By Thomas Stokes, Middletown
With the June 4th primary rapidly approaching, I wanted to share why I’m supporting Republican Joe Kyrillos for State Senate.
I began working for Conservative candidates in High School when Barry Goldwater ran for President. In college, I founded the first Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter at NYU. I served as a Municipal Chairman of the NY State Conservative Party and worked hard to elect Ronald Reagan (Chair, Taxpayers For Reagan) before moving to New Jersey many years ago.
Joe and I have been good friends for a number of years. I have been proud to support him in every election. Now, he’s facing a new primary opponent – and what I have discovered about his opponent is alarming, and is something that should also concern you. By the way, contrary to claims she’s an attorney, Joe’s opponent never even went to law school, let alone pass a bar exam.
Leigh-Ann Bellew claims she is a champion of fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, it’s just not true. Three years ago, she racked up almost $140,000 in credit card debt on 20 different credit cards – including payment to a vacation timeshare company in Las Vegas – and didn’t pay the bills. Instead, she filed for bankruptcy. How can we trust her to be the conservative leader we need when she can’t even be responsible for her own finances?
To make matters worse, the Monmouth County Democrat Chairman has now confirmed reports that Ms. Bellew’s campaign has sought funding and other assistance from the Democrats in this primary!
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 16th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Joe Kyrillos, LD 13, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Monmouth County, Primary Election, Thomas Stokes | Tags: Joe Kyrillos, LD 13 primary, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Thomas Stokes | 44 Comments »
By Thomas Stokes, Middletown
I am really getting tired of these “AARP Volunteers” and so-called “officials” who continuously spout drivel in their attacks on Republicans.
It was the AARP who supported Obamacare and the $500 BILLION cut in Medicare, which will negatively impact many seniors seeking medical treatment.
Of course, I am sure it had nothing to do with the sale of AARP sponsored health insurance plans (which, as a result of Obamacare, may reap a windfall in profits for AARP). Even AARP had to raise the health insurance premiums of their employees as a result of Obamacare. And quite a few “favored friends” received “waivers” from Obamacare.
Now, we read that the AARP is “open” to reforming Social Security, with the AARP legislative policy director David Certner saying that Social Security needs a “package of revenue and benefit adjustments … to make it solvent.” Of course, the solution they seem to favor is increasing the payroll taxes on every worker and employer.
The fact is, Social Security and Medicare are facing a fast approaching financial crisis. The simple truth is that with the increasing life expectancy, and the baby boom generation starting to retire, the growth of the population receiving these benefits is outpacing the growth of active employees – making the sustainability of outlays extremely dubious. Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund recently warned the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2036 and under current law, seniors would then face a 23 percent across-the-board cut in benefits.
Here are the grim statistics right from Social Security (http://www.ssa.gov/history/ratios.html).
In 1945, there were 46,390,000 covered workers. There were 1,106,000 receiving Social Security benefits. The ratio of worker to retiree was 41.9.
In 2010, there were 156,725,000 covered workers with 53,398,000 receiving benefits. That is a ratio of less than 3 to 1 (actually 2.9 workers for every retiree).
These facts are clear. The current trending has placed these programs on a fiscally unsustainable path. There can be no doubt as to the ultimate outcome.
Unless something can be done to expand job growth, to begin to address the imbalance of workers to retirees, Social Security (and Medicare) will collapse, leaving current seniors and those close to retiring out in the cold.
Whether you agree with the solution as proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan on the Medicare issue or not, Congressman Ryan must be congratulated for daring to touch the so-called third rail of American politics. It is critical that these issues be raised and addressed in a fashion to protect the future of America’s current seniors and those closing in on retirement age. Nonsense as spouted by so-called self appointed (or anointed) representatives of seniors does nothing to solve the problem.
We have raised retirement ages in the past; it seems clear that, with increasing life expectancy this will need to be addressed again. Perhaps Medicare age should also tie in with the Social Security age. Ultimately, we need to get our country’s economic house in order so that we may create job growth.
With a 9.1 % unemployment rate, it is clear that Obamanomics has now failed. Even the Democrat National Chairperson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz , now says about the Democrats, “We own the economy” (6/15/2011). Blaming Republican President Bush and the past Democrat Congress solves nothing.
It’s time to stop political games and begin to work together to turn this country around. The Democrats, who controlled Congress the past few years, and still control the Senate, failed to even propose a budget last year. Why? Where is the President in leading his party? He seems to be an absentee leader, preferring the golf links to resolving issues.
The problem is not that Americans are under-taxed, it is that our politicians are addicted to spending. Yes, taxes need to be addressed (the best solution would be to throw out the entire tax code and start with a simpler, fairer, income tax and perhaps even a consumption tax), but we do need to cut spending first. Perhaps then we can start to grow our economy out of the doldrums we find ourselves in.
