Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Good News

Is there any good news?
These days of rising prices and high unemployment, inflation running high and crimes reported from neighbors to the biggest elites and government, people ask- “Don’t you have any good news?”
Of course there is good news. We know these are signs of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ! We who believe watch in anticipation as we see the events unfolding in the world and in our localities. In talking about the final days Jesus said “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not the angels of Heaven, but only My Father.” Matthew 24:36. However He said “Now learn a parable of the fig tree. When its branch is still tender and puts out leaves, you know that summer is near. So you, likewise, when you see all these things, shall know that it is near, at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled.” Matthew 24:32-34. “Therefore watch; for you do not know what hour your Lord comes.” Matthew 24:42
In speaking of “this generation” Jesus was speaking of the generation that would see the signs he described in Matthew 24.  Friends, we are this generation. Some 63 years ago Israel became a nation after there was none for around 2,000 years. This is also described as a sign in the Old Testament.
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:10-12
 And He said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, our bones are dried and our hope is lost; we are cut off by ourselves. Therefore prophesy and say to them, so says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, and will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am Jehovah when I have opened your graves, O My people, and have brought you up out of your graves. And I shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. And you shall know that I Jehovah have spoken and have done it, says Jehovah. Ezekiel 37:11-14
Both of these are concerning the rebirth of the nation of Israel and peoples that had been scattered will return. This has happened. And in Isaiah 67 the prophet tells of the nation being born in one day as happened in 1948.
Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
      Before her pain came,
      She delivered a male child.
      Who has heard such a thing?
      Who has seen such things?
      Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
      Or shall a nation be born at once?
      For as soon as Zion was in labor,
      She gave birth to her children
Isaiah 66:7-8
This accurately describes what happened on May 14, 1948 - when the Jews declared independence for Israel as a united and sovereign nation for the first time in 2900 years.
The New Testament also describes the last days as days of lawlessness. We have seen children gang raping other children. When I was a child we could play in the street at night unguarded with no fear. Homes were left unlocked. Schools have children murdering numbers of other children. Adults are attacking children in record numbers. You know what is happening these days so I will not dwell here.
Romans 1: 18-32 and the book of Jude describe a long list of behaviors that will not only occur but be acceptable. Homosexuality, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, unloving, unmerciful and untrustworthy. These are the characteristics of the final generation. These are all happening in ways and numbers never before seen.
Behavioral experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. In a poll, 75% of women say they lie about money to boyfriends, husbands, and family members. Over 60% of people felt they could wiggle out of their lies once discovered and not suffer the consequences. 13% of respondents admitted they lied to researchers in the study that found this statistic.
Nearly 40% of folks said they have lied about following a doctor's treatment plan and 30% lied to their doctors about their diet and workout regimen. 60% of people lie at least once during a 10-minute conversation. people are most likely to lie on the telephone rather than via e-mail, instant messaging or face-to-face conversations. 31% of people admit lying on a resume. Men lie twice as much as women. On average, men tell six lies per day to their spouses and colleagues; women tell three.
In every single region of the country, when we asked how people make up their minds on issues of right and wrong, we found that they simply do not turn to God or religion to help them decide about seminal or moral issues of the day. For most people, religion plays virtually no role in shaping their opinions on a long list of important public questions. This is true even for questions that seem closely related to religion: birth control, abortion, even teaching Creationism and the role of women in the clergy. On not one of those questions did a majority of people seek the guidance of religion in finding answers. Most people do not even know their church's position on the important issues. That, perhaps, is the true measure of America indifference to the teachings of organized religion: We don't follow what our church says because we're not interested enough to find out what it's saying." (pp. 200-201).

The researchers for the book The Day America Told The Truth concluded: “Americans lie. They lie more than we had ever thought possible before the study. But they told us the truth about how much they lie. JUST ABOUT EVERYONE LIES – 91 PERCENT OF US LIE REGULARLY. The majority of us find it hard to get through a week without lying. One in five can’t make it through a single day – and we’re talking about conscious, premeditated lies. In fact, the way some people talk about trying to do without lies, you would think that they were smokers trying to get through a day without a cigarette! When we refrain from lying, it’s less often because we think it’s wrong (only 45 percent) than for a variety of other reasons, among them the fear of being caught (17 percent). We lie to just about everyone, and the better we know someone, the likelier we are to have told them a serious lie…” (pp. 45-46, The Day America Told The Truth)
He are some of the startling conclusions made by the authors of this book:
• There are more serious liars right now (liars who do harm) than at any time in our nation’s past.
• Lying has become a cultural trait in America. Lying is embedded in our national character. That hasn’t really been understood around the world. Americans lie about everything – and usually for no good reason.
• The majority of Americans today (two out of every three) believe there is nothing wrong with telling a lie. Only 31 percent of us believe honesty is the best policy.
Again, we see the words of the prophets coming to manifest in these days. The birth pains, as Jesus described, are growing in intensity and number. We are clearly coming to the end of the age. It is time to watch and pray as the great tribulation is almost here. The stage is set for the one world government spoke of in Daniel and Revelation.
The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. - Daniel 7:23-25
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. - Revelation 13:1-10
Even though the power of a small group of International banksters is colossal today according to Harvard and Princeton professor emeritus, Carroll Quigley, they are finding it increasingly difficult to conceal their true nature. He said of this group:
"Their aim is nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. The system was to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences." (Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1966)
So where is the good news you ask? Jesus died so that we may live. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.” John 14:6. And we are surely familiar with John 3:16 in which Jesus said “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
What must we do to be saved? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, Acts 15:10. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your household. Acts 16:31
Being saved understands that the Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for you and me. You must believe to be saved. Then when He calls His people to join Him in paradise, For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
When you are saved by grace that comes from God and not by men, then “Watch therefore, praying in every season that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things which shall occur, and to stand before the Son of Man.” As Jesus tells us in speaking of the tribulations of the end times in Luke 21:36
If you have not given your life to Christ, now is the time. Make the decisions now and see that these things are all good news to those who believe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oklahoma Unfunded Pensions Problem

