Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Real Hunger Games


Let’s hope 2014 turns out better for the U.S.A. than 2013; an estimated 14.5 million American households had difficulty providing enough food for their families over the last year.

In seven million of those homes, at least one member of the family had to skip meals or eat less because of a stretched budget. These numbers are more or less unchanged since 2008!

In the richest country on earth, 50 million of us, one in six Americans . . . goes hungry. More than a third of them are children.

The media has, for the most part, ignored the fact that national poverty rates have been rising under the Obama Administration over the last four years at least.

Last year’s national poverty rate of 15% is still near the Great Recession’s high of 15.1% according to U.S. Census figures.

Although the regular jobless rate is at its lowest level in five years and the stock market has surpassed its pre-recession high, the economic gains have not reached many poor urban residents.

The Census Bureau reported in 2012 that 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty, as full-time jobs became increasingly harder to find and the median income — the midpoint in household income — was 1.5 percent lower than it was in 2010. 20.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. That means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or about $10,000 a year for a family of four.

While President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Debby Wasserman Schultz and the rest of the transparent administration insist that our economy is improving as they live in their beltway Shangri la, there are growing reports of economic suffering across the country.

Catholic charities’ food banks said they were seeing many more people in need of food and other assistance in December 2013 alone.

The Bronx Spanish Evangelical Church is feeding more people than ever, too, with its food pantry giving out the equivalent of over 29,000 meals in November, up from 10,000 in March of this year.

Children, men and women wait hours for a bag of groceries at a food pantry. Many of the hungriest are children and the elderly. Many have jobs whose hours and salaries have been cut particularly in the wake of Obamacare’s implementation.

Poor people tend to go where there are higher paying jobs, another factor that contributes to the increase in illegal immigration. Are you seeing how all of the pieces fit together?

Most Americans, however, do not see these food lines because they’re working and the media does little to provide a window into a trend that’s not flattering for the incumbent Democrat establishment. But reality is what it is, and people who need food are lining up every day in cities and towns across the country.

Increasing the minimum wage does not do much to reduce inequality significantly either. It can’t, because as I mentioned above, the minimum wage actually bars the most unskilled labor market participants from working at all.

Under Obama, wages are flat, jobs are scarce, incomes are dropping like a stone, everyone’s broke and 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

“Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com last week.

Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults.

Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all….

Last week, online lender CashNetUSA said 22% of the 1,000 people it recently surveyed had less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency, while 46% had less than $800. After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn’t enough money left over for saving more.

According to Gallup, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy the food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year.

A Feeding America hunger study found more than 37 million people are now using food pantries and soup kitchens, one out of six Americans is now living in poverty which is the highest level since the 1960s, and that the gap between the rich and poor is greater than any in history.

The D.C. class isn’t suffering. For Thanksgiving Dinner, the Obama’s had Turkey, honey-baked ham., cornbread stuffing, oyster stuffing, greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner Rolls, Huckleberry pie, pecan Pie, chocolate cream pie, sweet potato pie, peach pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, banana cream pie, coconut cream pie.

A little excess on a national holiday normally wouldn’t be a big deal if it weren’t for the political class segregating themselves from those subjected to their rules, their mandates, and the dire consequences.

This Christmas season, while Obama and his family enjoy their $5 million, 17 day Hawaiian vacation during the season of charity and good will, food remains a very distant dream for far too many Americans.

Is this how Obama repays the millions of people who supported him, who believed in him, and who voted him into office?

The latest data indicates that many of those same people are beginning to wake up and see what Obama is really all about; unfortunately, it’s empty stomachs rather than open minds driving the change in public opinion.

Happy New Year.

The Real Hunger Games

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Minimum Wage for Minimum Achievement

I am sick and tired of hearing the whiners complain, Save Jerseyans, particularly about how Wal-Mart, McDonalds and the like don’t pay enough.

That is precisely why we supposedly have a free market; if you don’t like the job you are in at the moment, you are “free” to get an education and leave for a better position.
McDonald’s wasn’t meant to be a career choice or your dream job, nor was it designed to pay a livable wage.

It is an entry level job, a job that teaches an unskilled person people skills, the ability to learn how to count, make change, and what it means to be on time for your shift . . . responsibility.

McDonald’s, dishwashers and start up positions like it are jobs for those who have no prior work experience, or to supplement ones income.

It is a proving ground to learn the skills needed in business, a stepping stone to the corporate world.
There are workers who complain they have worked 10 years flipping burgers without a raise. If you are flipping burgers for 10 years and didn’t take the initiative in all those years to educate yourself, it comes down to plain laziness.

These jobs were meant for high school students, college students and people looking for a PT job for a little extra cash. Even now, in the Obama economy, the vast majority of these positions are filled by young kids or folks earning a secondary household income.

Expecting to earn a wage to support a family, pay your rent, groceries, car insurance and medical bills was brought on by many who lacked an education and now expect to survive on the backs of all those who learned the skills needed to better themselves.

Coming here without an education and then complaining you don’t earn enough to get an education is not everyone else’s responsibility. The ineptness and incompetency of those low wage earners is not the obligation of everyone else that worked those jobs to gain the job skills need to move forward and ahead.

It is unfair to those who were employed in those low skilled jobs while working their way through school, to pay more for a product simply because the current crop of low wage earners now feel this is now their permanent job. To add insult to injury, hourly pay for these jobs is now tied-in with the cost of living.

Keep in mind that these are the same minimum wage earners who can’t make change when the power goes out, because the computer isn’t able to tell them how much change you get back, but yet feel that after years of flipping a burger or washing dishes feel they deserve a raise simply because of longevity.

