Saturday, April 16, 2011

Home tax credit was abused

"Most of the money — about $326 million — went to more than 47,000 taxpayers who didn’t qualify as first-time homebuyers because there was evidence they had already owned homes. "

The money should be recaptured and any borrowers who knowingly committed fraud or any mortgage loan officers who committed fraud on behalf of a borrower should be criminally prosecuted and jailed.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

How $40 billion in Cuts is really only $352 million

I take back the laudatory things I said about the budget deal that avoided a government shut down. Various believable and trusted sources have analyzed the spendnig cuts and the $40 billion in cuts was really only about $352 Million. We were had.  We were scammed. I am forgiving of those who voted for the deal, however.  Last minute budget crunching to beat a deadline can result in not being sure what you really voted for.  They had to vote for it to know what was in it. They fooled you this time; don't be fooled again.

Those who voted against the final deal, since real cuts were only amounted to $352 million, were right.  There is another chance to get real cuts and that is in the vote raising the debt limit. Get some real cuts next time. Republicans must take a stand for real cuts.  Real solutions beyond one-time cuts will require that everything be on the table, including entitlements and military spending. For a long-term solution, Congress needs to pass the Corker Cap Bill.

Here is an analysis of what really passed from the Patriot Post. Other sources verify the correctness of this analysis. Read this and be disgusted as am I.

"The details of the agreement reached late Friday night just ahead of a deadline for a partial government shutdown reveal a lot of one-time savings and cuts that officially 'score' as cuts to pay for spending elsewhere, but often have little to no actual impact on the deficit."
First, the $40 billion deal included $12 billion in cuts from previous continuing resolutions, bringing the total to just $28 billion. Another $6.2 billion was merely unspent census money. Some $10 billion came from appropriations accounts used for earmarks that Republicans had already agreed to ban. More than 50 federal programs were cut, but the grand total for that was a pathetic $1 billion in savings. Four of Obama's "czars" were also cut, but the catch is that all four had already either resigned or moved to other job titles.
The cuts were thus minuscule to begin with; before long, they became virtually non-existent. The Congressional Budget Office released its analysis and it's not pretty -- the grand total in actual cuts is just $352 million. The government burns through that in about two hours. According to The Washington Post:

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Corker's CAP Act Gains Momentum, Cooper supports CAP.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) today announced additional bipartisan, bicameral support for their bill to put an across-the-board, binding cap on all federal spending. U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have added their names to the CAP Act, and U.S. Representatives Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) will be leading the effort in the House to build bipartisan support for the bill.

The CAP Act, S. 245, would, for the first time, set an across-the-board, binding cap on all federal spending. The fiscal straitjacket created by the CAP Act would result in $7.6 trillion less spending over a 10-year period and fundamentally change the way Washington does business.

“I’m delighted our CAP Act to put a fiscal straitjacket on Congress now has the support of Joe Lieberman and Ron Johnson as well as Jim Cooper and Jimmy Duncan in the House,” said Corker. “This growing bipartisan, bicameral support signals momentum and a genuine desire to move the conversation on spending where it must go: from billions to trillions and to enact the kind of dramatic cuts that will be necessary to put our country on a path to fiscal solvency.” 

“This is a good place to start the discussion,” said McCaskill. “We need to look at long-term comprehensive restraints on spending to address our debt and deficits. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that as we address these issues, we work to strengthen, not cut, Medicare and Social Security for current beneficiaries and ensure these programs are around for our grandchildren.”

“We are currently debating spending cuts to the federal budget of a few billion dollars, when our debt and deficits are measured in the trillions,” said Johnson. “Unless we get serious about our fiscal crisis, we will pass a crushing burden of debt on to our children and grandchildren. We are committing intergenerational theft. It is wrong, it is immoral, and it must stop. Economic growth is a critical component to solving this problem. Until we have a credible plan for spending restraint, consumers and businesses will not have the renewed confidence they need to spur investment and job creation. Senator Corker’s CAP Act is the first step in establishing that credible spending plan. It will provide the hard spending cap needed to enforce fiscal discipline and restrain the growth in government. I am happy to cosponsor this important piece of legislation.”

“We can no longer wait to take serious action to reduce the debt and this legislation provides a mechanism for fiscal responsibility,” said Lieberman. “Unless we swallow some deficit reduction medicine our nation’s economy is going to return to the Intensive Care Unit.”

the CAP Act would: 

  • Put in place a 10-year glide path to cap all spending – discretionary and mandatory – to a declining percentage of the country’s gross domestic product, eventually bringing spending down from the current level, 24.7 percent of GDP, to the 40-year historical level of 20.6 percent, and   

  • If Congress fails to meet the annual cap, require the Office of Management and Budget to make evenly distributed, simultaneous cuts throughout the federal budget to bring spending down to the pre-determined level. Only a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress could override the binding cap, and 

  • For the first time, eliminate the deceptive “off-budget” distinction for Social Security – providing a complete and accurate assessment of all federal spending.

