The court orders. They say my father had an opportunity in the courts. The court wouldn’t consider states rights. They have forgotten they are servants of the people. We the people are the sovereign and ultimately, we the people are the government formed to meet needs that are better met by a group than by individuals. We are not slaves. We need to remember that. I think that’s forgotten. The definition of freedom is lost in America. When we have to have a license or ask permission to do everything, we are subjects.
Back to the charges – they claimed I went to Richfield and that the sheriff had to be called because we were causing such a ruckus—evidence will show otherwise—we boycott to influence to change ways – we protest to cause a change – these are first amendment rights – we do not get rights from the Bill of Rights – we have rights to begin with – it should be called the Prohibition of Government – we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, we can petition for a redress of grievances—rights we don’t want the government to mess with.
A redress is to find an answer, find a solution – one way to protest. The BLM put up first amendment zones – not much bigger than this courtroom – we called them pig pens – by creating that area, they were denying our right everywhere else – that’s what they used to arrest my brother – he was outside the pig pens. The first amendment has been protected over and over again in our history. There’s lots of media in the gallery today, they wouldn’t be happy to have their right to free speech taken. First amendment was put in the Supreme Law of the land, the Constitution – they shall make no law restricting these things… as you saw in the video yesterday, my brother was not impeding, not blocking, he was on a state road, on its right-of-way, simply to take pictures with his ipad of them stealing our cattle – they attacked him, threw him to the ground, rubbed his face in the ground. (emotional) The American public saw this and came not to impede or do harm. They came because they felt the spirit of the Lord, spirit of freedom and felt “we the people are not going to put up with that behavior”. It was not pointed out there were snipers on the hill, I witnessed that through binoculars and the evidence will show this.
Back to Richfield, Utah, evidence and witness testimony will show there was not a ruckus there that disrupted or shut down that auction. I called the sheriff – that’s the pattern – the local law enforcement and state brand inspectors in Nevada, Arizona and Utah and I had contact with the highway patrol, county commissioners in several counties and state officials – not all face to face, but some through phone calls. Is this what a criminal does? No. We were there protecting life, liberty, property. You saw the video of them hip chucking my Aunt Margaret, 50+ years of and just finished with cancer treatments, the mother of 11 children. They call these BLM guys law enforcement, but they are just BLM employees. All authority comes from we the people, we delegate authority to the county sheriff who we elect and he hires deputies and we then have a sheriff’s department to protect our life, our liberty, our property. Choosing for yourself is freedom and we have no right to impede or harm others. That’s God’s law. Man-made law is to follow that. Man is supposed to be free, not controlled, serfs or slaves. Government is to be our servant. The government went in and shut down 600,000 acres – not one of us ever went into their enclosed area and never impeded them. Even my brother driving into the dump truck… isn’t that impediment? The court order did not allow destruction of water infrastructure. What was a dump truck doing out there? Since that was beyond the scope of the supposed court order, we had a right to know. They could have stopped and answered our questions, but no, they set out attack dogs and tazers and threw Aunt Margaret to the ground. Every incident they are charging us with happened on property that belonged to the State of Nevada. Even if BLM had authority to close public land, they have no authority to close State of Nevada public land. The fence was on the State of Nevada land. Except by invitation, you will not see one of us breach that fence or impede the gather. We did not violate the court order. Dave went over the fence by the invitation of Dan Love and then the sheriff took over and asked for our help to take down the fence and then the cowboys, led by sheriffs squad cars went to release the cattle. The sheriff honored his oath and did his job. He should have done it sooner.
I love my family. I love them. I love this land. I love freedom. I am from the State of Nevada. I’m a true Nevadan. I mentioned before that Nevada became a state on Oct. 31st and we always got out of school on that day… I always thought we got out because it was my birthday. I’m a true Nevadan. I believe you are, too, and love freedom as much as I do. Freedom’s not being lost overseas – it’s lost right here at home in our back yards, our front yards. Until we are willing to do whatever it takes, liberty will be, is being lost. We are not anti-government! Government has its proper place and duties to perform. I want government to do its job. Nothing more. Nothing less. When government does more or less than its job, it becomes the criminal. When government damages our rights, it becomes the criminal. When someone harms or damages another’s life, liberty or property that is the definition of a criminal. Extortion, violence, pointing guns – everything we are charged with, they were doing and thousands of people came running – the world knew about this – China, Ireland (they sent us a flag), New Zealand and other countries – why? Because America stood for freedom and has for years and the world is interested in seeing how America (emotional) will deal with freedom. The world wants to know. The American people said, “yes, we will stand for freedom. Government, you’ve gone too far and we will put a stop to it.”