One reason out of many that minimum wage jobs are becoming a scarcity for today’s teenagers is due to a lack of turnover because these are the new full-time jobs for the uneducated or unmotivated.

As minimum wage increases, along with the COLA, increased costs will be passed on to the consumer. The end result is we just created a higher minimum wage without creating any great impetus for social mobility in an American society desperately in need of it!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Obama's Absurd Healthcare Fix

Obama is now back tracking saying you can keep your health plan. Well just how do you do that after you received your cancellation notice?

Obama also says most people won’t want to, anyway, and that anyone who’s had an individual policy canceled to look at what’s available at Healthcare.gov
before they look to reinstate their old policy.

This guy is a walking book of contradictions.

Roughly 85% of Americans have insurance. Out of a population of approximately 317 million, about 11 million people have policies on the individual market. 

Out of that 11 million, at least 4.2 million Americans have been sent cancellation notices by their insurers.  People, who were kicked off of a plan they liked and could afford that, are now facing higher premiums and deductibles.

Aside from the reason why Obamacare had to be passed for 10% of the nation’s population, insurance companies and commissioners across the country now face the daunting task of deciding how they are going to handle already-cancelled health-care policies under the president’s new administrative ‘fix’ for the Affordable Care Act.

By reinstating cancelled policies, that means that these insurance companies will need to issue coverage that doesn’t meet Affordable Care Act standards.

And it’s not so easy for an insurance company to reinstate a policy, because those companies need to plan premiums and budget for expenses far in advance of issuing a policy.

Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the new law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers, as premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace.

Each state has regulations of its own that a plan needs to comply with before it can be offered. Many of those canceled plans no longer meet state regulations; even ones that do would need to be approved by the responsible state agency and with less than two months to go in the calendar year, it won’t happen.

It’s almost the New Year and a quick fix for this mess won’t be that swift.
The insurance companies better have all hands on deck to prepare for this administration’s 2014 mid-term, because if this so called temporary fix doesn’t work it won’t be Obama’s fault as their ship heads towards Davy Jones Locker.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

18th District Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan feels that the Assembly position is his job for life.
He doesn't believe in the election process and is outraged that someone would dare challenge him for his seat.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The New Citizen Bill

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog
ImmigrationThe current bill before the House of Representatives is not an immigration bill, Save Jerseyans. Let’s call it what it is . . . a ‘Citizenship Bill.’
Roughly 5.5 million illegals came to America via legal work or vacation visas and overstayed their welcome. That makes them illegal, a form of backdoor fraud. If this bill is passed in the House, it would bring in 33 million immigrants over the next 10 years; anyone who is not a citizen and granted amnesty without earning citizenship should lose their right to sponsorship.
There are about 40 million immigrants living in the United States. A little less than 28 percent, or 10.5 million, have crossed the border illegally and are violating U.S. law. Illegals are 3.5% of the US population . . . 28 percent of all immigrants is here illegally.
Of the 11.7 million Mexican immigrants that live in the United States, about 5.85 million are here illegally. There is no shortage of workers; it is about what companies are willing to pay to get the job done.

Teenagers and minorities are already struggling to find work and with 22.5 million Americans out of work, the passing of this bill will only enforce low wages. Unemployment and non-work is already significant among less-educated Americans. The low-education level of many immigrants not only means that they compete with less-educated American citizens, but it is the primary reason so many immigrants live in or near poverty, lack health insurance and use the welfare system. It’s also another reason wages and benefits have generally stagnated or declined in recent years.
Contrary to what the media leads us to believe with the mantra that “immigrants’ only do jobs Americans don’t want” the overwhelming majority of low-wage jobs are done by less-educated native-born Americans, not immigrants.
Illegal aliens are largely poor and uneducated, draining the welfare and public education systems. Immigrant use of social services might not be a problem if they generally paid more in taxes than native-born Americans. However the median income of immigrant households is 21 percent lower than that of native households, and immigrant households are 36 percent larger on average. Immigrants tend to pay less in taxes than natives, but tend to use more in services. Not to say that immigrants do not pay taxes; even illegal immigrants pay some taxes. However, it is a fiscal drain as more goes out in the form of benefits than what actually comes in.
Illegal low-skilled immigrants paid less in taxes than they took in benefits, leaving the US with a shortfall over $2 trillion.
Many illegals do not carry health insurance. About 62 percent of illegals, or about 6.5 million, lack health insurance.
Illegals bank-wired over $15 billion outside the U.S. through Wal-Mart alone. Legalizing 12 million uneducated low earning workers will cost an additional $48.6 billion in healthcare from 2014-2019.
Illegals break immigration and employment laws and often involved in ID theft to get a Social Security number.
Illegal aliens file Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) reporting multiple children as dependents and get additional Child Tax Credits for children “back home,” fraud which is currently over $4 billion.
This will have an effect on all of America, including but not limited to the less-educated, public schools, health care providers and taxpayers who will definitely feel the long term consequences. They always do every time Washington puts political expediency ahead of common sense and  justice.

- See more at: http://savejersey.com/2013/07/the-new-citizen-bill/#sthash.T7nFqC1c.dpuf

Buono’s Hypocrisy By the Numbers, Part 2

Years of Failed Trenton Democrat Policies Destroyed New Jersey’s Public Pension System

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog


State House TrentonIn 1990 we were in a recession, Save Jerseyans, and Governor James Florio responded with a $2.8 billion income and sales tax increase to balance the budget. Facing a budget shortfall, he also turned to the state pension system. With just about unanimous support in the legislature, he pushed through the Pension Revaluation Act of 1992, lifting the projected rate of return on the fund’s investments to 8.75% from 7%.


