WILL AMERICA DIE OF PUERTO RICAN PLAGUE?

HOW AN ISLAND GOING BROKE THREATENS YOU
by Lowell Ponte

According to the Constitution, no U.S. state or territory such as Puerto Rico can escape a $74 Billion debt – run up by liberal-spending, vote-buying local politicians – by declaring bankruptcy.

But the U.S. Congress opened the door last year via PROMESA legislation to something like Puerto Rican bankruptcy, thereby setting a precedent for states such as Illinois – whose irresponsible politicians have put them into an economic “death spiral” – to renege on their debts as well.
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Will states “Too Big To Fail” get bailed out by a huge wealth transfer from taxpayers and unpaid bond holders in more conservative states? Is America about to suffer a potentially fatal epidemic of fast-spreading, fevered-spending, debt-ducking Puerto Rican economic plague?

How did this island of only 3.5 million people run up $74 Billion in debt? As Craig R. Smith and I explained in our book We Have Seen The Future And It Looks like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream, this island the Spanish named “Rich Port” has become America’s Greece, an economic basket case. It was given a special tax break that led 9 of the 12 biggest pharmaceutical companies to locate facilities there. Island politicians quickly got addicted to the drug of wild spending.

When the tax break ended and the big companies moved away, profligate politicians kept on spending as before by selling Puerto Rican triple-exempt bonds. Skilled and ambitious young people fled to the United States, even though if they stayed in Puerto Rico they would owe no U.S. income tax.

Recipients of welfare – which pays as much as most Puerto Rican jobs – stayed behind. The tax base needed to pay off the bonds collapsed, leaving pensions and 40 percent of municipal bond funds in America unable to collect what savers and retirees are owed on its bonds. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has become a land of the common poor as its government refused to cut spending, turning instead to heavier taxes and regulations.

Illinois is one of many states with such problems. Its leftist politicians have recklessly underfunded the lavish pension plans they promised to government employees. The state is almost $15 Billion in arrears on its debts, runs an annual deficit of $6 Billion, and has a pension liability of more than $130 Billion. Courts now control much of Illinois’ spending, and Investor’s Business Daily reports that it has “the lowest credit rating of any state,” with bonds skating on the edge of “junk” rating, which makes borrowing difficult and costly. Illinois, in other words, is broke. No wonder that for many this state’s abbreviation is “Ill.”

“We’re like a banana republic…We can’t manage our money,” says Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. But the Democrat-dominated Illinois legislature for three years has refused to cut spending and proposes only massive tax increases on the successful and businesses instead.

Illinois has the greatest outflow of residents of any state, with most telling the Chicago Tribune they are leaving because of high taxes, rampant violent crime, lack of jobs, and the state budget stalemate. This exodus would be a stampede, except for the large influx of new Latino immigrants that are a net drain on lush taxpayer-funded services in “sanctuary city” Chicago.

“The state can no longer function,” admits Democrat Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Highway contractors have already been notified that they will not be paid as of July 1. Even the state lottery might no longer pay winners. Illinois now has less growth than during the Great Depression.

Chicago Tribune reporter John Kass has a remedy for Puerto Rican plague: admit that Illinois is “a fiscally broken state” that “has finally run out of other people’s money.” He semi-seriously proposes to “Dissolve Illinois” and make “a new Midwest” by divvying up its territory among the surrounding states of Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Indiana.

If profligate politicians are bailed out, irresponsibility with rule. Many will stop investing or buying government bonds. The dollar will lose value as trillions more are printed to finance folly. As Craig R. Smith and I explain in our latest book Money, Morality & The Machine, when money and government are debased, this bankrupts the values of individuals, our economy, and our society.


To schedule a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email ideaman@myideafactory.net

A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR GUN CONTROL

Satire by Lowell Ponte

The recent shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) and others by a deranged radical Leftist Democrat has persuaded me that gun control is urgently needed. In this modest proposal, I show how it should be imposed in order to protect Americans from terrorists armed with guns.

Those on the Left assure us that they want to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally unstable.

I agree. If someone, for example, is constantly filled with rage and hatred….if he takes pleasure in entertainers who depict beheading or stabbing to death the elected President of the United States….if he angrily shouts down those with views different from his own….if he uses threats and violence to intimidate others….if he embraces politicians and demagogues who promise to rob others by force and to give their stolen property to him….and if he incessantly advocates a coup d’etat to remove the elected president from office…that person is mentally unstable. President Donald Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway on June 16 said that “half of Twitter would erupt in applause if [I] were shot and killed.”

We have words for such people. They are radical Leftists or, in their embryonic stage, registered voters of the Democratic Party. As P.J. O’Rourke famously recognized: “Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink.” Leftist radicals and Leftist Democratic Party members are merely two stages of evolution of the same creature traveling the same road to violent revolution.

All mentally unstable people – including Leftist radicals and Democrats — should be legally prohibited from buying, owning, possessing, carrying, or using any firearm or other deadly weapon. And since recent terrorism has used cars, trucks and airplanes as lethal weapons, Leftists should also be prohibited from being able to buy, lease, rent, drive or pilot such vehicles.