    The growing list of Senate sponsors of the CAP Act includes Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). 

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    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    The 2011 Tennessee Liberty Festival!

    The 2011 Tennessee Liberty Festival!
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM  
    The Park at Indian Lake Villages
    140 Saundersville Rd. Hendersonville, TN  
    A celebration of our Constitution and our liberties for children and adults! With storytellers, musicians, games, crafts, re-enactors and more!

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    Kathleen Williams named Conservationist of the Year by TWF

    On Tuesday, April 19, Kathleen Williams will be honored by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation as the Land Conservationist of the Year.  The award will be bestowed at the 46th Annual TWF Conservation Achievement Awards and Legislative Reception in ceremonies at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville at 5 p.m. To attend the reception, call 615-353-1133 or email

    Each year since 1965, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) has honored a select group of leaders in the conservation and stewardship of wildlife and their habitat in Tennessee.

    “These awards recognize those individuals and organizations that have made truly meaningful contributions to conservation in Tennessee and to TWF,” says Michael Butler, TWF’s chief executive officer. “The great work of our past winners lives on today, and the current generation is building upon those successes. Without their willingness to take action, we would have failed in our mission, and we are proud to honor their contributions.”

    Kathleen is Executive Director of The Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. TPGF is a statewide non-profit organization that seeks to conserve and protect Tennessee’s rich heritage and natural resources.  It seeks to identify and protect the most beautiful, ecologically-rich, and historically-significant places in Tennessee. It has protected many beautiful vistas, privately-held waterfalls, critical habitats, and worked to place conservation easements on thousands of acres of land. The Foundation is funded by individual donations, grants, and other tax-deductible gifts.

    Last year Kathleen was instrumental in getting the State Legislature to restore the land conservation fund whose dedicated funding had been diverted to the general fund.

    Kathleen is my sister and I am very proud of the work she is doing. An added bonus of being her brother is that I get to take some beautiful hikes and see some marvelous waterfalls that are little known and not yet open to the public. 

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    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Action Alert: Don't make foreclosure easier in Tennesee.

    As a housing counselor working for a HUD-approved non-profit housing counseling agency, I see first hand the problems people face in trying to save their home from foreclosure. Tennessee already has one of the easiest foreclosure systems in the country. But yesterday in the Tennessee House Judiciary Sub-committee bankers tried to make foreclosure even easier in Tennessee.  

    Tennessee's "non-judicial review" process for foreclosures ranks near the top for ease and speed of foreclosures.
    • No courts. 
    • No judges.
    • No long drawn-out process.
    All a bank has to do is:
    1. Serve a single letter of notification to the homeowner. 
    2. Publish 3 public notices of foreclosure in the area newspaper.  
    3. Sell the property at auction. 
    The whole process can take less than 21 days.
    The only way to slow down the process is to file bankruptcy. Coincidentally, Tennessee has one of the highest bankruptcy rates in the country. 
    Now in the Judiciary Subcommittee, bankers hope to make the process even easier.
    Their shorter process would be;
     1. A single letter to the homeowner.  
    2. A single public notice in the paper.
    (No property description in the public notice.) 
    (Errors would legally be allowed to appear in the notice.) 
    3. Sell the property at auction. 
    There are already documented cases across Tennessee where elderly, separated and divorcing couples had no idea their home was being foreclosed upon until someone read it in the paper and alerted them. 

    This radical proposal from the banking industry violates several legal cannons including constructive notice, due process, fundamental fairness and the vagueness doctrines (see below).
    This is not a conservative or liberal issue nor a Republican or Democratic issue but an issue of fair notice. Please take time right now to click here and email committee members and tell them what you think.   

    The Bill Threatens to Break Several Legal Doctrines.
    Senate Bill 1299/House Bill 1920 will be heard this week The bill would decrease the number of publications necessary prior to foreclosing on a property from three to one, decrease relevant information contained in the notice, and the bill states that the law would allow errors in the public notice. Important constitutional and judicial doctrines such as constructive notice, due process, fundamental fairness and the vagueness doctrine are violated by this bill.  

    Bill Violates the Legal Doctrine of Constructive Notice.
    This bill decreases the number of publications for the public notice from three to one – thus violating a legal canon called constructive notice; the publication of a public notice three times. Courts allow constructive notice as a relief from liability for any claim of ignorance of the action.  Should a debtor willfully avoid notice by not opening their mail or claiming that they never received the notice of foreclosure the maxim of constructive notice provides protection for the bank or other entity; it is allowed by courts as legal proof that notice of the action was provided to the individual and or to the community.

