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Off The Editor’s Desk – 4-23-2014

In this column I put together some information I hope you find interesting!

• The 16th amendment, the federal income tax code totaled 400 pages when the income tax first took effect in 1913. Today, this tax code is a staggering 74,609 pages long, and is administrated by a bureaucracy of 90,000 employees at a cost of more than $11 billion. – Info from Nathan Mchrens

• The government does $50 billion a year in Supplemental Security income, $57 billion a year for the Earned Income Tax Credit that often results in a negative tax rate for recipients, $33 billion a year in Pell Grants, $800 billion a year Social Security program. There are no limitations on converting benefits into cash, reports Robert Romano. However, even if the government lists Social Security as an entitlement, we paid and our employer paid into the fund on our behalf. It’s our money not the governments.

• Robert Romano also reported that many federal and state-based welfare assistance programs including the federally funded $173 billion a year Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) legally allows for cash withdrawals from ATMs and cash back options at grocery stores and elsewhere.

• The government is silently storing newborn babies DNA for use in research and analysis, all without parents consent. So says the “Citizens Council for Health Freedom,” a Minnesota based national organization dedicated to preserving patient centered health care and protecting patient privacy rights. They say such storage represents a severe violation of privacy and property rights.

• The story about cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his struggle with the Federal Bureau of Land Management has brought national attention and attracted supporters to his aid. Bundy has lost three court battles in his effort to graze his cattle on government-owned land. Apparently the government over reacted in rounding up those cattle and many people came to his aid facing down armed federal agents until they withdrew. It brings back memories of the 1993 Branch Davidian Complex near Waco, Texas and the resulting fire that took the lives of 76 people.

Bundy’s sister, Susan was asked, “who is behind the uproar?” She blamed the Sierra Club, then Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and then President Obama. She concluded, “It’s all about control.”

I think it’s all about oil and gas or solar space and Senator Reid has his fingers in it. I will wager that it is not to try to help the Bundy’s and the government to work together to bring the disagreement to an end.

Thanks for reading. -Carlton