States are $1.26 trillion in the hole when it comes to their pension and retiree health obligations, according to a report released Tuesday.
And taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for this shortfall, which soared 26% in one year.
The Great Recession has wreaked havoc on states' pension and retiree health systems, the Pew Center on the States found. The report covers fiscal year 2009, which began July 1, 2008 in most states.
States are largely responsible for this predicament. As tax revenues plummeted, many skipped part or all of their annual retiree benefits contributions as they struggled to pay for education, Medicaid and other services.
"Far too many states have not responsibly managed the cost of retirement benefits, effectively running up the price for taxpayers," said Susan Urahn, the Pew Center's managing director.
Oklahoma is number three according to the article.

Moody’s Investors Service recently made a major change in how it will calculate a state’s credit rating. Oklahoma policymakers should take notice. Moody’s will now include a state’s unfunded pension liability, along with the traditional net tax-supported debt, when determining a state’s credit rating. This change is particularly significant for Oklahoma.
Moody’s methodological change now brings Oklahoma’s unfunded pension liability into the picture.
Oklahoma’s unfunded pension liability as a percent of GDP in 2009 was 8.6 percent. This was more than three times higher than in neighboring states (2.6 percent), and more than twice as high as the national average (3.3 percent).
Using estimates pioneered by Joshua Rauh (Northwestern University) and Robert Novy-Marx (University of Chicago), Oklahoma’s unfunded pension liability could be as high as 14.5 percent of GDP. This is more than three times higher than in neighboring states (4.7 percent), and more than twice as high as the national average (5.7 percent).
The Oklahoma state Senate passed House Bill 2132, characterized as a significant step toward pension reform at a time that analysts of all stripes agree taxpayers face approximately $16 billion in unfunded liabilities across the state’s systems. That gap is more than twice the size of the entire state budget. A decade ago, the funding gap was about $6 billion.
H.B. 2132, sponsored in the Senate by President Pro Tem Brian Bingman of Salpulpa and Sen. Mike Mazzei of Tulsa, gained approval on a vote of 33-13 in the upper chamber.
HB 2132, as introduced, makes several modifications to the Oklahoma Pension Legislation Actuarial Analysis Act. The measure changes the definition of a "nonfiscal retirement bill" by removing the provision that allows a cost-of-living increase to be considered nonfiscal. The bill also stipulates that any retirement bill having a fiscal impact is subject to the statutory requirements related to concurrent funding.
The measure also includes language such that a retirement bill with a fiscal impact will only be considered currently funded if the Legislature provides funding in an amount no less than the annual normal cost to the retirement system. Further, a retirement system may not adopt a cost-of-living actuarial assumption or include an assumption of this nature in any actuarial valuation. Should the State Board of Equalization, charged with determining whether the requirements of concurrent funding have been met, conclude that a retirement bill with a fiscal impact is without concurrent funding the bill will not become effective and may not be administered by the applicable retirement system until funding has been provided.
HB 2123 as introduced, amends the Oklahoma Pension Legislation Actuarial Analysis Act (OPLAAA), so that Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) are considered fiscal retirement bills for purposes of OPLAAA procedure, thus requiring COLAs be concurrently funded by the Legislature at the time of enactment.  The practical application of the concurrent funding requirement, as well as, the specific mandate in the measure, requires each pension system to remove COLA assumptions from their actuarial evaluation. According to Legislative Actuary calculations, removal of COLA assumptions will impact the Unfunded Actuarially Accrued Liabilities (UAAL) and the Funded Ratios of the pension systems as follows: 

OTRS - UAAL will decrease by approximately $2.9 billion and increase OTRS’s funded ratio from 48% to 56%;
OPERS - UAAL will decrease by approximately $1.4 billion and increase the OPERS funded ratio from 66% to 77%;
URSJJ - UAAL will decrease by approximately $43.4 million and increase the URSJJ funded ratio from 81% to 96%;
FPRS - UAAL will decrease by approximately $472.4 million and increase the FPRS funded ratio from 53% to 63%;
PPRS - UAAL will decrease by approximately$414.3 million and increase the PPRS funded ratio from 75% to 91%
OLERS - according to officials at OLERS their Funded Ratio increase would be minimal because OLERS has a statutory provision that adjusts retiree benefits, in the place of ad hoc COLAs, based on increases in active employee pay.
State Sen. Mike Mazzei is the author of Senate Bill 891 and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Pensions.  He said the biggest part of that $16 billion in unfunded liability is in the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System (OTRS), with $10 billion in unfunded liability. 
“Under Senate Bill 891, cost of living increases (COLAs) must be funded by the legislature, instead of leaving them to be absorbed by the retirement system,” said Mazzei, R-Tulsa.  “This legislation makes that crucial reform for all our pension systems.  This fiscal responsibility measure should reduce our unfunded liability more than $5 billion.”
SB 891 in its current form requires public school districts that employ retired members of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma (OTRS), to pay an amount equal to employee contributions for active members on behalf of the retired members employed.  Based on current post retirement hires, OTRS estimates SB 891 would result in increased revenue of approximately $5,000,000.  An annual cost of approximately $5,000,000 will result for education employers

