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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the June 2018 edition of Tidbits          
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

In September 2017 the USA National Debt exceeded $20 trillion for the first time ---

Human Population Over Time on Earth --- 

State Income Taxes Ranked From Highest to Lowest

The Federal budget for 2017 ---

Jensen Comment
Note that even before the 2018 corporate tax cuts the corporate income tax has been a shrinking part of the Federal budget of the most recent decades. I've long been an advocate of replacing it with a VAT tax but liberals and conservatives alike hate that idea.

Medicare and Medicaid are the least sustainable entitlements predicted for the future.

Interest on government debt is a huge worry since foreign interests (think China and the oil-rich nations of the Middle East) own so much of it with the threat that one day these large investors will stop rolling over their investments in USA debt.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $20+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
In 2018 Foreigners (think Asia and the Middle East) May Be Losing Interest in USA Treasuries ---
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---
One worry is that nations holding trillions of dollars invested in USA debt are dependent upon sales of oil and gas to sustain those investments.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100+ trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---

How Americans Get Health Insurance ---

Here are the Ten Best Pieces of Advice from 2018 Commencement Speakers ---
Click Here


The Best Advice from 2018's Celebrity Commencement Speakers ---


Eight Science Quotations from Commencement Speeches


Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullshit.


The Lucretius Problem is a mental defect where we assume the worst case event that has happened is the worst case event that can happen ---


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.


How many times have we heard ‘free tuition,’ ‘free health care,’ and free you-name-it? If a particular good or service is truly free, we can have as much of it as we want without the sacrifice of other goods or services. Take a ‘free’ library; is it really free? The answer is no. Had the library not been built, that $50 million could have purchased something else. That something else sacrificed is the cost of the library. While users of the library might pay a zero price, zero price and free are not one and the same. So when politicians talk about providing something free, ask them to identify the beneficent Santa Claus or tooth fairy.
Walter Williams


Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
Eric Hoffer.


The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
Winston Churchill


Shoot for the space in between, because that's where the real mystery lies.
Vera Rubin


Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

In honor of his centennial, the Top 10 Feynman quotations ---

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley
Even conversations that are not politically correct.

I have lots of ideas . . . I always have more ideas than I can possibly write about.” So he prays for discernment about what ideas to pursue and what ideas to let die. And increasingly, over the last three or four years, I pray more and more that God would teach me when it’s time to shut up. That’s the thing that I’m least good at. Just shutting up.
Alan Jacobs

Magazines haven’t raised their rates since the 1950s. Even New Yorker staff writers typically don’t get health insurance ...

The enemy is fear
We think it's hate
But, it's fear


That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
Thomas Jefferson

Why, we grow rusty and you catch us at the very point of decadence --- by this time tomorrow we may have forgotten everything we ever knew. That's a thought isn't it? We'd be back to where we started --- improvising.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Act I)

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
What's sad is to witness what Syria has become because nobody will give up.

And "because they're nonstate actors, it's hard for us to get the satisfaction of [Gen.] MacArthur and the [Japanese] Emperor [Hirohito] meeting and the war officially being over," Obama observed, referencing the end of World War II. 
President Barack Obama when asked if the USA of the future will be perpetually engaged in war.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. 
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. 
George S. Patton

And many writers have imagined for themselves republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exist in reality; for there is such a gap between how one lives and how one ought to live that anyone who abandons what is done for what ought to be done learns his ruin rather than his preservation: for a man who wishes to profess goodness at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good.
Niccolo Machiavelli

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau

You can get a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile.
Al Capone

Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.
Teddy Roosevelt

The Atlantic:  Justin Trudeau’s government has started rejecting more refugee claims from migrants who cross the U.S.-Canada border on foot ---

The Success Story Of Canadian School Choice ---

Nearly half of the public school teachers are happy with their salaries, data show
Jensen Question
Is anybody happy with their health coverage and other benefits?

GASB Rule Sheds Light on Tax Abatements (corporate tax breaks) ---

NYT:  We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are (e.g., black unemployment at a low 3.8%) ---

NYT:  Plastics and papers from dozens of American cities and towns are being dumped in landfills after China stopped recycling most “foreign garbage.” ---

Las Vegas casinos prepare to hemorrhage $10 million a day as their workers, fearing their jobs will be replaced by robots, get ready to go on strike ---

LAPD solved only 8 percent of hit-and-runs last year. Here’s why it’s so hard ---

Socialism ---
Venezuelans Shrugged. Ayn Rand Was Right ---
Jensen Comment
Venezuela may not be a fair test case for socialism since there is so much oil money and so much corruption in large part because of oil money. But current conditions in Venezuela highlight the main problem socialists have in their historical studies. There are no good role models. Capitalism has some respectable role modes --- start with Switzerland, Canada, and the Nordic countries like Finland and yes even the USA where there are countless examples of success of the American Dream. Doubters may counter that virtually all "capitalist" nations are hybrids that make them not fully "capitalist." Where is there a good role model of an enduring socialist or hybrid socialist country of more than a million citizens having high standards of living for even the poorest citizens?  Why is it that all the great socialist experiments such as in Russia, China, Cuba, Viet Nam, etc. are trending toward capitalism? Notice that Bernie Sanders never shares a trending role model with us.