Yes, Christine Todd Whitman invested the pensions into the stock market, but no one was complaining when the funds were making money. She left in 2000 and the funds continued to do well with annual investment returns of 8.75 percent until the dot.com bust of 2001 when the markets took a massive dive.


Pension underfunding and budget shortfalls were also caused by decisions made, and actions taken, well after the GOP governor left office. In 2002, James McGreevey had hoped that professional money managers would improve the plan’s returns. He was wrong…


Florio was the first to use the pension fund as a fallback in a time of crisis, but the combo of the Florio and Whitman pension policies were both led to the downfall of the pension system.

Even with decisions made after Whitman, the fund’s returns had pretty much tracked the broad stock markets. The real problem can be traced to 20 years of underfunding.


Look at the history: in 2001, benefits for the NJ’s government employees and teachers were increased by 9%, creating an additional $4.2 billion in underfunded liabilities. In 1999, the state approved a “20 and out” measure that allowed firefighters and local police to collect pensions equal to 50% of their pay after 20 years of service. A perk that was previously available only to the state police. Benefits added since 1999 have increased liabilities by more than $6.8 billion alone!


Even if the pension payments owed were made, as long as double dipping, pay-for-play, no show jobs, paid for life benefits are permitted to mushroom, New Jersey taxpayers will always be stuck playing a cruel (and unaffordable) game of catch up. Is it any wonder why we continue to run deficits heading into every budgeting cycle?


The problem isn’t so much the pensions themselves. For the real problem, look to the escalating number of people receiving pensions and the actual amount of their increases since only 2003. The number of public employees receiving annual government pensions of at least $75,000 or earning government salaries of at least $100,000 or more with above average benefits is staggering. Double and triple dipping pensioners subsist at the expense of the average government worker and NJ taxpayer; throughout that entire period of time, not one legislator made tackling this problem a priority.


That includes Chris Christie’s 2013 gubernatorial election opponent, Barbara Buono.


Many of the positions are not worth the salaries paid, and they’re only used as a catalyst to boost salaries for higher retirement pay.


Retirees paid 80% of their former salaries with health and other perks included… who thought THAT was a good idea?


And you think your taxes are high now, Save Jerseyans? By 2018, state taxpayers will begin paying more than $5 billion a year for pensions, about 10 times higher than the current payments being made. Matt Rooney recently said “the pension bomb is still ticking.” Are Trenton Democrats deaf to it? Or is this just one giant game of chicken where the taxpayers are the only ones with skin to lose?


You can place the blame anywhere you want, but before Chris Christie arrived in Trenton, not a soul took affirmative steps to address the core problem. 


- See more at: http://savejersey.com/2013/06/buonos-hypocrisy-by-the-numbers-pt2/#more-109041

Buono’s Hypocrisy by the Numbers

A Detailed History of How Democrat Governors (and Their Legislative Allies) Destroyed New Jersey’s Fiscal Health

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog
A screenshot from Governor Chris Christie's first 2013 attack ad aimed at Barbara Buono's voting record.
A screenshot from Governor Chris Christie’s first 2013 attack ad aimed at Barbara Buono’s voting record.

Yes, we have the highest taxes due to the last two previous administrations. Have you ever wondered why?

Barbara Buono can spin all she likes! Let’s take our time to examine how we got here, figure by figure, just in case there’s any confusion:

Corzine and McGreevey combined added over 154 tax increases. A budget that was in the toilet, the state was going broke, and Corzine was writing checks knowing the well was running dry. On July 15, 2006, the sales tax was raised from 6% to 7% that was supposed to fund our rebates and the following year there was no rebate. So we funded our own rebate and, the following year, there wasn’t any money as a result.

Tax and spend, spend and tax with Barbara Buono supporting the tax increases all along the way. Now she is running on a platform of. . . cutting taxes?

In July of 2009, Corzine boasted that “13,000 private sector jobs were added last month because of our business-friendly policies,” when in actuality the state lost 3,100 jobs in June of 2009. Jon Corzine claimed he created 13,000 jobs, but his actions after his inauguration proved that facts often speak differently than rhetoric. Faced with an unemployment toll that rose to 9.2 percent, the Corzine administration spin was that the loss of jobs in June was the smallest since the recession began. Yet there were thousands of unemployed who were already standing in line, long before Chris Christie was even thinking of running for Governor.

Corzine extended the 4% corporate tax surcharge and raised taxes by 25 % on liquor. His Lt. Governor pick, Loretta Weinberg, had voted for every tax increase that ex-Governor Jim McGreevey wished for and every tax increase that Jon Corzine proposed; she was never interested in cutting government expenditures or standing up to government unions. Instead, she has consistently supported ever-increasing government expansions.

With the beginning of the recession in December 2007, New Jersey already lost 150,100 jobs…

With the passing of a $29 billion budget, taxes increased by $1 billion while eliminating property-tax deductions for the wealthiest residents and shaveing billions from health care, higher education and other programs.
When New Jersey Treasurer David Rousseau was asked the question “In your observation, do you feel New Jerseyans are overtaxed?” Rousseau incredulously answered “No.”

Under Corzine, New Jersey’s state/local tax-burden percentage has gone from the third-highest in the country to the highest in the country.

Corzine condoned the state’s wasteful spending, the union pandering, giving public employees benefits the taxpayers can’t afford and refusing to take the necessary steps to end the hidden tax of public corruption even before the recession. Corzine broke his promise to cut property taxes by 40% over 4 years. His 2010 budget irrefutably increased property taxes another 20%.

Those tax increases destroyed New Jersey’s economic and business environment, having driven thousands of residents and businesses out of New Jersey and making our state one of the most unaffordable in which to live. It happened long before Chris Christie was elected and, not coincidentally, is a primary reason why Chris Christie is now governor.

