I think many Americans have incredible misperceptions about how bad Federal spending is. It doesn’t matter what you want, the reality is at some point someone’s sacred cow is going to have to be slaughtered as the primary components of the budget are the primary drivers of government indebtedness.

I guess Americans believe we can just keep this up forever. If we change nothing, at some point the bond market is going to ask us to make a choice: either quit spending or be prepared to pay higher interest rates. There will be incredibly tough choices that must be made, but a lot of people are busy worrying about what some moron CNN reporter did at a Trump news conference.

You can spend all day blaming Team Red! or blaming Team Blue!, but this was caused by both teams. And right now, the bulk of both teams aren’t much interested in grown-up conversations.

 

45741484_2032858086778204_1525496070560284672_n

A great article was published on FEE.org (Foundation for Economic Education) the other night that was related to this. America is going broke.

Where is all this red ink coming from?

The real answer is out-of-control spending. The CBO forecasts that spending will rise from 20.8 percent of GDP now to 23.6 percent in 2028. But it is not increased “discretionary” spending such as defense or education that are driving spending upward. In fact, from 2018 to 2028, the CBO forecasts that discretionary spending will fall from 6.4 percent of GDP to 5.4 percent. Defense spending, for example, is projected to fall from 3.1 percent of GDP in 2018 to 2.6 percent in 2028.

The CBO is unequivocal that this increase in spending is being driven by out-of-control entitlement outlays.

The CBO is unequivocal that this increase in spending is being driven by out-of-control entitlement outlays. Between 2018 and 2028, spending on Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare is projected to rise from 12.7 percent of GDP to 15.2 percent. Social Security spending is expected to increase from 4.9 percent of GDP to 6.0 percent, Medicare from 3.5 percent of GDP to 5.1 percent, and Medicaid from 1.9 percent of GDP to 2.2 percent. This is what is driving America’s catastrophic indebtedness.

Advertisements

It’s the most important election of our lifetime! (At least until 2020.)

I thought I’d take a spin through all the races that I would be voting on next Tuesday. This is not a rundown of the entire county.

For those that don’t know how to find their ballot, you should stop right here and find something else to do with your time on Tuesday. I’m not explaining it to you. Please don’t vote.

For US Senator: Josh Hawley – Republican

I’m probably going to need two hands to fill this bubble in on the ballot. One hand to write with, and the other hand to make sure I don’t pull the other hand away as I fill in the bubble.

I don’t know why I have higher expectations for Republicans. They’ve proven to me for years that if they can find a bad candidate to run for a statewide office, they’ll probably do it.

Hawley is uninspiring. I find him severely lacking in taking strong principled stances for markets, responsible spending, and issues of Liberty.

Hell of an endorsment so far, isn’t it?

Anyway, why am I voting for him?

Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court, and the Democrats have lost their minds in this country.

I was going to vote 3rd party in this race. I didn’t care. But when I saw what the Democrats did to Kavanaugh, I couldn’t stand idly by and not be a part of removing Claire McCaskill. The Democrats behavior was beyond anything I remember in modern politics. To destroy a decent man, a man I somewhat suspect will not be the best Supreme Court justice on civil liberties like they did, the Democrats should be forced to pay dearly for this.

Trump may get 1, possibly two more Supreme Court justices. This becomes even more probable if Trump wins reelection (just puked in my mouth). I want a Republican majority in the Senate as long as we can, so there’s at least a small, teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy chance we get Liberty oriented justices.

I’m not convinced the Constitution and the United States can survive a Supreme Court that’s tilted toward Democrat nominees.

Our Founders never wanted the Court to be impacted by democracy, but it is, and I’m going to do my part and hope we’re able to maintain the Constitution for just a little while longer.

For State Auditor: Jacob Luetkemeyer – Constitution Party

Lots of digital keystrokes have been punched on the local social interwebs about this race in the context of the Clay County Audit. And to make matters worse this race is a bit of a mess.

I have said in the last few years that Nicole Galloway is one of the few Democrats I’ve ever really liked. Overall, I think she’s done an okay job as the state Auditor.

