Tag Archives: entitlements

THE TRUTH ABOUT INSURANCE

With cleanup and rescue efforts still ongoing in parts of Louisiana, the topic of insurance coverage for floods has been discussed widely on social media and in the general media. As I read commentary, I’m noticing more and more that people are surprised, perhaps shocked that flood damage to many of the houses is not covered by insurance. To put it bluntly, these folks are on their own, with many losing virtually everything.

Having spent all but about ten years of my corporate America career working for insurance companies, not only in claims, but also in IT, I can tell you that insurance is not a welfare program, it’s a business. People pay insurance premiums, the insurance company collects those premiums and invests portions in order to earn a rate of return. Depending on how the company decides who is and who isn’t an insurable risk, they shouldn’t have to pay claims for every risk they insure. If the premiums collected exceed the amount in losses paid out, the company has made an underwriting profit. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes wise investments enable the company to be profitable, and some years, companies do lose money. Of course, we’re all aware that like all other industries, insurance companies do go out of business. I indicated above that insurance is not a welfare program. A poor person is not entitled to more claims’ money that a rich person incurring the same type of loss.

Do people cheat insurance companies and get by with it? Absolutely. I did it once when I was in college. It was the classic fender-bender where the at fault party’s insurer told me to send them two estimates and they would issue s check to me for the lower amount. I got three estimates, forwarded the two highest estimates to the insurer and had the vehicle repaired at the place that gave me the lowest estimate. While this is perfectly legal, it does increase premiums.

Here is a link to an article that explains the reasoning behind private insurance companies’ not covering losses due to flood damage. It also explains the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood Insurance: The Homeowner’s Guide. Flood Insurance: The Homeowner’s Guide

When a tornado or straight line winds whip through areas, not every dwelling or building is going to incur damages and not all dwellings are going to incur the same type and amount of damages. But when water rises, all dwelling and buildings in the water’s path are going to be damaged severely and most like rendered a total loss. Covering flood damage is just not profitable.

I’ve heard it said that the Louisiana flooding is a once in a thousand year event. Should those people have had flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program? I don’t know, hindsight’s 20/20. Most people don’t have it. I don’t because I live on the side of a hill.
Again, insurance is a business, not an entitlement program. Going forward, I hope all will keep that in mind when procuring insurance for your vehicles, your dwelling(s), your businesses, your health, and even your life.

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CANDIDATES’ STANDS ON THE ISSUES

The website, ConservativeReview.com is the best site I’ve found for illustrating where the different Republican presidential candidates stand on the issues. The issues it lists are as follows:

  • Budget, Spending, and Debt
  • Civil Liberties
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Foreign Policy and Defense
  • Free Market
  • Health Care and Entitlements
  • Immigration
  • Moral Issues
  • Second Amendment
  • Taxes, Economy, and Trade

On the scorecard page, the website administrators give the candidates green, yellow, or red dots for their stand on each of the above issues. Green means good, yellow means mixed, and red means bad. For example, candidate Donald Trump was awarded a green dot for his stance on immigration because he wants to deport all illegals and build a wall on the United States/Mexico border. On the other hand, Mr. Trump is given a red dot on Free Market because he supports the seizure of private land for economic development by private investors, he supported President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, and he supported TARP.

An eyeball review of the colored dots indicates that Ted Cruz is the most conservative, being awarded 10 green dots and 1 yellow dot. The yellow dot was for Free Market. Lindsey Graham looks to be the most liberal having been awarded 8 red dots, 3 yellow dots, and no green dots. Cruz and libertarian, Rand Paul were the only candidates who received no red dots. Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, and Lindsey Graham were the only candidates that did not receive a green dot.

Of the eight candidates that participated in the “primary debate” telecasted by Fox Business Network on November 10, Carly Fiorina was awarded the most red dots, 7.

By clicking on a dot under a particular candidates’ picture, you will be directed to a page with content outlining the details of each candidates’ stances.

Because we’ve all grown up with government provided safety nets and become used to them, no one is a pure conservative Furthermore, most of us are not in favor of eliminating government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment compensation.

I’m not about to outline the details of the top eight candidates’ stances on all of the above issues. You can do that yourself. However, the following will give a brief description of Donald Trump’s and Dr. Ben Carson’s stances on the issues that are the most important to me and possibly to you, also.

Donald Trump

Healthcare/Entitlements: Has said, “I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country. However, he has advocated for universal healthcare in a system similar to the Canadian system and has indicated that our objective should be to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice.

Energy/Environment: Believes that climate change is a hoax. Advocates utilizing America’s natural energy and oil resources. Supports fracking and nuclear energy. Opposes cap and trade policies. Did support the renewable fuel mandate.