In August 2009, Garden State foreclosures increased 30%. The average median household income in New Jersey dropped $7,214 between 2006 and 2008. The percentage of New Jersey residents subsisting below the federal poverty level was 9.2 percent and growing. The economy remained so poor that despite the claim of 13,000 ‘new’ jobs created by Governor Corzine, the people of New Jersey still lost over 12,000 jobs June 2009, and another 47,000 ran out of unemployment benefits by December 2009.

A combined total of eight years of taxes, fees, and regulations under McGreevey and Corzine not only chased many businesses out of New Jersey but also succeeded in chasing 100,000 residents to escape as well.

As of August 2009, when Jon Corzine was Governor:
• More than 230,000 people already had left New Jersey since 2002
• Property taxes, on average, had risen almost 55 percent statewide just from the prior seven years, and by 20 percent when Corzine took office.
• The budget increased taxes on payroll, income, cigarettes, alcohol, lottery winnings and increasing DMV fees, for a total of $1 billion.
• His budget did nothing to balance the following year’s obligations, and only went toward the prior year’s debt.
Unemployment increased by more than double from 4.8% to 9.7% during Corzine’s single term in office. His few newly created jobs didn’t even come close to paying the salaries and benefits of those jobs that had vanished. Teenagers, minorities, and less-educated workers were already losing out to employees who were still working but for less money. 1 in 20 people employed at that time lost their job. African American unemployment had risen to 13.6%, and Hispanic unemployment in the state had risen to 11.5%, above the state average of 9.7%. Indicators pointed to a weakening of the recession, taking several years for families who lost their homes and income to realize it is over, probably never again to achieve past levels.

Those figures demonstrated how New Jerseyans were losing their jobs and homes due to the failed policies instituted by the Corzine Administration that had been continued from the previous administration. Instead of making life more affordable, both administration’s had simply created more financial hardships for those trying to stay afloat.

Taxes increased for the citizens of New Jersey by over $10 billion dollars even in the face of a deteriorating economy.

Democrats voted in favor of a $400 million payroll tax hike; furthermore, they eliminated $100 million in property tax deductions, increased Real Estate Commission Fees by $68.9 million in, and supported an income tax increase to the tune of $903 million.

The Realty Transfer Tax was increased by $62 million on the state level, and another $22 million on the county level, and another $8 million tax on your lottery winnings, meaning even winning the lottery might not be enough to get you back on your feet!

For over eight years, the people of New Jersey had seen their property taxes increase over 55%, their tax dollars wasted, jobs leaving our state and their property tax relief eliminated, but Jon Corzine and a Democratic controlled State Assembly never learned their lesson. They continued to do everything in their power to cement our state’s dubious honor of having the highest property taxes in the nation.

Tax upon tax, bill upon bill, regulation over regulation… a strategy that’s not conducive to growing New Jersey’s economy. Our recent history (which I’ve gone through above in painstaking detail) bears that out.

Governor Corzine’s answer on the campaign trail for inquisitive reporters and taxpayers? Pack up and move to North Dakota if they didn’t like it! Of course that’s not a solution at all, and for the majority of citizens in this state, relocating across the country wasn’t a realistic option.

It’s not hard to understand why tax rates were spiraling out of control. State spending and tax revenues climbed more than twice the rate of inflation from 1980 to 1990. State-government employment had outpaced population growth. The U.S. population grew in the 1980′s by 10 percent, and NJ state employment grew by almost 30 percent. For every dollar increase in compensation received by private-sector workers, state-government workers received $6.30.

Both 1990 and 1991 were record tax increase years for New Jersey; expenditures surged with no reduction in spending. In 1991, state spending rose by 10 percent and in 1992 it grew by 12 percent. In 1992 alone, spending rose 26.0 percent in New Jersey.

Florio pledged to skip takes hikes but nevertheless shoved and ram-rodded through the legislature a “bilk the rich” $2.8-billion tax hike designed to bestow a massive infusion of funds to inner-city school districts. All this hike really accomplished is to immediately sink our state economy into a deeper recession. Business bankruptcies jumped by 150 percent, 300,000 jobs were lost, and the unemployment rate rocketed up to 9.1 percent–the highest in the nation at that time. Governor Florio declared that his tax hike was an unavoidable dose of bitter medicine to balance the budget. The truth of the matter is that Florio was among the three biggest spending governors in the nation. In 1991, the budget grew by 8.4 percent; that increase was followed by a 1992 budget expansion of 26.1 percent (the third largest in the nation). In his first two years in office, the budget grew by more than $3,000 per family.


In short, Florio made his own fiscal bed. We all had to lay in it!

Buono can’t ignore history this campaign cycle. Governor Christie won’t let her. Florio, McGreevy, and Corzine were governors who tried to fight budget deficits solely with major tax increases. Their lack of imagination and courage only served to further weaken the state’s economy and did little to put on cork on the flowing bottle of red ink.
Florio and Corzine lied when they said they wouldn’t raise taxes, and now a Democrat legislature full of alumni from those reckless years is doing whatever it can to force Christie to renege on his own promise of not raising taxes.

Had Corzine been serious about putting the state’s finances in order, he would have phased out the pension system, raised the retirement age for state employees to the same as their counterparts in the private sector (no retiring before the age of 62), stop the borrowing without voter approval, and eliminate the corporate business tax which would’ve allowed the business community some breathing room to grow again.