I tend to play the longer game, so County Audit or not, I’m not voting for her for the following reasons:

  • There’s this peculiar situation that you don’t hear much about regarding her failure to produce Sunshine documents requested by the Missouri Alliance for Freedom. Sunshine for thee not for me apparently.
  • She strongly supported Hillary Clinton. I don’t like Trump, didn’t vote for him, but Clinton is one of the most crooked, dishonest people in the history of modern politics. I always look at someone who passionately supported Clinton with suspicion.
  • If Amendment 1 passes, Galloway becomes somewhat powerful in the redistricting process. I don’t trust her enough at this point to believe that she would not attempt to sway the new redistricting process.

I find the Republican nominee, Saundra McDowell, unconvincing. You would think the Republican party could come up with a little better candidate than this.

There are two large criticisms levied against her.

The first is the residency requirement in the state Constitution. I personally don’t think that one is a big deal, and it seems petty. I don’t see residency as a make or break deal for the auditor. It’s less of a “representative” office and more of a functional government role. Plus, a past Missouri Supreme Court decision seems to indicate this won’t be a big deal either. Additionally, she’s really been in and out of the state for what seems like legitimate reasons. She’s shown legitimate intent for over 10 years to be a resident. This is petty politics at its finest.

The other issue is this deal with her personal finances. She seems to somewhat be able to explain this, it sounds like a bad contract gone wrong, but something about it bugs me. I personally feel like there’s more to the story here.

I really don’t like how connected she is to some of the long standing establishment of the Republican party. I have little respect for the Ashcrofts and the Bonds. She seems to love them. That’s a huge strike in my eyes.

So, what to do?

I’m a card carrying member of the Libertarian party, and I usually vote for one statewide candidate. I somewhat know Sean O’Toole, and think he might be capable of the job. It doesn’t seem like he’s spent any effort on seriously campaigning this time around.

I’m intrigued by Jacob Luetkemeyer. Young guy, spent lots of years in private industry in the field of accounting. You can read more about him here: http://luetkemeyerforauditor.com/

So, what the heck, sounds like a fun protest vote. I like outsiders who might break things. I’m going with it.

I know some may seem a little shocked by this considering how strong of a supporter of the Clay County audit I am. I hate to break it to you, but the clowns at the county courthouse have had a long time to prepare for this audit. I wouldn’t be too shocked if it doesn’t produce much. Plus, the elected State Auditor and the auditor’s staff are really two different things. It’s not like the State Auditor is sitting in the back room with a calculator combing through all the books. It’s going to be the professional staff of the state auditor’s office doing this. Some of these people have been in their roles for years. The audit happens and is probably done as good as it’s going to be no matter who wins the office.

For US State Representative District 6: Dan Hogan – Libertarian

I no longer can support Congressman Sam Graves. He’s become a disappointment in Washington. He’s terrible on civil liberties and privacy, he votes for spending bills that have done nothing but run up the debt, and he’s no fan of the free market. There’s nothing “conservative” really left about that man. Whatever he set out to do all those years ago when he surprised all in Clay County has pretty much been a waste. He’s part of the swamp, and it’s time to send a message to him that he either needs to ship up or move out. I could care less who the Democrat is in this race. You’re only going the wrong way if you put a Democrat in this seat in Washington.

For State Senator District 12 – Dan Hegeman – Republican

If there was a Libertarian in this race I’d probably vote for them. Senator Hegeman is a really nice man, but I’ve found him to be nothing more than a rubber stamp down in Jefferson City for leadership. I read through his opponents issue page, typical Democrat who wants more government. At least with Hegeman there’s a small chance spending stays stagnant and my taxes don’t go up.

For State Representative District 12 – State Rep Ken Wilson – Republican

I know Ken Wilson quite well, and proudly consider him a personal friend of mine. Wilson has done well to try and stand on his own two feet in Jefferson City. He’s actually been good on issues of Liberty, and has shown a willingness to make party leadership mad. We’d do well to send him back to Jefferson City this cycle. He’s one of the good guys.

For Presiding Commissioner – Jerry Nolte – Republican

Commissioner Nolte is one of the good guys. I’ve known Jerry for years. He’s fought the good fight down at the Clay County Courthouse. He undeniably deserves another term. Let’s hope we can get him some help to right this ship in 2020.

For County Clerk – Megan Thompson – Republican

I was actually somewhat skeptical of Thompson 4 years ago. I’ve gotten to know her through the years. I’ve found her competent, smart, and on the right side of all the chaos down at the Courthouse. She and her office have unfortunately paid a political price for doing the right thing. There’s no compelling case to change things in the Clerk’s office.