The courts have a place. It is said that We the People are the fourth branch of government. I say we are the first. The legislature to make laws, the executive to execute laws and the judicial to judge. All three branches are to protect your rights, our rights, freedom, liberty. Government does not have the authority in and of itself – man creates government to fulfill and protect rights. We the people give government the authority through the Constitution. The tenth amendment insures state’s rights.
Evidence will show my father and my brothers are innocent men. We need you to put on that paper that we are not guilty. You are the twelve to represent us, peers, equals, people…we the People.
Guns…lots of guns…scary…camo…freedom of speech…also, the right to bear arms, the second amendment…a militia was necessary. What is a militia? It is defined in the law. U.S. Code defines militia: “all able bodied men 17-45 years of age”. How many of you are a member of the militia? State of Nevada extended that and includes men up to the age of 64. How many of you now are a member of the Nevada militia? There is the organized militia, the National Guard and the unorganized militia – everyone else. Why did the Founding Fathers include the second amendment? Was it for duck hunting? No…no! Militia is mentioned six times in the Constitution. Such a small document and few things are mentioned more than the militia; the central government of this union and yet media or whatever wants to put a bad face on militia. Why did militia come to Bundy Ranch? To peacefully assemble, redress of grievances. No one was harmed except Davey, Ammon and Margaret. You will not see in evidence that we ever harmed anyone! They attack and we turned the other cheek. We were peaceful—insistent? Yes! And, Yes! Demanding. These men, these people did not come to seek an opportunity to point guns at the government. Hundreds, even thousands of people we didn’t know. That’s exemplary. These people came to do good. To protect me, to save my life. I had a sniper pointing at me, 200 armed men surrounding my home, my family (tearfully) Ryan Payne has been portrayed as a bad man. Evidence will show otherwise. He saved my life. He saved my life. Others came. I didn’t even meet most of them until I was in jail with them, may have seen them in passing, but I didn’t know them until jail. I honor and thank them now! I thank all who came. We only have rights we are willing to fight for. You’ll see evidence that I was nearly always with the sheriff or a deputy – always in communication with them – I was side-by-side with Lombardo.
Thank you for coming, for being here. I will still do whatever it takes. This is not a threat, it is determination. I love my freedom. Listen to the still small voice to discern between truth and error. The indictment and grand jury testimony is full of lies. Truth has been blocked in previous trials. Listen closely – we will try to get you the truth. The truth will set me free and I’m counting on you to help me see that.
I invite you to our ranch. I recognize your right to use the land. We want you to come and enjoy it. I thank you for this time. Please find me not guilty and these other men not guilty. Stand up for freedom. Thank you.
Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing.
The troubled loans, which total at least $5 billion, are at the center of a protracted legal dispute between the student borrowers and a group of creditors who have aggressively pursued them in court after they fell behind on payments.
Judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students, essentially wiping out their debt, because documents proving who owns the loans are missing. A review of court records by The New York Times shows that many other collection cases are deeply flawed, with incomplete ownership records and mass-produced documentation.
Some of the problems playing out now in the $108 billion private student loan market are reminiscent of those that arose from the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago, when billions of dollars in subprime mortgage loans were ruled uncollectible by courts because of missing or fake documentation. And like those troubled mortgages, private student loans — which come with higher interest rates and fewer consumer protections than federal loans — are often targeted at the most vulnerable borrowers, like those attending for-profit schools.