Some might say that such restrictions are a bit extreme – that people are innocent until proven guilty, that most Democrats are law-abiding patriots, and that we have a secure constitutional right to keep and bear arms. A generation ago I would have agreed. I am also concerned that this modest proposal sets a precedent that future Leftist rulers could use to continue their confiscation of firearms from conservatives, libertarians, and other law-abiding citizens who have no intent of “fundamentally transforming,” i.e., overthrowing, our society by government force and violence as the Left does. The Democrats have been fundamentally transformed by their leaders into a hijacked extremist party of the far Left.

Radical Leftists have, of course, always been quick to use the power of the state to disarm those who might oppose them, and to create enemy lists….most recently, for example, in Venezuela. Under President Barack Obama’s anti-gun policies, the government began prohibiting guns to those merely accused, not convicted, of crimes – and to senior citizens who needed help with mental tasks such as bookkeeping. At the same time, the Obama Administration was supplying guns to Mexican drug gangs. It is clear that Left-wing gun control is not about guns, but about control.

Under this new proposal, Leftists can take satisfaction in the selective confiscation of their own right to keep and bear arms. Society will unquestionably be safer if we preemptively disarm those on the road to violent Leftist radicalization.

Leftists may display their pride by posting a sign on their front doors notifying all that they possess no firearms. Leftists, including members of the Democratic Party, can “lead by example,” demonstrating to the world that control of (their) firearms reduces social violence.

Because the Right and Republicans are almost entirely peaceful, and the government is not power-mad but benevolent, those on the loony Left and Democrats have little reason to fear being selectively disarmed.

The Left, by contrast, is increasingly violent and dangerous, and has no qualms about unconstitutionally disarming the rest of us – so why not preemptively outlaw their firearms first? By the Left’s own old standard of gun control and their new increasingly psychopathic behavior, this proposal makes good sense.


Mr. Ponte’s opinions are solely his own.

To schedule a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net

BRITAIN’S ELECTION: ANOTHER TRUMP-LIKE MIRACLE?

By Lowell Ponte

Democracy gets more and more surprising. The liberal mainstream media gives $2 Billion worth of free airtime to nominate the least-electable Republican, but their scheme to help Hillary Clinton backfires and elects President Donald Trump, who is moving America away from globalism and back toward free markets, prosperity, and national greatness. No wonder the leftist media has gone berserk trying to remove Mr. Trump by any means.
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And now in Great Britain, “communitarian” (i.e., opposed to selfish individualism and too little taxation of capitalism) Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, with her party 20 points ahead in the polls, calls a snap election to increase her majority. Instead, the debate-ducking leader falls eight seats short of keeping a parliamentary majority at all.

But instead of resigning, May says she will continue to govern with the 10 parliamentary votes of her “friends and allies” of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland, a Tartan Tory party that could move England’s compromised Conservative Party farther to the right.

The DUP, founded in 1971 by firebrand Presbyterian preacher Rev. Ian Paisley, wants to keep Ulster united with England, not join the Republic of Ireland. DUP is in some ways the Protestant reversed mirror image of Catholic Sinn Fein, right down to its hazy connections to paramilitary groups. Most DUP supporters are descended from warrior Scots whom the English imported to hold Northern Ireland for the British crown.

In his book Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, former Sen. James Webb tells of the 400,000 who came to America, injected populism into our politics, and begat Thomas Jefferson, President Trump’s hero Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Mark Twain, Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone and his kin Richard Boone and Pat Boone, and many others who helped make America great.

DUP, however, is more than a nationalist party. Its social conservative beliefs include opposition to abortion (still outlawed except in rare cases in Northern Ireland) and same-sex marriage. Many DUP members dispute evolution, want Creationism taught in public schools, are global warming skeptics, and favor immigration restrictions. (Theresa May, the daughter of a vicar, tried to lower the permissible age for abortion from 24 to 20 weeks…but failed.)

Ms. May originally opposed Brexit, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU), but when voters approved it last June she became a supporter. DUP strongly supports Brexit – but they favor a “soft” Brexit that will not restrict trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU.

(Radical left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – who like socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vermont) attracted young supporters by being himself, and of course by promising more free goodies than Santa Claus – has in the past also favored Brexit, because he sees the EU as capitalist.)

DUP may be socially conservative, but Northern Ireland has almost always gotten heavy British financial help; DUP will demand lots more if their votes in Parliament are needed to keep Conservatives in power. DUP will probably at first want more money for Northern Ireland’s economy, but sooner or later it will also press for changing the social laws.

This is the dilemma for Conservatives. The Labour Party won 40 percent of the vote, mostly from the young and minorities such as Muslims. More than 400,000 Brits have signed a petition asking the Conservative Party not to ally with the farther-right DUP. Teaming with DUP might alienate the young – or might win them over by making Conservatives more forthright, principled, and patriotic, as Trump is doing. Democracy nowadays is full of surprises, and sometimes even miracles.