Lawmakers Praise Governor for Signing Gun Rights Law

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 15, 2011) – State Reps. Steve Vaughan and Mike Ritze today praised Gov. Mary Fallin for signing legislation that strengthens Oklahomans’ Second Amendment rights.
"I greatly appreciate Governor Fallin for standing up for the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens," said Vaughan, R-Ponca City. "Unfortunately, current law did not make clear that business employees can defend themselves with lethal force when their lives were threatened. Now, those workers will not have to fear jail time if they shoot a robber."
This week, Fallin signed into law House Bill 1439, by Vaughan and co-authored by Ritze. The bill expands the right to use deadly force to business employees who have reason to fear death or great bodily harm. Previously, state law allowed individuals to use deadly force only in their homes; HB 1449 expands that right to include their place of business.
"We’ve all seen news reports where a clerk or small business owner was brutally assaulted," said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. "Those citizens should have the right to self-defense without having to second-guess themselves or fear prosecution."
The new law will go into effect Nov. 1.

House Approves Scholarship Act for Needy Children

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 26, 2011) – The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted today to increase educational opportunity for needy children through a new scholarship tax credit program.
Senate Bill 969, by state Sen. Dan Newberry and state Rep. Lee Denney, would create the “Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act.”
“This legislation provides an opportunity for Oklahomans to help poor children obtain a quality education,” said state Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing. “It provides a much-needed new source of education funding to benefit the students who are most at-risk.”
The bill would allow a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the amount contributed to a scholarship-granting organization up to $1,000 per person, $2,000 per couple or up to $100,000 per business entity.
The total credit authorized could not exceed $1.75 million annually. 
Scholarships funded through the tax credit program would serve children from low-income families and allow them to attend private schools. The privately funded scholarships would pay up to $5,000 or 80 percent of the average per-pupil expenditure in the school district where the recipient student resides. Scholarships for special needs students under the bill would cover up to $25,000.
The measure further allows the same tax credit to any taxpayer who makes a contribution to an eligible educational improvement grant organization. For any taxpayer who makes a commitment to contribute the same amount for two additional years, the credit would be equal to 75 percent of the amount of the contribution. 
Overall, the bill provides for a maximum $5 million in annual credits allowed – $3.5 million would go to individual scholarships, while the remaining $1.5 million would fund grants to help rural schools in areas where private school is not an option.
“This legislation would direct more funding to rural schools to help them offer courses that are not feasible under current budget constraints,” Denney said. “This legislation will help all students who have trouble accessing high-level academic courses and instruction, whether they live in the inner city or rural Oklahoma.”
She said Senate Bill 969 could direct more money to education without any true impact on state finances because of existing tax practices.
“The money going to these scholarship programs is money the state would never have received anyway since it would have been sheltered through other tax breaks already on the books,” Denney said. “By providing citizens a way to obtain the same tax breaks while also benefiting needy children in both urban and rural areas, we are maximizing the use of those dollars to benefit poor children who would otherwise be denied the education they desperately need to break the cycle of poverty and create a better life for their families.
“This bill is about helping kids and schools that don’t have the means to obtain and provide the opportunities taken for granted in other parts of our state.”
Senate Bill 969 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 64-33 vote. It now returns to the state Senate for further consideration. 
The Tax Commission is directed to maintain a listing of all credits reserved during each tax year. When the five million dollars ($5.0 million), the maximum amount of credits available each year, is reached the Commission will notify all scholarship granting organizations that no additional credits are available for the year. Should eligible claims exceed the cap, the Commission will determine each taxpayer’s proportionate share of the total credit pool.
The measure allows $5.0 million to be generated in tax years 2011 and in 2012, while claims may not be made until tax year 2013. The existence of qualified claims are assumed to sufficient to alter withholding and estimated pay remittances in tax year 2013 resulting in an FY-13 estimated revenue decrease of $4.0 million. The remaining $6.0 million in credits earned in tax years 2011 and 2012 plus $5.0 million in credits earned in tax year 2013 are expected to be claimed in FY-14 ($11.0 million).
The Tax Commission also estimates the need for two staff auditors for monitoring of the program, at a recurring cost of $108,000 and one-time $14,746 cost for equipment and IT programming, for an FY-12 administrative cost of $115,746.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We the People Act


Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the We the People Act. The We the People Act forbids federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from adjudicating cases concerning state laws and polices relating to religious liberties or ``privacy,'' including cases involving sexual practices, sexual orientation or reproduction. The We the People Act also protects the traditional definition of marriage from judicial activism by ensuring the Supreme Court cannot abuse the equal protection clause to redefine marriage. In order to hold federal judges accountable for abusing their powers, the act also provides that a judge who violates the act's limitations on judicial power shall either be impeached by Congress or removed by the president, according to rules established by the Congress.
The United States Constitution gives Congress the authority to establish and limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts and limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The Founders intended Congress to use this authority to correct abuses of power by the federal judiciary.
Some may claim that an activist judiciary that strikes down state laws at will expands individual liberty. Proponents of this claim overlook the fact that the best guarantor of true liberty is decentralized political institutions, while the greatest threat to liberty is concentrated power. This is why the Constitution carefully limits the power of the federal government over the states.
In recent years, we have seen numerous abuses of power by federal courts. Federal judges regularly strike down state and local laws on subjects such as religious liberty, sexual orientation, family relations, education, and abortion. This government by federal judiciary causes a virtual nullification of the Tenth Amendment's limitations on federal power. Furthermore, when federal judges impose their preferred polices on state and local governments, instead of respecting the polices adopted by those elected by, and thus accountable to, the people, republican government is threatened. Article IV, section 4 of the United States Constitution guarantees each state a republican form of government. Thus, Congress must act when the executive or judicial branch threatens the republican governments of the individual states. Therefore, Congress has a responsibility to stop federal judges from running roughshod over state and local laws. The Founders would certainly have supported congressional action to reign in federal judges who tell citizens where they can and can't place manger scenes at Christmas.
Mr. Speaker, even some supporters of liberalized abortion laws have admitted that the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which overturned the abortion laws of all fifty states, is flawed. The Supreme Court's Establishment Clause jurisdiction has also drawn criticism from across the political spectrum. Perhaps more importantly, attempts to resolve, by judicial fiat, important issues like abortion and the expression of religious belief in the public square increase social strife and conflict. The only way to resolve controversial social issues like abortion and school prayer is to restore respect for the right of state and local governments to adopt policies that reflect the beliefs of the citizens of those jurisdictions. I would remind my colleagues and the federal judiciary that, under our Constitutional system, there is no reason why the people of New York and the people of Texas should have the same policies regarding issues such as marriage and school prayer.
Unless Congress acts, a state's authority to define and regulate marriage may be the next victim of activist judges. After all, such a decision would simply take the Supreme Court's decision in the Lawrence case, which overturned all state sodomy laws, to its logical conclusion. Congress must launch a preemptive strike against any further federal usurpation of the states' authority to regulate marriage by removing issues concerning the definition of marriage from the jurisdiction of federal courts.
Although marriage is licensed and otherwise regulated by the states, government did not create the institution of marriage. Government regulation of marriage is based on state recognition of the practices and customs formulated by private individuals interacting in civil institutions, such as churches and synagogues. Having federal officials, whether judges, bureaucrats, or congressmen, impose a new definition of marriage on the people is an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.
It is long past time that Congress exercises its authority to protect the republican government of the states from out-of-control federal judges. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to cosponsor the We the People Act.

We the People Act - Prohibits the Supreme Court and each federal court from adjudicating any claim or relying on judicial decisions involving: (1) state or local laws, regulations, or policies concerning the free exercise or establishment of religion; (2) the right of privacy, including issues of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction; or (3) the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation where based upon equal protection of the laws.
Allows the Supreme Court and the federal courts to determine the constitutionality of federal statutes, administrative rules, or procedures in considering cases arising under the Constitution. Prohibits the Supreme Court and the federal courts from issuing any ruling that appropriates or expends money, imposes taxes, or otherwise interferes with the legislative functions or administrative discretion of the states.
Authorizes any party or intervener in matters before any federal court, including the Supreme Court, to challenge the jurisdiction of the court under this Act.
Provides that the violation of this Act by any justice or judge is an impeachable offense and a material breach of good behavior subject to removal.
Negates as binding precedent on the state courts any federal court decision that relates to an issue removed from federal jurisdiction by this Act or otherwise interfering with the legislative functions or administrative discretion of the states.

Pro-Tem's Resolution Challenges EPA Regs

Recent efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate new air quality regulations in Oklahoma will kill jobs and competitiveness if not aggressively challenged at every turn, according to Senate President Pro-Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.
SCR 13, which Bingman authored with Representative John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow, was approved by the senate on Wednesday. It asks congress to prohibit the EPA "by any means necessary" from regulating green house gas emissions. "Let me state emphatically that we want to protect and maintain our clean air and environmental health," said Bingman, "but EPA regulations are a train wreck of overlapping requirements that will cause more harm than good."
SCR 13 calls on congress to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions including, if necessary, de-funding EPA greenhouse gas regulatory activities. Additionally, it asks that a moratorium be placed on new regulations.
"At this time the main goal of government should be to avoid worthless regulations that harm job growth and promote economic recovery, not create new regulations that are designed to replace unpopular Cap and Trade legislation," stated Bingman.
SCR 13 requires the EPA to provide a cost-benefit analysis to specify how much the regulations are affecting America's economy and overall economic competitiveness.
"Oklahoma's economy is doing well in this recession but it is still fragile and I cannot stand by while the federal government imposes harmful regulations on the state that will hurt its citizens."


James Lankford on Abortion January 19 2011
Mr. LANKFORD. I thank my colleague from New Jersey for hosting this time in the House Chamber.

   Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of one of the most basic functions of any government. Three thousand years ago, a mom taught her son, the king, how to be a wise ruler. We have her words written down in Proverbs 31, where she told him, ``Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.''
   Two hundred thirty-five years ago, our founders wrote a despot king, ``We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.''
   This truth that all people have the right to life is so obvious, so clear that they called it ``self-evident.'' But in America, millions of people cannot pursue happiness and they cannot appreciate liberty because their first God-given right was denied--life.
   In recent days, discussion from the left has turned to reducing the numbers of abortions. I applaud this line of thinking because it admits one thing--abortion is wrong. It destroys a life and it devastates a future of a mom.
   I ask: Why should abortion be reduced if it is just another medical procedure to remove some unwanted tissue from a woman? If it is just tissue, what does it matter? No one is saying that we need to reduce the number of skin moles being removed or reduce the number of warts that are removed, that that is unconscionable. Why? Because we know that a wart is unwanted tissue. But a fetus, that is a baby.
   We can use any euphemism, like ``fetus'' or ``dividing tissue'' or ``embryo,'' or just simply ``inconvenience,'' but no one comes to the family and says: How is the embryo? No one says to a pregnant woman or hears a pregnant woman say: Excuse me, I just felt the fetus kick. No one comes to a baby shower and says: Here is a gift for your inconvenience.
   Say what you want, split hairs all you want, we know that is a baby.
   Decades ago, we could not look into the womb and see the development of the child. People were told the child in the womb was just like a chicken embryo. But now, with 3-D ultrasound, we can look into the darkness of the womb and see a child kicking her feet, sucking her thumb. We can count her fingers and toes and watch their tiny heartbeat.
 At 20 weeks, we can look at the child inside and even say boy or girl. Why? Because it's a child, not just an embryo. The difference between an adult and a child in the womb is just time. They are a person who must be given their most basic of all human rights--life.
   I strongly support defining life at conception. I strongly support adoptions. I strongly support crisis pregnancy centers and Hope Pregnancy Centers, which are doing such a great job all around the country and all around my district in Oklahoma. It is time to cut off Federal funding for abortion.
   Why is it in America that taxpayers who are mortified at the thought of abortion are required to also give their tax money to fund abortions around the world?
   When a constituent comes to me and asks, Why are my taxes so high? I have to tell him, Partially because your government is spending some of your hard-earned money on abortion funding around the globe.
   Why is it in this Chamber today we can debate for hours if an infant should be guaranteed health care coverage, but yet some of the same individuals who demand insurance protection for that child would find no issue in killing that infant only moments earlier when it was in the womb?
   Earlier today, a clinic in Philadelphia was raided, where a physician was arrested for fully delivering infants 6, 7, 8 months into the pregnancy and for stabbing with scissors those children after they had been delivered--today.
   This is the United States of America. This issue is not about oppressing women or denying choice. It is about protecting children and honoring the self-evident truth that everyone is endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including and especially life.
   Almost four decades ago, individuals in this Chamber laid the foundation for a court ruling that has stripped the womb of its glory and its majesty. For decades since, legislators in this Chamber have protected bald eagle eggs, migrating insects, snail darters, and rare flowers, but we refuse to protect children.
   May God have mercy on our Nation, and may we awaken one day to the horror of what abortion policies have done to our Nation. We would rather protect our fundraising, our leadership and our convenience than protect the unborn child. This is not a difficult choice. It is a clear choice--and we should choose life

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Union Reform Headed to Governor

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 19, 2011) – Legislation repealing a state law requiring collective bargaining for non-uniformed workers in nine Oklahoma cities is now headed to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law.
House Bill 1593, by state Rep. Steve Martin, would repeal a 2004 law that required unionization for non-uniformed employees in cities with at least 35,000 residents.
"The existing law caused unnecessary divisions in city government and drove up the cost to taxpayers without a corresponding improvement in services," said Martin, a Republican who represents portions of Nowata, Osage and Washington counties. "Passage of this bill is a victory for the taxpayers."
According to information provided by The Oklahoma Municipal League, the amount saved will vary from city to city but one city could save in excess of $900,000.
The bill would not affect the four cities that had collective bargaining agreements with non-uniformed workers prior to 2004 – Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Muskogee.
House Bill 1593 previously passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 59-38 vote. Today, it passed the state Senate on a 29-19 vote. It will next go to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law.
HB 1593 prohibits a municipality from paying dues or fees to the Oklahoma Municipal League from tax revenues or any other source of public funds. The bill also prohibits the use of municipal tax dollars to be used to pay doe dues or fees for any lobbyist or entity employed to represent a municipality.

