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July 4, 2013

Is This Freedom Day?

Patricia A. Kelly

This Fourth of July, “during a period when federal employees are scheduled to be furloughed….,” Camp Lejune and Fort Bragg, along with other American military bases, are cancelling the fireworks portion of their annual celebrations. They can’t afford to buy the fireworks.


So much for supporting our troops!!!!!


That’s just one result of sequestration, which started March 1. The military’s budget was cut by 7.9% across the board, and other agencies were cut by 4.6%. Air traffic controllers and meat inspectors were saved by acts of Congress.


Some other effects, so far, are the shrinking of Head Start programs, a shrinking public defender force, decreased services from the National Park Service, federal furloughs of up to 20% of total salaries, cancer clinics turning away Medicare patients, partially due to decreased reimbursement, and decreased unemployment benefits by states.


And think of our poor president! Because of negative public relations regarding our country’s financial situation, he had to forgo the safari portion of his $100 million family trip to Africa! It wouldn’t have looked good for him to spend even more money. He was forced to choose between the safari and visiting the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.


Our financial situation did not stop him from committing $7 billion to the development of a modern electricity grid for sub-Saharan Africa while he was there. He even had a chance to warn them not to let us take advantage of them when they get modern businesses going. It’s so good to see his largess, no matter our decreased position and prestige in the world, as our debt grows.


Our national debt is about $17 trillion, over $52,000 per person, and more than 100% of the Gross Domestic Product of our country, higher than right after World War II, when we borrowed to save the world.


Most of the debt is not owed to China, the largest foreign lender, which holds 8%, but rather is to our own government, to American investors and future retirees, through loans from the Social Security Trust Fund and loans from pension plans for civil servants and military personnel. If we default, our own people, those who were required by law to contribute to these funds for their own retirements, will be the ones to suffer.


Did our ancestors fight for freedom for this? Are you feeling free today?


Meanwhile, in case the pot has not been stirred enough, President Barack Obama’s good friend George Soros, according to the Heritage Foundation, has a new full time job running a think tank called “” According to the web site, class warfare which involves the middle class fighting the super rich explains the results of the 2012 elections, and promises to determine the outcome of future elections.


Sounds just like something Karl Marx would say, and we all know how well his ideas worked. Remember when Russia and China were communist? They’re still trying to repair their infrastructure.


Right now our own government may be the real enemy of the middle class, pushing programs purported to help us, while demonstrating complete irresponsibility and disrespect in the way it manages our tax money.


Today Adi Mansour, head of Egypt’s Constitutional Court, will be sworn in as their new president. That’s because the people of Egypt have fought tirelessly, and given their lives for the past three years, to overthrow autocratic rule and obtain their freedom. Let’s hope they succeed this time.


That’s just what our ancestors did over two hundred years ago. They fought, froze their toes off, starved and died to create a great country where people were free, respected and protected from harm by a representative government.


On this Independence Day, it’s a good time to reflect. Is this a country where people can study, work, achieve and care for themselves and their families in freedom, or is our dream eroding in a maze of hidden costs, irresponsible spending, self serving leadership, loss of religious freedom, and un-transparent regulations?


Best wishes, good luck, and Happy 4th of July to you and yours.


Yellow Cab
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