At the center of the storm is one of the nation’s largest owners of private student loans, the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts. It is struggling to prove in court that it has the legal paperwork showing ownership of its loans, which were originally made by banks and then sold to investors. National Collegiate’s lawyers warned in a recent legal filing, “As news of the servicing issues and the trusts’ inability to produce the documents needed to foreclose on loans spreads, the likelihood of more defaults rises.”
National Collegiate is an umbrella name for 15 trusts that hold 800,000 private student loans, totaling $12 billion. More than $5 billion of that debt is in default, according to court filings. The trusts aggressively pursue borrowers who fall behind on their bills. Across the country, they have brought at least four new collection cases each day, on average — more than 800 so far this year — and tens of thousands of lawsuits in the past five years.
Groopspeak| Senate Republicans are exempting themselves out of a revised Senate health care bill that lets insurers offer plans without essential health benefits like maternity care or mental health services.
The exemption will mandate that Congress has access to these benefits.
Insurers can offer plans without these benefits — unless they’re selling coverage to members of Congress and their staff, who are required to buy coverage on the health law marketplaces. The exemption says this part of the law still applies to any plans sold to Congress.
The language of this exemption is very similar to the exemption in the House repeal bill. It appears on page 167 of the bill, in this paragraph (bolding my own):
(d) NON-APPLICABLE PROVISIONS DESCRIBED. — The provisions described in this subsection are the following:
(1) Subsection (d) of section 1302 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 6 18022); except for the purposes of applying section 1302(b) to sections 1252, 1301(a)(2), 1312(d)(3)(D), 1331, 1333, and 1334 of such Act, subsection (b) of such section 1302; and subsection (c)(1)(B) of such section 1302.
To decode that language a little bit: The bolded text says that section 1302(b) will still apply to certain plans. Section 1302(b) is the part of the Affordable Care Act that spells out what is included in the essential health benefits.
The section then goes on to spell out which plans get to keep essential health benefits. It includes the plans specified in 1312(d)(3)(D) of the Affordable Care Act — the section that covers the health plans of members of Congress and their benefits.
This article by Michael Snyder was originally posted by The Economic Collapse.
The quote in the headline comes from Ron Paul, and it should be the goal of every conservative lawmaker in the entire country. When professional politicians tell you that they are in favor of reforming the tax code or reducing taxes a little bit, essentially what they are telling you is that they are perfectly fine with the status quo. They may want to tweak things slightly, but in general they are content with big taxes, big spending and big government.
I spent an entire year getting a Master of Laws in Taxation at the University of Florida Law School, and in my opinion the best thing that Congress could do to the tax code would be to run it through a shredder and put it in a dumpster.
As I noted the other day, the tax code is now more than four million words long and it takes Americans about six billion dollars a year to comply with it. Those that believe that they are offering the American people a “solution” by proposing to tinker with this abominable mess are just fooling themselves.
The only long-term solution that is going to work is to get rid of the entire steaming pile of garbage. Ron Paul understood this, and we would be very wise to take his advice. The following is the full version of the quote from the headline above…
“By the way, when I say cut taxes, I don’t mean fiddle with the code. I mean abolish the income tax and the IRS, and replace them with nothing.”
If I run for Congress, and I am very strongly leaning in that direction, this is what my position on taxes is going to be.
Of course we are going to have to dramatically change the composition of the House and the Senate in order to get this done, so in the short-term we may have to focus on reducing tax rates and the size of the tax code by as much as possible.
But ultimately, the goal will be to abolish the tax code and the IRS altogether.
We have become so accustomed to an income tax that many of us couldn’t possibly imagine a society without one. But today there are seven states that do not have one, and that includes very big states such as Texas and Florida. And from 1872 to 1913, there was no federal income tax. When a federal income tax was finally reinstituted in 1913, the rates were extremely low. The following comes from Politifact…
The 1913 law imposed a tax of 1 percent on income up to $20,000, for both individual and joint filers. However, exemptions from the tax — the first $3,000 of income for individuals and the first $4,000 for joint filers — meant “virtually all middle-class Americans” were excused from paying, according to W. Elliot Brownlee’s book, Federal Taxation in America. The law also put in place a graduated surtax on incomes above $20,000; the highest rate paid, 7 percent, applied to Americans making more than $500,000 (about $11.4 million in 2011 dollars).