For Recorder of Deeds – Katee Porter – Republican

This race concerns me as lots of people don’t do their research on these local races. The guy that’s running against Porter, Bruce Cantwell, has made no serious effort to run for this office, he has a major question about unpaid debt, and he appears to be unqualified for the job. Meanwhile Porter has done an excellent job in the office for the last four years. She deserves another four years in the position.

Judicial Nominees

I honestly have no clue. No one ever does a good job of getting information out about these, so I’m not voting on them. It’s okay not to vote sometimes.

Constitutional Amendment No 1 – No

This thing is an absolute mess. If there was ever an issue that was a solution looking for a problem, it’s Amendment 1. Which probably means that this thing passes because I suspect there will be a significant amount of ignorant voters at the polls across the state due to the marijuana initiatives and the minimum wage increase.

But, but, but, “dark money”.

I swear if I hear that stupid, loaded phrase one more time, I’m going to scream. It’s amazing to me watching some of you people. Say something enough times, make it sound scary, and you run around parroting it like the world is going to end tomorrow if we don’t do something.

For anyone that wants a halfway decent look at what exactly this monstrosity does, CLICK HERE.

My concern lies in the redistricting process. There’s been a significant amount of outside money spent on this thing and it looks as if it’s an attempt to get Democrats more power through the state redistricting process. There’s no strong evidence that Democrats are being underrepresented through redistricting. And, yes, George Soros is involved here to the tune of $250,000. Soros only does things that helps Democrats.

The greatest comedy is that if there ever was a person who put more “dark money” in play in the USA, it’s that clown.

The redistricing process isn’t perfect right now, but there’s a good chance this thing makes it an absolute nightmare. What we have works good enough.

Marijuana Initiatives – No on Amendments 2 and 3, Yes on Proposition C

I’m a big supporter of medical marijuana as there is a growing body of evidence that it works in both narcotic and non-narcotic forms (i.e. CBD oil). I think C is the best of the three. I’m not sure what happens if voters pass all three of these?

Constitutional Amendment 4 – Yes

Bingo! No, really, Bingo. Weird. I see no issue with this.

Proposition B Minimum Wage Increase- Hell NO!

There are two ways to approach the topic of a minimum wage: economic and moral

If there was ever an idea that proved most Americans are economically illiterate and have absolutely no idea how an economy works, it’s the concept of a minimum wage. I could spend time citing economic research that shows this doesn’t work, I could give you an explanation of how wages work in an economy, and I could show you that few adults actually work for the minimum wage.

But many wouldn’t care what the evidence is because in their eyes this is a moral issue. And you know what, I agree, but I’ll severely disagree in which way the morality is tilted.

Few things piss me off more than people who think, stereotypically, that business owners are out to harm the people that work for them. People believe that if only the greedy fat cat business owners would just cough up a few more dollars, all would be well with the world.

Well, I’m about sick of it.

Here’s the reality. Business owners deal with more stress and frustrations than most people ever dream of. Young businesses often pay minimum wage BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY. By increasing the minimum wage you are directly harming the ability of the next small business to get off the ground and maybe pay a “living wage” (which is about as asinine of a phrase as “dark money”).

If you think an employee should be paid a specific wage, then get off your ass, get out there, and start a company that pays that “living wage” you’re so passionate about. If you’re making minimum wage, then do something to develop more skills that make you more marketable in the economy. There’s no reason a high school graduate should be making the minimum wage in this society if they’re not lazy. None.

I’ve worked in private business since I was 14.5 with a 5 year hiatus in public education. The one thing that is as true today as it was when I was 14.5 is the following:

Hard-workers and learners always make more money.

A minimum wage increase is the equivalent of you pointing a gun at a business owner demanding him or her adapt their business model to your demands. It’s shameful and highly immoral.

Propostion D – Gas Tax – No

This is only something a bunch of legislators could come up with in Jeff City. I personally support an increase in the gas tax, but not in this manner. If Jeff City wants us to support a gas tax, then give us one that shows us specifically what you’re going to spend the money on and why. I’d also like to see a full audit of MODOT before we pass it.

This bait and switch of putting public safety in front of the measure in the hopes we pass it is disingenous.