Tax Plan: Reduces the top marginal rates on individuals from 39.6% to 25%. The plan has a bottom rate of 0%, a tax bracket for anyone making between $25 and $50 thousand. Reduce the corporate rate to 15%. Reduce capital gains and dividend taxes. Eliminate death tax.

Immigration: Wants to build a wall on our southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. Opposes amnesty for illegals. Supports ending the birthright citizenship loophole frequently employed by illegals. Said he would deport any Syrian refugees let into the United States by the Obama administration.

Foreign Policy: Sees Obama as a serious threat to Israel. Says he has an absolute way of defeating ISIS that would be decisive and quick, but wouldn’t do so until ISIS toppled Syrian dictator, Bashir al-Assad. Opposed nuclear talks with Iran. Opposed the second Iraq War. Made the case for not removing troops immediately from Iraq because of the potential for Iraq to become radicalized by Iran. Believes U.S. forces have no role in the Middle East.

Dr. Ben Carson

Healthcare/Entitlements: Has said that Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. Supports health savings accounts and other free-market reforms in place of Obamacare. Believes that any fix to the long-term solvency of Social Security must start by gradually the age seniors become eligible for benefits based on the rise in life expectancy.

Energy/Environment: Opposes policies aimed at regulating climate change and supports increased energy production. Believes that developing our energy resources is a key component of world peace. Believes the EPA’s responsibilities should be focused on working with the private industry and academia to find the safest and cleanest ways to utilize our natural resources.

Tax Plans: Has proposed a ten percent flat tax based on the biblical concept of tithing. But has said that the 10% number is not necessarily the number he would propose. Has said that Obama is wrong that raising the minimum wage will reduce income inequality. Has said that he supports raising the minimum wage, a form of government wage controls. Proposed the democrat idea of indexing the minimum wage to inflation so that we never have to have this conversation again in the history of America. Opposed passing Trade Promotion Authority to give Obama fast-track authority.

Immigration: Supports a national guest-worker program. Said that immigration reform should start by ending 5incentives for illegal immigrants. When asked about a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in 2013, he said, “of course allow illegal immigrants to have a pathway to citizenship.

Foreign Policy: Has indicated simplistically that the solution for combatting terrorism is not war, but ending our oil dependency on Arab states, stating, “the terrorists will be defunded, and that’s the way you get them.” Blames low morale and weakness in our current military on the sequester spending cuts. Strong supporter of Israel. Called the Iran deal the worst deal in American history. Has shown a lack of understanding of the way foreign governments work.

In subsequent posts, I will continue outlining candidates’ stances on these issues. However to obtain additional details, which you will surely need to determine which candidate gets your vote, visit the conservativereview.com site.

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LIBERALS GONE WILD – PART TWO

Everyone knows by now that the current President has accused Fox Cable News of continually disparaging the poor of this nation. Furthermore, he has said that we need to change the way we report the news. This comment is chilling in and of itself because it appears that the current President doesn’t realize that we have freedom of the press in this nation and that a free and independent media is necessary to the survival of our Republic.

The current President went on to indicate that Fox Cable News continuously disparages the poor of this nation, calling them lazy, sponges, and leeches. I watch Fox News extensively and I’ve never heard anyone on Fox News calling poor people lazy, sponges, and leeches. The current president used the word, “continuously,” also. Yes, there are discussions about this country’s entitlement programs and their lack of effectiveness. And yes, there are people, including myself, who feel that these programs are ineffective and have trapped less fortunate Americans into a life of poverty of which they will never be able to free themselves. That’s not exactly disparaging or shaming the poor.

On Thursday, May 14, a liberal Facebook friend of mine posted a video of Stuart Varney, Fox Business Personality on the John Stewart show. Also in the video were a couple of clips from Fox Cable News. John Stewart was slamming Fox News for berating poor people. Most of the posters were liberal and I got into the fray.

The following is my first response to the post: “I’m a conservative blogger and watch Fox News at least six hours a day and have been doing so since the late nineties. I have never, and I mean never heard anyone on Fox News refer to poor people as lazy, sponges, leeches, etc. AGAIN, NEVER HAVE I HEARD THIS! What I have heard indicated on Fox News and I’ve indicated the same on my own blog is that the liberal policies of the current President and many of his Democrat predecessors have created an entitlement or nanny state where people have come to expect the government to be their caretaker. Furthermore, if any of you liberals can produce a video where someone on Fox News has continually called poor people lazy, sponges, leeches, etc., please forward it to me.”