So how did things go for our country during the four decades when there was no federal income tax?
Well, if you regularly follow my work you already know the answer to that question.
That period of time just happened to be the best period of economic growth in U.S. history.
Oh, but we wouldn’t want to change from the way things work today, would we? After all, the U.S. economy has grown at a blistering average yearly rate of just 1.33 percent over the past decade, and we are actually behind that pace so far in 2017.
If you want a no growth economy and a steadily shrinking middle class, then our current system is perfect for you.
But I believe that we can do so much better.
So how are we going to fund the federal government if we eliminate the income tax?
Well, the truth is that taxing individual incomes accounts for only 46.2 percent of all federal revenue. The federal government has lots of other ways that it raises money, but of course we wouldn’t be able to keep the massively bloated federal bureaucracy that we have today. We would need to reduce the size and scope of the federal government to an appropriate constitutional level, and of course most politicians on the left would resist this greatly.
There are some federal agencies and programs that we could completely eliminate altogether. If it was up to me, the EPA, the Department of Education and the BATFE would be good places to start. Any essential functions that they are currently performing could easily be absorbed by other agencies.
There are very few politicians in our entire country that will still talk like this, because our leaders have taken us so far down the road toward “a social state” that most Americans don’t even know what “limited government” looks like anymore.
I would like to share with you an old newspaper clipping that was posted to Facebook by Get Involved, You Live Here…
Over the past several decades, the left has made a tremendous amount of progress toward achieving the goals that Saul Alinsky originally outlined in Rules for Radicals. Obamacare was a giant step toward federal control over our healthcare system, poverty is exploding as the middle class shrinks, we are nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt, our public schools have become left-wing indoctrination centers, and God has been pushed out of almost every corner of public life.
We should be very thankful that we got Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton, but many radical leftists consider Trump to simply be a bump in the road on the way to completely eradicating our way of life.
They want to criminalize what we believe by making it “hate speech”, they want to steal the minds of the next generation by dominating our system of education, and they want to use government institutions and the legal system as tools to completely reshape society in their image.
The only way that we are going to defeat this tyranny is if we stand up and fight for our country, and that is precisely what we are going to do.
After a series of delays, as a legislature obviously embarrassed by its own actions dithered, the State House finally approved of the Senate’s override of the governor’s veto with a 71-42 vote, burdening the state with a massive income tax hike. It was a vote that saw ten of the state’s Republican contingent abandon Republican values and join the Democrats in approval.
Thursday’s vote permanently increases the state’s personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. It also raises the burden on businesses, raising the rate from 5.9 percent to seven. It all amounts to a 32 percent hike for the average Illinoisan and a $5 billion tax hike overall.
The new tax hike is all the more galling because Illinois already has the highest property taxes in the nation, a fact that often forces retirees out of their homes to flee to other states. This is also a situation not lost on the state’s black American population, either. Illinois is witnessing a growing number of its African-American citizens moving out of the state, with Chicago and Cook County residents leaving at the fastest rate.
On Thursday, Illinois Democratic House leader Michael Madigan only needed three Republicans to jump ship and vote his way, but not only did he get a whopping ten to do so, he also got five others who didn’t even bother to vote. An additional five joined him in the early rounds of deliberations, so Democrat Madigan knew he had the Republican votes going into the matter.
Thursday’s vote came after the House and the Senate passed the gigantic tax package this week only to have Illinois’ Republican Governor, Bruce Rauner, veto the bill. Despite the veto, on Wednesday the Senate voted to override the governor’s pen, sending the final vote back to the House. But all day Wednesday, Speaker Madigan could not get enough lawmakers together to make a quorum.
The task of overriding the veto was put off until Thursday, but even then, the vote was temporarily halted when police put the capitol building into lockdown after discovering a mysterious white powder in the governor’s Capitol office. The shutdown only lasted a short time, and, in due course, the vote was back on.