What did he do instead? Again, Corzine raised taxes over 55% on just about everything imaginable. The 1% sales tax increase did nothing to aid the taxpayers of this state; taking rebates away was insult to injury. He tried getting the taxpayers to vote for ½% dedicated strictly to property tax on the ballot, thereby ending any chance of property tax reform in the future. We know his history on dedicated funds, such as taking the $4 million from the EMT fund to balance the deficit. Corzine had proposed the closure of 9 state parks to save $4.5 million, then changed his mind and decided to build an $87 million park by using money from the Corporate Fund Tax.
Now, unbelievably, Barbara Buono and many of her Democrat colleagues want to point the finger at our current governor and ignore the mess that they created, one which Governor Christie inherited upon taking office on January 19, 2010.
Barbara BWOH’-noh needs to come up with a reason why she is going to be better for New Jersey. Inventing an alternative ‘tax and spend’ history than what we all know to be the truth (see above) won’t cut it at the ballot box this November.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Lawmakers Just Can't Do Their Jobs

It is a shame that we the people of the United States of America, the greatest country in the world, have legislators on both sides of the aisle (and let’s not forget about our president, too) who seem unable to reach an agreement and find a way to ease the pain that many Americans are feeling due to these antics.

They’ll continue to feel them for many months and possibly years to come.

While our government shuts down, federal legislators continue to collect a substantial salary along with their many perks, millions of Americans are out of work and lacking benefits. Many folks who are still trying to recover from the recession or a natural disaster suffer even longer as government assistance is on hold.

This is not a game of cards where one can bluff and see who has the better hand with no regard to the repercussions that will be inflicted upon the American public. The lives of individuals and families are something the government seems to want to gamble with in order to prove who holds the winning hand between them.

Our economy was recovering, however anemically, even with the lower paying jobs that were being created. The housing market seemed like it was stabilizing, too, but these gains may all disappear and we may find ourselves back in another hole. The dollar becomes weaker every day the federal government is closed, the yen and euro become stronger, and the markets drop faster than a rock without a parachute. If we lose our current credit rating, the dollar will be worth nothing and it will take years to recover … if at all.

Congress is hardly the only problem. We have a president who is already planning a trip to Asia, probably bringing his kin along for the taxpayer-financed ride, all at an astronomical cost while our military is looking for food as the commissaries are empty, having to go elsewhere and paying upwards of 30 percent or more to feed their families on or off base.

It seems the priorities of our elected officials are their egos, something that they view as more important than the constituents whom they’re supposed to represent. It is a shame that as much as the American people are getting a bad hand in this shutdown poker game, they will nevertheless elect the same bunch of bureaucrats that engendered this predicament.

Unless we, as voters, clean house to show the world how tired we’ve become of the two major parties’ antics, the games will continue and we will continue on a course destined to negatively redefine our futures and, in the process, permanently changing the face of America.

Joseph Sinagra, Sr.


Friday, April 5, 2013

China . . . Where is Our Money?

American families have been deceived, tricked, swindled, hoodwinked and bamboozled for several decades. The assumption that China owns us is misleading and the facts need to be told. Stop believing the hype that if we were to default that China would own us lock, stock and barrel.

During the early 1900’s China issued bonds to millions of Americans who purchased them because our US Treasury bought in on the deal when they were promised we would be paid on full faith and credit.

Communist China has their hands on $1.4 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, but unlike them, the good old USA has never defaulted on those Treasuries. However, the US Treasury and 315 million Americans whose tax dollars were used to buy those Chinese bonds . . . are owed $750 billion. Over the last sixty years, China has refused to pay any of it. Worldwide, China owes an estimated debt of several trillion dollars as it goes around bragging to all of humanity about its economic growth and influence.

Several of those countries owed have said they would bar China from their financial markets if they were not paid back. Somehow China was able to dig deep into their hidden piggy banks and found the means to repay them.

If the People’s Republic of China were to pay its debt to American citizens and the U.S. Treasury we wouldn’t have had to raise our debt ceiling.

Obama’s first stimulus package was around $700 billion plus which some of it went to Chinese companies, even though billions of unpaid debt remained outstanding.

Our politicians are flirting with the idea of default, while millions of Americans are being asked to reach into their pockets to help pay down a deficit they can’t afford.

Fitch analysts say “the debt ceiling is an ineffective and damaging mechanism for enforcing fiscal discipline. Ineffective because it is not simultaneously decided with budgetary decisions that determine the volume of borrowing by the federal government and damaging because the implied threat of default undermines confidence in the full faith and credit of the US.”

Our current debt ceiling is set around $16.394 trillion, we are now in what we call the “sequester.”
Currently the United States is rated Aaa by Moody’s, while Standard & Poor rates the US at AA+, not exactly a glowing review of our credit.

China in an attempt to embarrass America saw fit to say that the U.S. “should cure its addiction to debts,” . . . it would only seem fair for President Obama to ask the Chinese to help us cure our addiction by paying their debts.

Playing the 'poor me' fiddle to the American Public we are told that we are in debt, we have no money, and yet we are paying interest to a bondholder who won’t pay us the principal on their debt to us . . . . Mr. President, would it be too much of you to make a legislative decision and tell the PRC “it is our money, and we want it now?”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sad Reality About the Job Market: High School Graduates Need Not Apply

Joe Sinagra
Unfortunately a college education is a necessary reality for many in order to acquire a low wage job.

While Congress and President Obama haggle about giving those in the workforce an extra two dollars per hour, 284,000 Americans with college degrees worked minimum wage jobs last year.

To put it bluntly, 70% more college grads are earning minimum wage than a decade ago. Roughly 284,000 Americans with college degrees worked minimum wage jobs last year.

Lower-wage occupations that grew the most during the recovery include retail salespersons, food preparation workers, laborers and freight workers, waiters and waitresses, personal and home care aides, and office clerks and customer representatives.