It’s election time in Clay County, so that means we’re guaranteed at least one strange political story. And, well this story, this story echoes of the great William James Norris saga. For those that don’t know the story, it’s a long drawn out political tragi-comedy where Clay County residents didn’t do any research and elected a guy to the County Auditor position who had a bit of a sordid past. He ended up going to jail.

Local politics at its finest. Who am I voting for? I don’t know, I’ll just pick a party because it’s hard work finding out information.

In total, non-sarcastic fairness, I’ve seen a lot of positive movement towards people better informing themselves about local elected offices this cycle. Maybe the trend will continue. Let’s hope because Clay County Missouri Audit chief petitioner, Jason Withington, told me something recently that concerned me. He was messing around on Case.net the other night doing some research on candidates and discovered that Democratic Candidate for Clay County Recorder of Deeds Candidate Bruce Cantwell has multiple legal judgments against him for unpaid debt.

For those that don’t know, Case.Net is a useful research tool that allows you to see if legal action has ever been taken against someone in a Missouri Court.

There are multiple cases against a Bruce Cantwell of Liberty, MO for inability to pay his bills. Most interestingly, it appears he failed to pay Clay County property taxes and was then sued for that. It does look like he paid that one back after he was almost drug to a courtroom.

Many of these cases have judgments against him that are yet to be satisfied. In total it appears that Mr. Cantwell owes $16,390.10 in unsatisfied judgements.

Reference numbers on Missouri Case.net are as follows:

13CY-CV06275

11CY-CV10605

11CY-CV05359

10CY-CV13732

11CY-CV14202

12CY-CV03719

I have scanned a PDF of all the cases, you can click below to view the file:

Bruce Cantwell Case.net Cases

I thought I’d dig a little deeper. There is nothing filed online with the Missouri Ethics Commission for his campaign. In other words, he’s not really running a serious campaign and has no organized campaign committee. And if you really pay attention around Clay County, there’s no political signage to be found. There’s also no website and no Facebook page.

It’s as if he’s hoping that people just go to the polls and happen to vote for him.

Strangely, he did show up to the candidate forum that was put on by the Courier-Tribune the other night.

Man, was that painful.

Mr. Cantwell appeared mostly unsure about what the office does. Much of his responses were basically echoed responses of what current Clay County Recorder Katee Porter said before he spoke.

There also was a strange question at the end of the forum about conflict of interest because of tax debt. Makes you wonder if the Courier-Tribune knows about this and was too scared to ask the question in a public forum.

And most importantly, “[He’s] hoping, that there’s a chance that [he] may be elected into the Recorder’s of Deeds office.”

He’s hoping there’s a chance…. Sigh…

If you can’t give yourself a vote of confidence, the people really shouldn’t either.

I recently stopped at the Clay County Election Board to see if I could find anymore information on the guy.

I was able to come up with his personal financial disclosure for his campaign. You can view that by clicking here: Bruce Cantwell PFD

By the looks of it, there’s not much to disclose other than the fact that he works for the post office.

The important thing to take from the PFD is the address on his personal financial disclosure does match the address on several of the judgments. On some of the other judgments, it’s the same street but a different apartment number. I want to be abundantly clear, I do not think this is a case of mistaken identity.

I literally have no idea why this guy is running for this office. Ms. Porter has done an excellent job as our current Recorder over the last four years. She’s a lawyer, a former prosecutor for the city of Smithville and Gladstone, and most importantly a mother.

This is the absolute worst part of local elections for offices like Recorder of Deeds, County Clerk, Assessor, Collector, and Prosecutor: low information voters can make HUGE mistakes. We saw that during the William James Norris mess.

PLEASE, I beg of you, don’t go to the polls and vote your political tribe on this one.

The Recorder maintains a record of all real property in the entire county. It’s an office that requires a person to be organized and responsible.

For more information on what the office does, go check out this post over on Porter’s campaign Facebook page.

Just How Does the Recorder of Deeds Office Affect Your Life?

You also can find the same information on her website: http://www.KateePorter.com

A person that can’t pay their bills is not qualified to be elected to an office like this.

Let’s not pull another William James Norris, Clay County.

And as always with anything I write on here, if there’s something inaccurate, I’m happy to clear it up. Just let me know.