    Violates Procedural Due Process, Fundamental Fairness Doctrine and Vagueness Doctrines.  
    Procedural due process of the law provides that any government action that unfairly deprives an individual of life, liberty, or property is unconstitutional.  This bill changes the standard description of property used for generations in foreclosure matters whereby one can easily identify through the ad the property being taken.  This bill would require only a “concise” description of the land in question; which means only a reference to the deed book and page in the county register of deeds office that contains the complete legal description of the property – it is not reasonable to believe that most citizens would be able to understand that the legal notice of foreclosure is identifying their property by reading such a technical description in the newspaper thus a procedural violation of due process would exist. 
    An additional violation of due process set forth by the language of this bill is found in language that states “Any error or defect in the common description of the land shall not in any way void any sale of the land.”  This violates what is called the fundamental fairness doctrine which is synonymous with due process.  
    The vagueness doctrine is a legal principle which states that law that does not provide a “person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, proscribed or claimed” is unconstitutionally vague. This bill seems to allow language in legal notices which is intentionally vague and lacking in commonly useful information by changing the level of detail and standard description historically used to identify the property being taken. 
    The above information is from the Open Government Project of the Education and Public Policy Center. EPPC has entered in to a project to defend open government in Tennessee called "Public Notice: under threat." Several pieces of legislation threaten to end public notices in Tennessee's newspapers including notices of upcoming elections, zoning changes, rate increases and many others. 

    Please visit to learn more about the impending threat to publication of public notices in Tennessee, watch the videos and read the issue alerts.

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    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Celebrate! Tax Freedom Day

    Today is Tax Freedom Day! Today, Americans stopped working for the federal government and started working for themselves. Well, maybe not really working for themselves yet because they still have to work a few days more for state and local government, but still today is a day to celebrate.

    Today's Tax Freedom day comes three days later than last year, but still a couple weeks earlier than Tax Freedom Day in 2006 and 2007 when it was April 24. Of Course, if we were paying for all the government we were getting, Tax Freedom Day would not arrive until June 21st. When you borrow 40% of every dollar you spend you can get a lot of stuff you haven't paid for and some of it is not even stuff you need or really want.

    Taxes this year will cost Americans more than what they'll spend on food, shelter, and clothing combined.

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    West Nashville Summit: Ralph F. Weber on Free Market Health Care Reform

    Rise and Shine
    for the
    West Nashville Eggs and Bacon Summit
    with Special Guest

     Ralph F. Weber
    speaking on
    Free Market Health Care Reform

    Ralph F. Weber, President of MediBid, was born in Vancouver, Canada, and grew up in Thailand, Nepal, and Germany. After starting an international health insurance brokerage in Canada, Ralph’s wife was injured by a 2 ½ year wait for surgery, and his son sustained a head injury which was not treated because of the lack of a CT machine at the hospital in Canada. In 2005, Ralph moved to California to obtain surgery for his wife, and expanded his brokerage there.

    In 2006, Ralph participated in a healthcare forum with presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani. Ralph later contributed healthcare reform policy to Mayor Giuliani, and state assemblyman, Mike Villines. Driven by a passion for greater access, transparency, and value in healthcare, Ralph and a group of private investors started MediBid. MediBid does what politicians have failed to do to healthcare for decades: To control costs, expand access, and offer quality choice and value to patients through a free market system. MediBid allows patients to shop for medical care across state lines.

    Meeting at  
    365 White Bridge Pike, Nashville
    Saturday, April 16
    Fellowship, Dutch Treat Breakfast 8:30 AM, meeting 9:00 AM
    Moderator: Matt Nemeth

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    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Americans for Limited Government praises Speaker Boehner for More Cuts to Budget,

    Urges Passage of Balanced Budget Amendment
    April 9th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement praising House Speaker John Boehner for getting $38.5 billion in more cuts to the 2011 budget in a deal that will fund the military through the year and averts a government shutdown:
    "Speaker Boehner is to be congratulated for forcing through more real budget cuts in the midnight deal to prevent a shutdown than even his own Appropriations Committee initially proposed. This is a good first step toward restoring fiscal sanity in our nation.

    "As our nation faces a real government shutdown in just a few weeks as we reach the limit on how much money the federal government can borrow, we urge the Speaker to keep the pressure on to create institutional changes that permanently pull our nation back from the brink of financial disaster before agreeing to any increase in the debt ceiling. Speaker Boehner has the political momentum, and the American people will no longer stand for giving the politicians in DC a blank check.

    "It is our hope that the Speaker will force the Senate and House Democrats to at a minimum send the Balanced Budget Amendment proposed by Senators McConnell and Hatch to the states for ratification in exchange for an increase in the government's credit limit. Our nation can no longer afford to keep borrowing and a strong balanced budget amendment would force fiscal sanity and preserve our nation's historic greatness."

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    We ain't going away, by Bruce Bellott

    Another fun, tea party fight song by Bruce Bellott. He performs at Nashville tea party rallies.

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