You could make the statement of why bother to get an education, but the irony of it is that without one you may not qualify for the minimum wage job. People without an advanced education are getting pushed out of the labor market with 36% of American workers older than 25 and having a high school education or less are losing out on getting hired.

Close to half of the college graduates in today’s market are working in jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree, with 38% of that figure working in a field that doesn’t even require a high school education.

We are still missing nearly 10 million jobs, with job quality rapidly emerging as a side effect to a struggling recovery.

There are way too many over qualified people working in a competitive low skill job market. For every available low wage position there are 10 applicants.

Sure there are new jobs but job creation may not be where the problem lies; the problem is how much are those new jobs willing to pay?

Those working in a lower wage environment will not be contributing much to stimulate any meaningful economic growth as purchasing power will be limited.

Unless there are some huge indicators to indicate significant job growth, the future does not bode well for either those with an education and worse for those without one.

Will this become the norm for the job souk of the future?

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Joseph Sinagra (born December 20, 1946 in New Brunswick, New Jersey) is an American Republican Party politician, who was a 2006 congressional candidate for the United States House of Representatives in New Jersey's 12th congressional district.  He has owned several small businesses, and is employed as Facilities Manager for Miele Corporate Headquarters located in Princeton, New Jersey and is former CEO of My Plumber Inc. Sinagra held a seat on the Helmetta Planning Board, was Emergency Management Coordinator, and a Helmetta Councilman from 1989 to 1998 (serving three terms on several committees), also as Council President for seven years. Returning in 1999 to fill in for a one year vacated seat (picked by majority Democratic Council). Sinagra has also served as Chairman of the Helmetta Republican Party, presently the Vice-Chair, and was the Republican nominee for Middlesex County Clerk challenging incumbent Democrat Elaine Flynn in 2005. Sinagra was a candidate for District 18 of the New Jersey General Assembly.


Monday, February 25, 2013

N.J. Moms Want Their Guns

Garden State Moms Sound Off On Our Second Amendment Rights

By Synnove Bakke

The Save Jersey Blog

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end, and no sense of responsibility at the other.”  ~ Ronald Reagan

It’s already been established that the NJ Assembly passed 21 New gun laws “for us” this past cold but sunny Thursday afternoon. In a follow up, I have a lot more to opine about. You will learn, as you read my articles, if you choose, that I opine a whole lot!

Keep in mind that even though the new laws passed Assembly, they also have to pass the Senate as well. I know there’s quite a few Democrat Senators, including Senate Majority leader, Sweeney, that represent rural districts with lots of hunters. This lawmaker, and others, may suffer when it comes to re-election time, and maybe they should think twice before approving all these crazy restrictive gun laws. If all of these laws come into effect in NJ, we will have more restrictive gun laws than New York, and will then have the strictest gun laws in the nation as well as the highest property taxes in the nation… I just had to put that in there.

Some believe these gun laws are nothing but a Democrat trick to finally land a punch on Christie’s re-election campaign in an effort to make his current 74% approval rating drop. Keep in mind that Governor Christie also has an approval rating of 53% when it comes to Democrats in New Jersey. That’s something to think about. For all the criticism he’s taken, our Governor is still going strong with NJ’ans from both sides of the isle.

Growing up in country filled with fishermen and hunters, I have never been a stranger to guns, and I, thankfully, don’t have any misguided fear of them. My Dad and his friends used to hunt for deer, moose, and other very eatable forest creatures.

I promise that once you, or someone close to you, know how to handle a gun properly, you feel real comfort having them around.

I especially felt that comfort recently during a Florida vacation.

We were staying at a resort right on the beach, and one morning when my husband walked out of our room, he witnessed two men posing for pictures with something that looked like a machine gun! The two men were near our older boys’ hotel room (being that we have four kids, we had to split up our rooms). I was petrified when he told me, as I was trying to wake up, and instantly ran to my boys room in my PJs. My husband called our friend that were staying in a room below us, one of whom happens to be former US Army and Retired NYPD (one of our nation’s heroes); it immediately put me at ease. The fear you have when you feel your kids may be in danger, are one of the worst feelings any Mom could have. I am eternally grateful when I think of the comfort I felt when our friend came along!

After some time that felt like an eternity, the local police arrived. They looked, and kind of acted, like the comedians from the show, Honeymooners, Ralph and Norton. If this wasn’t such a traumatic incident for me, I would have laughed out loud. The “Honeymooners” questioned the men, and found out they were leaving the same day that they had checked in. The suspicious men (in my eyes only, it seemed) and the police were acting like that’s a perfectly normal thing to do on the evening before New Years Eve.

After 9/11, and living in NYC at the time, an incident like that puts instant fear in my mind. It ended up that the machine gun looking thing they had was a strange looking crossbow that was designed to look like an AR 15, something the cops, aka the “Honeymooners” said they had never seen before. They confiscated it, and the men checked out a few hours later. Thankfully, this story ended up with no more drama, and no one was hurt. But, let me tell you, if I had my own gun at the time to defend my family, I would have felt much more in control during those moments of fear for my boys.

Incredibly, even after this incident I procrastinated, but I finally went to my local town the other day and submitted an application for a permit to buy a fire arm of my own. It’s officially on the record, so lets see how long NJ takes to give me, a law abiding citizen, a mom, and a tiger when it comes to protecting my children, with no criminal background, a gun. I will keep you posted on that one.

After my trip to the municipality, I made some phone calls around to my local friends that are gun owning moms. At this point I’m resentful that I took so long to get one of my own. I called one of my friends that’s also a grandma, and asked her how she feels about the new laws.