House Approves Government Financial Service Reforms

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 19, 2011) – The Oklahoma House of Representatives has approved legislation designed to transform inefficient state agency financial services systems.
Senate Bill 541, by state Rep. Jason Murphey, (R-Guthrie) and state Sen. Anthony Sykes (R- Moore), was proposed following a report by the Hackett Group, which demonstrated massive inefficiencies in the way state agencies conducts financial services.
The report compared Oklahoma agencies’ financial services processes to those of other public and private sector peer organizations of like complexity. The report demonstrated the inefficiencies by stating that it costs Oklahoma taxpayers $20.05 to process one accounts payable invoice while comparable peer groups pay $3.58 for each similar service.
"It is incredible and unacceptable that Oklahoma taxpayers are paying nearly six times the cost of what comparable groups are spending for that same process," Murphey declared. "This legislation is designed to fix that."
The study also stated that Oklahoma state government has a significantly higher number of full time employees employed to conduct these operations than peer organizations. Oklahoma processes 2,039 accounts payable occurrences for each employee while peer groups are able to account for 15,693 of these same processes with each employee.
The House approved Senate Bill 541 by a vote of 61-34. The legislation now returns to the Senate for additional consideration.
Analysis shows SB 541creates the Oklahoma Innovation, Efficiency and Accountability Act of 2011.  The measure authorizes state agencies to accept an electronic signature in the application process for any license or permit.  The measure clarifies the circumstance under which use of the Trip Optimizer system of the Department of Central Services is required to include travel exceeding 100 miles per day by a state employee who is not driving a state-owned or –leased dedicated vehicle.
The bill also requires the Director of OSF, by January 1 to publish a financial services cost performance assessment that documents each appropriated state agency’s cost for providing financial services.  Agencies that rank in the bottom 10% of the cost performance assessment will be required to contract with OSF for the provision of shared financial services if the Director of OSF determines that it will result in cost savings to the agency.  The State Regents for Higher Education and institutions within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education are exempt from this requirement.