Perhaps seniors should be made aware that there are other senior organizations they could join instead of the AARP. These include: Alliance for Retirement Prosperity Association, PO Box 3678 Warrenton, Virginia 20188 and 60 Plus Association, 515 King Street, Suite 315, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
Competition is always a good thing.
Posted: June 20th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Soial Security | Tags: AARP, Social Security, Thomas Stokes | 3 Comments »
Posted: October 20th, 2010 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Anna Little, Health Care, Scott Sipprelle, Thomas Stokes | Tags: Anna Little, ObamaCare, Scott Sipprelle, Thomas Stokes | Comments Off on Wake Up, America!
By Thomas Stokes, Middletown
Obamacare was supposed to help seniors. Not really. Over $500 Billion in Medicare cuts are strangling medical services for the elderly. The cuts may force a number of hospitals to close. Adding millions more onto the Medicaid rolls will further increase the costs to the taxpayers.
Obamacare was not supposed to ration healthcare services. Obama nominated Dr. Donald Berwick, an advocate of health-care rationing to run Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Berwick’s claim that the government must ration health care is a portent of things to come. “I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it.” said Dr. Berwick in England in 2008 on the 60th anniversary of the British National Health Service.
Based upon their support for rationing, I guess I’m lucky to have had my open heart surgery done in 2007; some government bureaucrat can now decide whether I could have that operation or not. No government bureaucrat should ever come between a patient and their doctor.
As respects controlling costs; the career politicians assured us that health care costs would go down. Oops, even the Health and Human Services department now projects costs to rise more than originally projected. Didn’t they know that adding 34 million more people to the healthcare system would increase costs for those who subsidize this (us, the taxpayers). Are they really that stupid not to understand that by increasing demand on medical services without a corresponding increase in the supply (doctors and nurses) defacto rationing would occur?
“During 2010-2019, however, these effects (cost control features) would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage,” wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary. Insurance companies are now forced to raise rates for current policyholders to cover the additional costs caused by Obamacare.
It’s obvious that the Democrat plan to save Social Security and Medicare is to cut the payouts (not just the Cost of Living Increase) by reducing the number of recipients through attrition (namely, to kill the seniors off by rationing their health care). The only business which will thrive as a result are the funeral homes.
Of course, the only other profession who will continue to prosper are the attorneys. The ambulance chasers were deliberately protected by the Democrat Congress led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid when they refused to include any type of tort reform in Obamacare.
I urge my fellow seniors, homeowners and taxpayers to thank Obama and the Democrat career political establishment on Tuesday, November 2nd, by voting Republican for every office, even if you have to hold your nose.
The only way we will ever change Washington is if we change the people we send there. Anna Little in Congressional District 6 and Scott Sipprelle in Congressional District 12 would be a great start.
By Thomas Stokes, Middletown
The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions.
The current economic crisis, resulting from the sub prime mortgage meltdown, is certainly a perfect example of this.
Politicians had the major role in creating the current problems, starting with the admirable intention of having low-income families own their own homes.
The Community Reinvestment Act, passed by a Democrat Congress in 1977 to reduce alleged discriminatory credit practices in low income areas actually encouraged lending to uncreditworthy borrowers. Amendments to the CRA in the mid-1990s, raised the amount of mortgages issued to otherwise unqualified low-income borrowers, and allowed the securitization of CRA-regulated mortgages, even though many were subprime.
Those who opposed this faced charges of racism from the more liberal politicians and activist groups like SEIU and ACORN (both of these organizations are international and no information is provided as to foreign funding of their political activities in the US).
In 1982, a Democrat Congress passed the Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act (AMTPA), which allowed creditors to write adjustable-rate mortgages, including option adjustable-rate, balloon-payment and interest-only mortgages.
Approximately 80% of subprime mortgages were adjustable-rate mortgages.
By 2008, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned, either directly or through mortgage pools they sponsored, $5.1 trillion in residential mortgages, about half the total U.S. mortgage market.
When concerns arose in September 2008 regarding the ability of Fannie and Freddie to make good on their guarantees, Washington placed the companies into a conservatorship, effectively nationalizing them at the taxpayers’ expense.
What has been the result of this?
The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. In 2009, almost 3 million homeowners faced foreclosure. Huge drops in home values for those who manged to keep their homes with many now “under water” (values below the mortgage owed). Double digit unemployment, poverty levels higher than when President Johnson waged a “War on Poverty”. This attempt to help people has not only hurt those same low-income families. but has also hurt each and every one of us.
In New Jersey, politicians have created the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) which imposes mandates on communities, like Middletown, to provide low-income, high density housing at taxpayer expense. This has a major impact on services, especially schools, and the property taxes we pay.