My friend, Claire Rosenthal, told me over the phone that she had never really thought about becoming a gun owner until she realized she may lose her 2nd amendment right, and the more she thought about it, the more convinced she became that this is the right thing for her to do. Here’s a little note she sent me,

I am a 65 year old mother and grandmother. I recently purchased my first handgun because it is my 2nd amendment right to do so. I resent the government attempting to infringe on that right. I went through the several month process of obtaining a permit legally. The only people that will be affected by these new laws are the law abiding citizens who don’t need them. People who want to do harm will always find a way to do so.”

My other friend Barbara Gonzalez had this to say:

The second amendment of the Constitution does not say “applies only to politicians and celebrities.” We all have the right to protect and defend our families and children. All of the shootings that they refer to were done in “gun free zones.” I feel that my children and grandchildren are targets because of that. That announces to a criminal that no one at these locations are armed. If the concern of some, is that their children would be afraid to see a policeman or trusted teacher with a gun, I would wholeheartedly disagree. I have spoken to children and college students who would rather have armed, trusted people there to protect them. Has anyone bothered to ask the children what they want? Have they asked teachers, who would instinctively put themselves between a shooter and the children in their care? None of these new bills and laws will do anything to stop a madman from committing these horrendous crimes. As usual, the government is barking up the wrong tree.”

My friend, Christine Conlon had this to say:

I am a married mother of 3, ages 13, 16 & 24. Born and raised in New Jersey for 42 years, and a proud licensed gun owner. I feel extremely targeted right now, with the passing of 21 gun laws this week that will only make it more difficult for us law-abiding citizens. We have to go through the 2nd most restrictive state process to get licensed and each and every time I wish to purchase a gun or ammo. I find most people are uneducated when it comes to what they call assault guns, especially politicians who really have no clue. I have the right to protect my family & property according to the 2nd amendment but with each law that is passed against it, we are giving more control to the career politicians who eventually will yield so much power over us that we will be at their mercy when we are threatened. I thought I would never leave New Jersey but I’m seriously considering a move due to the way our state is being run by the Democratic controlled legislature. If Governor Christie decides not to veto ALL these bills I will make sure I stick around long enough to work against him in his re-election and all future offices. This is coming from someone who worked on his campaign in 2009.”

Here’s my friend, Kim Tita’s take:

As I prepare for motherhood, obtaining a firearm with which to protect my family, is a top priority. I know the consequences of violent crime and will take every precaution to prevent my children and loved ones from experiencing a similar fate. My choice, as a citizen of the United States, would be to explain to the police the injured man in my living room as opposed to a lifetime of pain bestowed upon my family at the hands of a criminal.”

There you have it. My fellow moms agree, like Clint Eastwood famously said, “I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.”

Link: NJ Mom's Want Their Guns

Saturday, February 23, 2013

25 Proposed Gun Laws Are Up for Vote in the N.J. Assembly: It's the Wrong Approach

25 Proposed Gun Laws Are Up for Vote in the N.J. Assembly: It's the Wrong Approach

"We need to take a harder look at what’s really going on. Stop trying to treat the symptoms and treat the cause of the problem. Maybe we should try a little harder to help these kids before they feel so cornered that they turn into monsters." - Aaron B. Powell, United States Marine who served in Iraq

The new gun bills up for vote today in the N.J. Assembly are too many for me, a Political Junkie, to fully understand, and that says a lot.

As a parent, I was heartbroken after the tragedy in Newtown, CT. I hugged my children as soon as they walked in the door from school, and spoke with them at length about what had happened.

Among other things, I explained that there are some people in this world with mental problems, and it sometimes makes them do very bad things. I explained that they are safe, and being that I am their mom and protector, they believed me. They understood. However, some of our lawmakers do not seem to understand much.

Demonizing the right to bear arms with knee jerk laws will not bring back the poor victims in Newtown, CT. New gun laws will only prevent law-abiding citizens from the ability to protect themselves, and their families, as we know the mentally ill and criminals, with their illegal guns, will not be affected by current or any new laws.

There are over 100 million law-abiding American citizens who responsibly own firearms for target shooting, hunting, personal and home defense and collecting. They care deeply about the Second Amendment and they are the ones being targeted now.

I believe efforts to impose new restrictions on law-abiding citizens and responsible gun owners are misguided. We already have the strictest gun laws in the nation. Well, after NY, that is.

Now, take this Bill, A58: It prohibits possession of ammo capable of penetrating body armor. This is already Federal law, and simply needs to be enforced.

These 25 gun bills were thrown together within months of the Newtown, CT., tragedy. I wish the Democrat controlled legislature in N.J. would work this hard and fast when it comes to our budget issues, and our state's financial issues. Instead they drag their feet and stonewall Governor Christie every step of the way.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) argues in a recent press release that violent crimes with firearms have declined since the Federal Assaults weapons ban, which for a decade restricted sale of semiautomatic rifles, and limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds, expired in '04. The study was conducted by the Department of Justice.

Camden, N.J., is the most dangerous city in the nation. Why is it that N.J. cities like Newark, Camden and Trenton etc., which belong to a state with one of the strictest gun laws in the nation, have the most shootings? Even Mayor Cory Booker of Newark stated that creating new laws will not stop criminals from getting illegal weapons, and using them.

It would make sense to me that, by making all these laws, we will only empower and pad the pockets of criminals selling guns on the black market at an even higher monetary, and human cost in the long run.