County Bridge Standards and TRIP Report

HB1060 was approved by the governor on April 18 2011.
A professional engineer registered by the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors pursuant to Section 475.1 et seq. of Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall approve projects that may be awarded to contractors by the boards of county commissioners, Transportation Commission or by other federal or state agencies under their normal competitive bidding procedures, excluding prequalification of bidders.  A “county-built” project may be a road or bridge in whole or in part built with its own county forces or entirely let to contract, but all costs associated are payable.
The finished bridge shall achieve a twenty-three-ton or greater rating.  The rating criteria shall be determined by the National Bridge Inventory and approved by the Department of Transportation for bridges twenty feet or more in length.
The finished bridge shall have a minimum roadway width of twenty-four feet and materials used in the construction of the bridge shall meet or exceed the specifications for materials as specified in the current edition of the County Bridge Standards or certified in writing by the engineer or supplier.
A report was recently released by TRIP states in recent years ODOT has been able to accelerate bridge repair and replacement, pavement improvements, and safety upgrades as a result of additional funding provided by the state legislature; however, significant deficiencies still remain. It is imperative that Oklahoma’s transportation system continues to be adequately funded in the future if the state is to continue to improve the system and promote economic recovery and growth.
•From 2006 to 2010, an additional $748 million was made available for road, highway and bridge repairs in Oklahoma as a result of state legislative action taken since 2006.
•An additional $1.1 billion is anticipated to be provided for roadways in the state from 2011 to 2015 as a result of state legislative decisions – a total of approximately $1.8 billion from 2006 to 2015.
•ODOT has been able to significantly increase the number of state-maintained bridges rehabilitated or replaced since 2005. Additional transportation funds have allowed the state to decrease the number of structurally deficient, state-maintained bridges by 32 percent, dropping from 1,168 in 2005 to 797 in 2010. By 2015, the number of structurally deficient, state-maintained bridges is projected to decrease to 504, a 57 percent reduction from 2005 levels.
•In 2005, 149 state-maintained bridges were posted or weight restricted. Additional funds have allowed ODOT to decrease that number to 40 bridges in 2010. By 2014, ODOT projects that the number of posted or weight restricted state-maintained bridges will decrease to zero.
•Pavement rehabilitation and reconstruction has been accelerated in recent years, improving the condition of Oklahoma's state-maintained roadways. While 5,935 miles of roadway were in good condition in 2004, that number is projected to increase to 6,272 in 2010 and 6,556 in 2015.
•The number of miles of Oklahoma's state-maintained roadways in poor condition has decreased in recent years and will continue to drop. Since 2004, Oklahoma has experienced a net reduction of more than five percent in the number of miles of roads deemed to be in poor condition, from 2,995 to 2,819. By 2015, the reduction is expected to be nearly 10 percent, with 2,722 miles of state-maintained highway rated in poor condition.
•Between 2006 and 2015, ODOT will have installed 436 total miles of cable-barrier, which will complete planned installations on Oklahoma’s Interstate system.
•The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided approximately $464.7 million in stimulus funding for highway and bridge improvements and $39.2 million for public transit improvements in Oklahoma.
•ARRA funding has served as a down payment on needed road, highway, bridge and transit improvements, but the boost was not sufficient to allow the state to proceed with numerous projects needed to modernize its surface transportation system. Meeting Oklahoma’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit will require a significant, long-term boost in transportation funding at the federal, state or local levels.
•To ensure that federal funding for highways and bridges in Oklahoma and throughout the nation continues beyond the expiration of SAFETEA-LU, Congress needs to approve a new long-term federal surface transportation program by September 30, 2011.
Despite the recession, population increases and economic growth in Oklahoma over the past two decades have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways.
•Oklahoma’s population reached 3.7 million in 2009, an increase of 17 percent since 1990. The state’s population is expected to grow to 3.9 million by 2025.
•Vehicle travel in Oklahoma increased 42 percent from 1990 to 2009 – from 33.1 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 47 billion VMT in 2009.
•By 2025, vehicle travel in Oklahoma is projected to increase by another 35 percent.
From 1990 to 2009, Oklahoma’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 62 percent, when adjusted for inflation, higher than the national average of 52 percent.
•In 2008, more than a third of major roads in Oklahoma were in poor or mediocre condition, providing motorists with a rough ride.
•In 2008, 18 percent of Oklahoma’s major roads were rated in poor condition and 17 percent were rated in mediocre condition. This includes Interstates, highways, connecting urban arterials and key urban streets that are maintained by state, county or municipal governments.
•Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed. Roads rated in mediocre condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in mediocre condition can be repaired by resurfacing, but some may need more extensive reconstruction to return them to good condition.
•Roads in need of repair cost each Oklahoma motorist an average of $425 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – $978 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
•In the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, where 42 percent of major roads are rated in poor condition and 23 percent are rated in mediocre condition, driving on roads in need of repair costs motorists $662 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. This is the seventh highest cost per driver among U.S. urban areas with a population of 500,000 or more.
•In the Tulsa metropolitan area, where 36 percent of major roads are rated in poor condition and 26 percent are rated in mediocre condition, driving on roads in need of repair costs motorists $610 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. This is the twelfth highest cost per driver among U.S. urban areas with a population of 500,000 or more.
•The functional life of Oklahoma’s roads is greatly affected by the state’s ability to perform timely maintenance and upgrades to ensure that structures last as long as possible. It is critical that roads are fixed before they require major repairs because reconstructing roads costs approximately four times more than resurfacing them.
Despite the recent improvement in the condition of state-maintained bridges, Oklahoma ranks second nationally among states with the highest share of its bridges rated structurally deficient. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length and are maintained by state, local and federal agencies.
•Twenty-two percent of bridges in Oklahoma were structurally deficient in 2010 (twelve percent of state-maintained bridges were rated structurally deficient in 2010). A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. These properties have a major bearing in qualifying a bridge for federal bridge replacement or rehabilitation funds.
•Seven percent of bridges in Oklahoma were functionally obsolete in 2010 (nine percent of state-maintained bridges were functionally obsolete in 2010). Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
•Bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored on a regular basis by the organizations responsible for maintaining them.
Oklahoma’s rural traffic fatality rate is nearly three times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state. Improving safety features on Oklahoma’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities in the state. Roadway characteristics are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic accidents.
•Between 2005 and 2009, 3,821 people were killed in traffic accidents in Oklahoma, an average of 764 fatalities per year.
•Oklahoma’s traffic fatality rate was 1.57 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2009, 38 percent higher than the national average of 1.14 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
•The traffic fatality rate in 2009 on Oklahoma’s non-Interstate rural roads was 2.71 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, which is nearly three times the traffic fatality rate of 0.96 on all other roads and highways in the state.
•A disproportionate share of fatalities takes place on Oklahoma’s non-Interstate rural roads. Approximately 60 percent of fatalities take place on rural roads, although they account for only 35 percent of vehicle travel in the state.
•Several factors are associated with vehicle accidents that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway design.
•TRIP estimates that roadway characteristics, such as lane widths, lighting, signage and the presence or absence of guardrails, paved shoulders, traffic lights, rumble strips, obstacle barriers, turn lanes, median barriers and pedestrian or bicycle facilities, are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.
•Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and accidents while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
•The Federal Highway Administration has found that every $100 million spent on needed highway safety improvements will result in 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a 10-year period.
Increases in population and vehicle travel in Oklahoma have led to additional traffic congestion in the state’s urban areas.
•In 2008, 29 percent of Oklahoma's urban Interstates and other highways or freeways were considered congested, carrying a level of traffic that is likely to result in significant delays during peak travel hours.
•The average rush hour trip in the Oklahoma City metro area takes approximately nine percent longer to complete than during non-rush hour. In the Tulsa area, rush hour trips take seven percent longer to complete than during non-rush hour.
•Drivers in the Oklahoma City area lose $575 each year due to lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion. Each Tulsa area driver loses $407 per year due to congestion.
The efficiency of Oklahoma’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses are increasingly reliant on an efficient and reliable transportation system to move products and services. Expenditures on highway repairs create a significant number of jobs.
•Annually, $117 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Oklahoma and another $135 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Oklahoma, mostly by trucks.
•Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Oklahoma are carried by trucks and another six percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of the deliveries.
•A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.
•The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 on the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quotes on a Central Bank