Another poster responded to my comment, asking me if I had watched the video and the following is what I posted back to her: “The first time I listened to it (I need some sort of update on my computer, so I couldn’t view it) I only got about half way through it because it was so imbecilic, so I clicked off of it. I did, however force myself to listen to it a second time. Except for the very last segment of the video where things got a little confusing, nowhere did I hear Stu Varney calling poor people leeches, sponges, lazy. What I did understand and truly believe is that because of liberal policies, we have become an entitlement or nanny state. Stu Varney also said during the video that he was talking about programs, particularly the food stamp program and not the recipients of those programs. At the end, I heard the term sponging used as in the fact that so many liberal programs have created a class of people that do sponge off the government. I then heard to term leeches and it appeared to be again in reference to the liberal policies that have created so much dependence on the government and actually do have poor people trapped. So much of this was taken out of context that it’s hard to determine the extent of the comments. I’m going to get picky and say that most of this video was not of Fox News. A little bit at the end may have been extracted from Fox News. It is my observation that parts of this video were taken out of context. Mr. Stewart is alleging that much of the broadcasting on Fox News is that of calling poor people lazy, leeches, sponges. IT IS NOT! Rather it’s the liberal policies that are discussed and it is indicated that these policies are creating groups of people that are dependent on the government. You and most of the posters may totally disagree with me and that’s fine. My purpose here is not to discuss the merits of more or less entitlement spending. But the fact that Fox News consistently puts down poor people is just false.”

The following are replies to me:

  • The videos are pretty clear. If you haven’t heard these things, you must have had you fingers in your ears while yelling “LALALA” while it was going on.
  • So Dumb

On Friday, May 14, I was able to view the video instead of just listening to is and here was my response after viewing it: “This morning, I was able to watch instead of just listening to the video that is the subject of this post. After having watched it, I found it even more imbecilic than I did when I was only able to listen to it. Everything was taken out of context. We were given words, phrases, and the occasional sentence and had no idea what was being said before or after. In addition, we had to deal with John Stewart’s profanity throughout the video. Furthermore, the audience was laughing. If the number one cable news network is continually disparaging the poor, it shouldn’t be a laughing matter. Once again, this video is a joke with everything in it having been taken out of context. While all but a few of you have disparaged me, I now have fodder for several blog posts.”

This is the response I received: “This moron is so clueless!”

This post turned into the gift that keeps on giving. One responder gave me a link to an article on mediamatters.org, one of the most egregious left wing smear merchants. This article showcased examples of what the author felt was Fox News shaming the poor. Skimming the article, I discovered that I could pick it apart easily. Here are a few, but not all of the examples in the article.

  •  Fox Hosts: Our coverage is “Honest” And Those Who Don’t Wish to be Poor Should get a Job: I watched this video in its entirety. The Fox and Friends hosts and Stuart Varney expressed frustration at the increase in the number of recipients of food stamps and other entitlement programs. Fox and Friends’ Host, Steve Docey said at the end of the segment that to not be poor, you should have a job. This is exactly right. This was not disparaging the poor, this was telling us what our parents probably told us as we were growing up and making the transition from childhood to adulthood. As long as one relies on government handouts, they’re going to be poor. No one ever got rich off of handouts. The only way to get out of poverty is to get a job and work your way out of it. That’s the reason we conservatives want to get as many people off of handouts that we can because we want everyone to be prosperous.
  • Obama called out Fox News for Showcasing folks who are Scamming the System on his Watch: Fox News Reporter, Phil Rosen, discussed this and verified that at one time the current President attempted to get Fox News kicked out of the network pool. There was a bit of disconnect here because Phil went on to indicated that the current president had to back-peddle and apologize for the disastrous roll-out of the Obamacare website. Phil went on to state the fact that Fox News is number one and is far ahead of many other news outlets. He gave two reasons for this: (1) People think Fox News is a slanted arm of the Republican party and the folks still prefer to get their news from Fox anyway. (2) The people of Fox News are stupid and unenlightened according to the “tolerant left.” Also, in the last 50 years since the implementation of Lyndon Johnson’s great society, American taxpayers have paid approximately $15 trillion dollars into the system. Yet the poverty rate among Americans as dropped 19% to 14.5%, not particularly significant. Furthermore, children in poverty has gone unchanged.
  • Obama said that Fox News has called the poor lazy, sponges, leeches, etc.: He ways that if we continually watch Fox News that we’re going to hear this. This is not true. Either the current president is lying or folks who report to him are lying.
    There are other examples cited in the Media Matters article and I’ll pick them apart in my next post.

Why am I spending so much time on this, you may ask? I believe in a free press. It’s essential to the survival of our democratic republic. We must hold government accountable and ask as many questions as necessary, even though the questions may not be popular with our elected officials.BHO said that we needed to change the way we report the news. Well, Mr. President, you’re not in charge of reporting the news, neither is your administration. That attitude or perspective is anti-American.

Criticizing a news outlet publicly should be beneath the President of the United States. He says these things that are lies, these lies get picked up and reported in the mainstream media where low-information voters get their news. Low information voters accept these lies as facts and vote accordingly.

Thus, I think what has happened in the last few days is important and I intend to post at least one more time on this.

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