To schedule a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net

JAMES COMEY’S CONTRADICTORY TESTIMONY

by Lowell Ponte

Big news happened Thursday in James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but it will never be reported by the media that is using these hearings to wound or destroy President Donald Trump.
John Cole / Scranton Times Tribune
Mr. Comey previously said that he “has not been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes.” That would “be a very big deal,” he testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3. “It’s not happened in my experience.”

But on June 8, in response to questioning by Senator James Lankford (R.-Oklahoma), Mr. Comey said that President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch had ordered him not to say Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was under “criminal investigation” by the FBI. Call it a “matter,” she ordered Comey.

Comey agreed, but told Ms. Lynch that this would not change the way the media reported the matter. The FBI does only “criminal investigations.”

A “criminal investigation” by any other name will smell just as foul to some – but will seem less important to others. This is why today’s ideological politicians are eager to impose politically correct language everywhere. Control the language, as George Orwell said, and you soon control the thinking about things.

On Thursday, Mr. Comey contradicted his prior sworn testimony. He had been told to end an FBI “criminal investigation” for obviously political reasons – not by President Trump, but President Obama’s Attorney General.

He promptly complied with Ms. Lynch’s order. But when you remove the label “criminal investigation” from an FBI probe, you are ending an FBI “criminal investigation.”

He did not resign at this apparent effort to bring FBI language into conformity with Democratic Party political propaganda. He never voiced in public any concern that Mr. Lynch’s order was improper, unethical, or illegal.

But Mr. Comey found Mr. Trump’s statements uncomfortable enough to write memos about – memos that came to light only after President Trump fired him as Director of the FBI.

Comey may have leaked these memos – at least one of which was classified – to a friend at Columbia University Law School to share with the media. He did this, according to the Washington Post, in hopes that “doing so would spur the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the administration.”

As the old saying goes, were it not for double standards, some people would have no standards at all.

Ponte’s opinions in this column are solely his own.

To schedule a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a media copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net

THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND THE PARIS ACCORD

PILING ON TRUMP OVER CLIMATE
by Lowell Ponte

When President Donald Trump kept his campaign pledge to reject the Paris Climate Accord, he offered to accept the agreement if it could be renegotiated to be more fair to the United States.

Germany, France, and Italy had all declared this agreement essential to the future survival of humankind. But their instant response to President Trump was uncompromising. Not a word of the Paris Accord could be changed.
Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle
This tells us all we need to know. The Paris agreement – which was never a treaty because President Barack Obama refused to submit it for the constitutionally-required two-thirds Senate ratification – was never really about global climate change.

Donald Trump in 2009 signed an ad with other business leaders to “strengthen and pass United States legislation” like that being proposed by the climate conference in Copenhagen. But his eyes soon opened, and later that year Trump joined the Republican Party.

The Copenhagen effort fizzled after “Climategate,” the leak of private emails by prominent scientists boasting that they had been able to manipulate their data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures. They also bragged to one another of preventing skeptical scientists from being published in scientific journals. People began to doubt the honesty and data of warming alarmist “scientists” who replaced the fundamental tenets of science with their own zealous dogma and propaganda.

The first permanent head of the European Union, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, had declared that “2009 is…the first year of global governance,” in large part because “the climate conference in Copenhagen is [a] step towards the global management of our planet.”

United Nations climate change policy head at the United Nations, Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figures, declared that the climate agenda is being used to “change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.” She aims, in other words, to change capitalism, as Craig R. Smith and I explain in our latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine.

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said one of the heads of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Ottmar Endenhofer. “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy,” said Endenhofer. “This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore….”

The goal of the Paris Climate Accord is squeezing up to $100 Trillion out of the United States in coming decades, expropriating and transferring our wealth to other countries and the U.N., and tying us up in the same “green” political regulations and lawsuits that have made European countries non-competitive in global markets. (Germany’s Volkswagen competes, but it falsified its cars’ emission data….one of the endless examples of how foreign nations cheat on environmental agreements.)

The global warming issue has always been about making government bigger, taxes higher, and the private sector smaller and weaker. No wonder that a whistleblower revealed how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had manipulated data so that government could advance its Progressive, anti-free market, pro-big government agenda via false climate alarmism.

Should it surprise us that government scientists are a special interest group, just as they accuse oil or coal companies of being? Or that many of these global warming True Believers only a few years ago told us an Ice Age was fast approaching? Or that the scientists argue among themselves about warming’s prime cause – carbon dioxide or soot? – so their understanding of Earth’s changing climate is absurdly uncertain.

Is it really worth $100 Trillion and more than 6 million lost American jobs for the unscientific hope of reducing Earth’s temperature by 0.2 degrees C by year 2100? Why believe in a Paris Accord that “cannot be renegotiated?”

To Progressives, this agreement’s real purpose from the outset was never to “save the Earth,” but to loot and disempower the United States, undermine capitalism, and collectivize our economy and society under an unelected ruling elite. This explains the Left’s fury that President Trump was elected after promising to end the Paris Accord, and that he has kept his promise to thwart their deceptive plans.

To schedule a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte — author of a renowned book about climate change; former Roving Science Editor at Reader’s Digest; and a veteran think tank futurist – contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a media copy of Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net