Finally, by early evening on Thursday, the deed was done, and the tax hike was approved. The state that is losing more citizens to out-migration than any other state, one with the lowest number of new jobs being created, and one losing business in droves just saddled its people with even higher taxes and with no budget reforms made and no cuts in spending implemented to boot.
Indeed, there was even more spending included in the disastrous budget deal. Some of the earmarks added into the deal include $12.7 million for the construction of a new classroom building at the College of Lake County, $10 million for the construction of a city center campus at Joliet Junior College, $15 million for a Chicago Metra station, plus much more.
The one thing the bill lacks is any cuts in spending or any budget reforms. This inadequacy does nothing to stave off the threat to the state’s bond rating which is already one of the poorest in the nation.
This article by Jeremiah Johnson was originally published by SHTFplan.com.
A little more than a week ago it was announced that Whole Foods was bought by Amazon.com for just under $14 billion. One of the major problems with this is that Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon has deep ties with the CIA and the Federal government.
Wal-Mart being fully in the government’s pocket and now Whole Foods brought under thumb as well, how much longer before Kissinger’s “Food as a Weapon” principle is brought to bear?
A good article was just released by Jon Rappaport entitled Buy your food from the CIA: Amazon buys Whole Foods, that is worth reading.
As if that connection is not nefarious enough, there is more: it appears a new cloud technology is being produced for the CIA from…you guessed it…none other than the CIA, as is excerpted here:
The intelligence community is about to get the equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the chest. This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. If the technology plays out as officials envision, it will usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily and avoid the kind of intelligence gaps that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“The Details About the CIA’s Deal with Amazon,”
www.theatlantic.com on 6/17/17
Guess the data center that ran taxpayers billions that is in Utah is not enough, nor the fusion centers in every state. Did you like “…a new era of cooperation and coordination…” between the friendly agencies? And all to “avoid intelligence gaps,” just for your protection, right?
They are tightening the screws, little by little, while they refine all the control mechanisms and place that security web over their number one target: the American people.
They are taking control of the food supply incrementally.
Water? Yes, here in Montana, the state just sent out a form for property owners to declare their water rights…as the CKST (Confederated Kootenai &Salish Tribes) Water Compact was passed into law in Montana in 2014. Actions will be taken within the next two years.
As enumerated in other articles, Montana kicked in $3 million after the liberals in the state House and Senate, as well as the liberal governor, Bullock (D, MT) signed the water compact into law. The shortfall is $8 million, as the total state commitment was $11 million. They are just waiting for the Senate to ratify this as a Federal treaty, and then they can (ostensibly on “behalf” of the Indian Tribes) place meters on everyone’s wells…off of the reservation…and “manage” the water on behalf of the Indian Tribes…enforced by DHS. This is a small slice of the country as a whole.
They are following full speed ahead with the Agenda 21 Directive to take over everyone’s food, water, land…everything.
A war will surely enable them to throw the Executive Order 13603 into action to confiscate and control every resource in the United States, including human labor…slave labor, to be precise. Incrementally they place these laws into effect, and the stultified public, thinking only of the next barbeque and fireworks party is dumbed down into inactivity.
There’s enough going on in the international arena that is capturing everyone’s attention, such as North Korea’s missile tests and threats, China’s aggressive South China Sea/Senkaku islands maneuvering, and the Syrian debacle unfolding with the U.S. ratcheting up the tough-talk of blaming Russia and Iran for any “Syrian chemical attack” that comes along.
Russia also just deployed a new satellite, and there is the possibility that in a televised broadcast, he sent out a message to “sleeper” agent in the West. See the article by Stefan Stanford entitled Vladimir Putin sends message to ‘Russian Sleeper Agents’ in West as Russia Launches Top Secret Military Satellite.
“Hammer and Anvil” usually refers to a military maneuver to crush an enemy force between two friendly elements. This maneuver is being employed here and now, as well: either crush the United States and enslave its people domestically, with an economic collapse or civil war, or just initiate a war with another country and enslave the citizenry afterward.
Either way, they are pushing their agenda forward each day. It is just a matter of time to find out which of the two vehicles…international war or domestic tyranny…that they will employ to obtain their globalist and totalitarian objectives.
About the author: Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.