Professional politicians, of both parties, always searching for more votes, ignore the unintended (but not unforseen) consequences of their actions. Yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Posted: October 13th, 2010 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Thomas Stokes | Tags: Thomas Stokes | Comments Off on The Road To Hell
By Thomas F. Stokes, Middletown
On September 15th, the Los Angeles Times reported that the national Democrat Party had a new “rebranding effort” showing a new party logo and slogan.
Just released census data now show 43.6 million Americans living below the poverty line.
The census figures also show that among the working age (18-64) population, poverty levels rose to the highest level in almost fifty (that’s 50) years.
Together with the latest unemployment figures, it is no wonder that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their “progressive” (ultra-liberal) fellow democrats (such as incumbent Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt), who have controlled Congress, spending and taxes for the past four years, want to “rebrand” their democrat party. If I had such a dismal record, I would too.
Based upon the democrats’ actual record of digging the economic ditch we now find our country in, and continuing their spend, borrow and tax policies, which have obviously failed, may I suggest a new rebranding with “truth in advertising”. They are now “POP”, the Party of Poverty. The “D” now stands for “Digging the Ditch”.
Spare me the standard response that it was “Bush’s fault”. No president, whether Bush or Obama, pass a budget or taxes. That is only Congress. The president’s only responsibility is to sign or veto the legislation. Under the current administration fat chance of this president vetoing any increase in spending (or more government bailouts, takeovers or expansion of government).
Years ago, common sense was that if you found yourself in a hole, you should stop digging. Then again, the “progressives” in the Party of Poverty seem to have ignored Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity – keep doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result!
Even Fidel Castro was recently quoted as saying Cuba’s socialist economy “doesn’t work for us anymore”. Cuba just announced the layoff of 500,000 government workers. Greece’s socialist economy has literally bankrupted that country. European socialism is going the way of the dinosaurs.
And our Party of Poverty progressives want to continue down the yellow brick road, paved with trillions of dollars of deficits. How long will it take our children and grandchildren to pay for this out of control spending? Here’s just one result of the democrats’ ballyhooed “stimulus” spending. The city of Los Angeles just reported spending $111 million of our tax dollars to create or save “only 55 jobs”. That’s $2 million for each job!
That is beyond ridiculous. It is obscene.
This November, the American People must join the Taxpayers’ Revolt and send a loud and clear message to the Washington elites. As the ad says, “Can you hear us now?”.
Posted: September 17th, 2010 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Thomas Stokes, Uncategorized | Tags: Democrats, Thomas Stokes | Comments Off on Rebranding The Democrats
By Thomas Stokes, Middletown
In this political year, voters and taxpayers are bombarded on all sides with what is, frankly, political propaganda. Politicians have been touting the “Summer of Recovery” trying to put a positive spin on our current economy. Well, summer is now over.
Time for some facts from the the national Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://bls.gov/).
In 2006, there were 6.9 million unemployed, with an unemployed rate of 4.6%. Payroll employment had an average growth rate of more than 149,000 per month.
As of today, there are currently 14.9 million unemployed with a 9.6% unemployment rate. In June, 2010, payroll employment dropped 175,000, in July, 2010, payroll employment dropped an additional 54,000.
In November, 2006, the Democrats took control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate (while Bush was still President). It should be pointed out that only the Congress, not the President, passes legislation to spend and tax. For the past four years, Congress has been 100% controlled by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their fellow Democrats.
In November, 2008, the Democrats took control of the White House and have completely controlled our national government since.
Who has been hurt by this? Besides every family being impacted by this dreadful economy, teenagers have been hit with a 26.3% unemployment rate. Black Americans have a 16.3% unemployment rate and Hispanic Americans have a 12.0% unemployment rate. On 9/11/2010 the headline read “US Poverty on track to post record gain” due to the current economic conditions.
Another interesting fact – according to IRS data, taxpayers aged 55 and older account for 71% of the dividends earned in this country. On January 1, 2011, taxpayers, especially Senior Citizens living on a fixed income, will face a devastating increase in the dividend tax rate – going from 15% to as high as 39.6%!
On January 1, 2011, since the Democrat controlled Congress has up to now, refused to extend the 2001 and 2003 Republican tax cuts, all American taxpayers face the largest tax hike in our history! It makes absolutely no sense, in the midst of the current economic recession, to raise taxes on anyone, especially those who create private sector jobs – the small business sector.
All the spending and borrowing by this Congress has achieved nothing but massive debt for our children and grandchildren. With no results to show, Congress and the President propose even more spending (and borrowing) in “Stimulus II”. I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, “the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result!”. Considering this, perhaps most members of Congress need a long rest.
The question is simple, not just for senior citizens, but for every American taxpayer. As we enter a national election season for control of the Congress, just ask yourself. Are you and your family better off today than four years ago (in 2006), when the Democrats took control?
The honest answer to that should determine how you cast your ballot on November 2nd.
Posted: September 12th, 2010 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Economy, Thomas Stokes | Tags: Economy, Thomas Stokes | Comments Off on Summer of Recovery?