Quotes on a Central Bank
If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; And the sixteen being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they do now, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; But be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains around the necks of our fellow sufferers; And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on 'til the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering...and the forehorse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
Thomas Jefferson
The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.
Thomas Jefferson
"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."
Thomas Jefferson
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
Thomas Jefferson
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."
Thomas Jefferson
"The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction. I sincerely believe, with you...that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
Thomas Jefferson
"To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill [chartering the first Bank of the United States] have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution. They are not among the powers specially enumerated."
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison speaking on the first attempt to establish a central bank in America:
"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit and violent means possible, to maintain their control over governments, by controlling money and its issuance."
"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late revolution. The free men of America did not wait until usurped power has strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle."
Andrew Jackson speaking on the second attempt to establish a central bank in America:
"If congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations."
"I am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic, inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a monied aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country."
President Jackson told the bankers "You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal god, I will rout you out!"
Abraham Lincoln speaking on the third attempt to establish a central bank in America:
"The money powers prey on the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes.
I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me, and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe. As a most undesirable consequence of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed."
"The government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity."
"Government, possessing the power to create and issue credit and currency as money, and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit by taxation and otherwise, need not and should not borrow capital at interest as the means of financing governmental work and public enterprise."
"The privelege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government's greatest creative opportunity."
"No duty is more imperative on the government than the duty it owes the people to furnish them with a sound and uniform currency, and of regulating the circulation of the medium of exchange so that labor will be protected from a vicious currency, and commerce will be facilitated by cheap and safe exchanges."
President Woodrow Wilson, after having broken campaign promises and betrayed his country by signing into law the Federal Reserve Act:
"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.
A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation therefore, and all our activities, are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world. No longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."
Congressman Louis T. McFadden (Congressional Record, June 15, 1934):
"Every effort has been made by the Federal Reserve Board to conceal its power. But the truth is, the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the government of the United States.
It controls everything here; and it controls our foreign relations. It makes or breaks governments at will. No man, and no body of men, is more entrenched in power than the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Banks.
These evil-doers have robbed the country of more than enough money to pay the national debt. What the National Government has permitted the Federal Reserve Board to steal from the people should now be returned to the people. The people have a valid claim against the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. If that claim is enforced, Americans will not need to stand in bread lines. Homes will be saved. Families will be kept.
What is needed here is a return to the Constitution of the United States. The old struggle that was fought out here in Jackson's day must be fought over again.
The Federal Reserve Act should be repealed; and the Federal Reserve Banks -- having violated their charters -- should be liquidated immediately. Faithless government officers who have violated their oaths of office should be impeached and brought to trial.
Unless this is done by us, I predict the American people -- outraged, robbed, pillaged, insulted, and betrayed as they are in their own land -- will rise in their wrath and send a President here who WILL sweep the money changers from the temple."
"Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international money lenders. The accounts of the Federal Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United States."
Sen. Barry Goldwater
It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
Henry Ford
"The regional Federal Reserve banks are not government agencies. ...but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations."
Lewis vs. United States, 680 F. 2d 1239 9th Circuit 1982
"The Federal Reserve banks are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen. There is not a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that this nation is run by the International bankers."
Congressman Louis T. McFadden
“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"This [Federal Reserve Act] establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President [Wilson} signs this bill, the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized....the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill."
Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. , 1913
"The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That Board administers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is Private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people's money"
Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., 1923
"Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money and control credit, and with a flick of a pen they will create enough to buy it back."
Sir Josiah Stamp, former President, Bank of England
"Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce."
James A. Garfield, President of the United States



Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar. Since 1913 the dollar has lost over 98% of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve's loose monetary policy. How long will we as a Congress stand idly by while hard-working Americans see their savings eaten away by inflation? Only big-spending politicians and politically favored bankers benefit from inflation.
Serious discussion of proposals to oversee the Federal Reserve is long overdue. I have been a longtime proponent of more effective oversight and auditing of the Fed, but I was far from the first Congressman to advocate these types of proposals. Esteemed former members of the Banking Committee such as Chairmen Wright Patman and Henry B. Gonzales were outspoken critics of the Fed and its lack of transparency.
Since its inception, the Federal Reserve has always operated in the shadows, without sufficient scrutiny or oversight of its operations. While the conventional excuse is that this is intended to reduce the Fed's susceptibility to political pressures, the reality is that the Fed acts as a foil for the government. Whenever you question the Fed about the strength of the dollar, they will refer you to the Treasury, and vice versa. The Federal Reserve has, on the one hand, many of the privileges of government agencies, while retaining benefits of private organizations, such as being largely insulated from Freedom of Information Act requests.
The Federal Reserve can enter into agreements with foreign central banks and foreign governments, and the GAO is prohibited from auditing these agreements. Why should a government-established agency, whose police force has federal law enforcement powers, and whose notes have legal tender status in this country, be allowed to enter into agreements with foreign powers and foreign banking institutions with no oversight? Particularly because the Fed has operated swap lines with foreign central banks and provided hundreds of billions of dollars of bailouts to foreign commercial banks, the Fed's negotiations with the European Central Bank, the Bank of International Settlements, and other foreign institutions should face increased scrutiny, most especially because of their significant effect on foreign policy. Given the currency crisis in Europe and the prospect of the Fed propping up foreign governments or bailing out American banks invested in European debt, this issue is of especially pressing concern.
The Fed's funding facilities and its agreements with the Treasury should be reviewed. The Treasury's supplementary financing accounts that fund Fed facilities allow the Treasury to funnel money to Wall Street without GAO or Congressional oversight. Additional funding facilities that have allowed the Fed to keep financial asset prices artificially inflated and subsidize poorly performing financial firms should be scrutinized, as well as the Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program, which has subsidized banks by transferring trillions of dollars of worthless debt off their books.
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act would eliminate restrictions on GAO audits of the Federal Reserve and open Fed operations to enhanced scrutiny. We hear officials constantly lauding the benefits of transparency and especially bemoaning the opacity of the Fed, its monetary policy, and its funding facilities. By opening all Fed operations to a GAO audit and calling for such an audit to be completed by the end of 2012, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act would achieve much-needed transparency of the Federal Reserve. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.