In my opinion, all this talk of so-called assault weapons seems like nothing more than misguided attempts to appeal to, but only serve to fool, the uneducated public about guns. Or maybe it is that the lawmakers of our legislature are uneducated on the issue themselves? These 25 new laws up for vote tomorrow looks to me like "feel good" bills. It’s pretty much impossible to legislate unstable, mentally ill, and criminal citizens that are looking to do harm to others. They will find a way, and it won’t be through registering any weapons.

For instance, Bill A1387 - to impose gun free zones around schools. Does that look effective knowing that every mass shooting in the last 10 years has been carried out in school zones? Is a criminal or deranged person going to decide to leave his gun home because it’s a gun free zone? As a mom, I would prefer my children’s schools have at least one armed guard in the lobby, bulletproof front doors, and windows.

Our legislators' focus should be to strengthen mental healthcare in N.J., and improve the quality of data supporting the National Instant Criminal Background check system (NICS). Maybe also work more on enforcing the already strict gun laws we have in N.J.

Locally, our representatives should look at our under-reported drug problems, especially among teens but, also among citizens of all ages. Let’s look at how to better manage the mentally ill of all ages.

My final thought to our dear lawmakers: When you sit down to vote, please keep in mind that our Founding Fathers made the Second Amendment a right, and be careful before you trample on it. You will be up for re-election one day, and the electorate is watching you.

"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." - Thomas Jefferson
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The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court of the United States first ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms.

In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions officially establishing this interpretation. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home within many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court as being consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.

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About Synnove Bakke:
Synnove, a Republican Committee woman in Middlesex County, was born in N.J. to immigrant parents, but moved back to Norway as an infant, and lived there her entire childhood and young adult years. She came back to the U.S. when she was freshly graduated as a nurse, she quickly fell in love with this country and never returned to Norway to live.

Synnove has lived in a socialist country, Norway, and from that experience, studying American political history, and comparing the two nations, realized she is a Reagan Conservative Republican. She was an activist for a few years, and belonged to a few different Tea Party groups after Obama was elected in '08.

Synnove helped restart the Young Republicans in Middlesex, and soon after she became the chair. The first campaign she worked on was a county campaign in '09, based in South Plainfield, which also had a close working relationship with the Christie for Governor Campaign. Senator Sam Thompson, this campaign, along with other organizations locally ensured the sweeping Christie win in Middlesex that year.

Synnove left the Young Republicans to working with the chair Senator Sam Thompson on the Middlesex County Republican Organization, where she still works. She is also currently working for the State in another capacity, and is a Zoning board member in East Brunswick.

Gun Control vs. 911

by Joe Sinagra on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 12:13pm ·
“Gun control is one of the best examples of laws that corner private citizens—forcing them either to put themselves into danger or to be a lawbreaker.” ~ James Bovard (Mazel Freedom Press, 1999 Introduction to ‘Dial 911 and Die’)

We take it for granted that the police must protect each of us, those beliefs are a deception in faith. Police owe a duty to protect the public in general, but not to protect any particular individual.

On March 16, 1975, two men broke down the back door in Washington, D.C., shared by three women. The attackers kidnapped, robbed, raped, and beat all three women over 14 hours. These women later sued the city and its police for negligently failing to protect them or even to answer their second 911 call, the court held that government had no duty to respond to their call or to protect them.

In 1987 Iowa, two men broke into a family’s home, tied up the parents, slit the mother’s throat, raped the 16-year old daughter, and drove off with the 12-year old daughter (whom they later murdered). The emergency dispatcher didn’t immediately send police to investigate the 911 call about the kidnappers/murders/rapists while the abducted little girl was still alive. First he had to take calls about a parking violation downtown and a complaint about harassing phone calls.

When the dispatcher got around to the kidnapping, he didn’t issue an all-points bulletin but instead told just one officer to come back to the police station, not even mentioning that it was an emergency. To make a long story short, even though there were many instances of incompetence and negligence the case was swiftly dismissed before going to trial as a state appeals court claimed that the authorities have no duty to protect individuals.

The general rule of law in the United States is that government owes a duty to protect the public in general, but owes no legal duty to protect any particular person from criminal attack. Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the federal civil rights laws require states to protect citizens from crime.

State legislatures and courts protect government entities and police departments from civil liability for failing to provide adequate police protection.

A false and dangerous belief by gun control ideologists is that Private Citizens don’t need firearms because the police will protect them from crime.

Numerous court decisions and state laws have held that cops don’t have to do a thing to help you when you’re in danger. In other words the government owes no duty to protect individual citizens from criminal attack.

One California appellate court wrote, “police officers have no affirmative statutory duty to do anything.”

Kansas statute precludes citizens from suing the government or the police for negligently failing to enforce the law or for failing to provide police or fire protection.

A Massachusetts decree states the government has no legal duty “to provide adequate police protection, prevent the commission of crimes, investigate, detect or solve crimes, identify or apprehend criminals or suspects, arrest or detain suspects, or enforce any law.”

Even the District of Columbia’s highest court states . . . the “that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.” (Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1, 4 (D.C. 1981)

In Bowers v. DeVito, (686F. 2nd 616, 618 (7th Cir. 1982) a federal appeals court ruled ordinary citizens have “no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.”

The Constitution won’t protect you either. The US Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the case of DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services made it clear in its declaration that “the Constitution does not impose a duty on the state and local governments to protect the citizens from criminal harm.”

Our politicians on Capitol Hill have their own police to protect them and their families they don’t have to wait for a 911 response. The average citizen does not have that option available to them.

Gun Control will not stop the mentally insane, the criminals who rob, steal, rape and plunder. It does however prevent law abiding citizens from making the choice to protect them from harm if given the opportunity.

On average it takes officers 8.4 minutes to respond to a 911 call. There is an old saying “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

                                                                   ~ Joe Sinagra