London Times:  UN knew of sex-for-food scandal at top charities ---

Why Students Are Leaving Illinois in Droves — and Why It Matters ---

Chicago State University:  The low graduation rate amounts to more than $2.5 million spent per year per graduate. Most of that money is paid for by Illinois taxpayers. According to an audit of the University by the Illinois Auditor General. Chicago State University also owes $356.5 million in debt, the majority of which is owed to the state university retirement system pension plan.
Jensen Comment
This is does not mean that the $2.5 million is literally spent on each graduate. CSU's budget is a bit like the USA's military budget where an enormous amount of money is paid out for pensions and a fraudulent history that won't go away. The fact that three recent Illinois governors went to prison and the notorious reputation of the City of Chicago for fraud tells a lot about the taxpayer environment in Illinois.

How ‘Googling it’ can send conservatives down secret rabbit holes of alternative facts ---

Pollsters Are Still Cooking the Books, But The Trump Surge Is Real ---

Everybody has this idea that life is going to be wonderful as an entrepreneur. But of course, most small businesses fail. And it's very competitive ---
Stanford University professor Jeffrey Pfeffer in an interview about how the gig economy is no healthier for workers than the 9-to-5.

Jensen Comment
Is this like saying more than half the marriages fail such that being married is no healthier than staying single?
Small businesses actually provide of the USA's GDP and more opportunities to workers than large businesses when you factor in part-time and full-time workers ---
Professor Pfeffer takes a much too narrow (socialist?) view of gig economy benefits.

Iran Just Threatened, Again, to "Remove or Eradicate" Nine Million Israelis ---

New York Spent $15 Million in Taxes To Build Upstate Film Studio. It Just Sold for $1 ---

Why a Small New York Town Is Banning New Restaurants ---

Why should taxpayers throughout the state pay more in taxes—or tolerate fewer services or more debt—to help those city governments that were fiscally irresponsible? They knew the risks, ignored the warnings and retroactively boosted pensions by as much as 50 percent over the past 15 years, yet now city officials are complaining about their tough fiscal position.

Media Ignoring the Samantha Power bombshell --- Why?

Italy’s New Government Goes Full Trump ---

A Gallup study from 2017 showed that more teens identified as conservative than liberal. 25% of teens polled identified as “conservative” and only 16% identified as “liberal ---

University of Denver
Crisis on the High Plains: The Loss of America’s Largest Aquifer – the Ogallala

The Atlantic:  A Harvard professor says his company should be able to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, at industrial scales, by 2021 ---

NYT:  Feminists looked the other way when Hillary hatchet men plotted to paint Lewinsky either as a malicious stalker or a friendly fantasist — just as they looked the other way in 1992 when Betsey Wright shot down what she called “bimbos” and “gold diggers” in Arkansas with the help of intimidating private investigators poking around in the lives of women who had been involved with Bill.

NYT:  And Bill Clinton has learned that his threadbare routine of maudlin self-pity and casting blame on everyone but himself doesn’t work anymore. And that is a relief.

Money ---
Swiss voters rejected a radical move to change the way money is created ---

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation: What Does It Mean for Libraries Worldwide?

Compilation on Key Issues on Student Debt ---

Norway wants the US to send Marines, keep them there longer, and base them closer to Russia . . . Oslo will ask Washington to send 700 Marines from 2019, compared with 330 presently. The additional numbers will be based closer to the border with Russia in the Inner Troms region in the Norwegian Arctic, rather than in central Norway.  ---

James Clapper Concedes Obama’s Iran Deal Gave Away ‘Too Much for What We’d Gotten’ ---

This story gets worse. Another transgender student, Andraya Yearwood, came in second place in the 100-meter dash. So, two girls lost their opportunities to compete in the New England championships because two biological boys who "identify" as girls were allowed to compete on their team, and won handily ---
Jensen Comment
"To compete as a transgender "woman" in the Olympics, "a trans woman athlete is required only to declare her gender as “female” and have testosterone levels comparable to or below those of cisgender women. (Cisgender refers to folks whose biological sex matches their gender identity, the opposite of transgender.)" There are fewer restrictions on trans male.
NCAA Policy is more lenient and vague for trans women ---

Everything under the sun is partisan in Washington DC
Pelosi, Schumer Criticize North Korea Summit --
Jensen Comment
As if the Obama-Kerry concessions to Iran were not even greater

James Clapper Concedes Obama’s Iran Deal Gave Away ‘Too Much for What We’d Gotten’ ---


The Decline of Scholarly Diversity
At Stanford Law School, no more than three of approximately 110 full-time faculty publicly identify as conservative or libertarian. (By way of contrast, Stanford Law School touts on its webpage 23 full-time faculty under the inartful rubric of “minority.”) As a consequence, many of my classmates will graduate having never engaged with a law professor whose worldview and convictions track those of nearly half the voting public.

Bob Jensen's threads on liberal bias in the media and in academe ---

What makes people distrust science? Surprisingly, not politics ---

. . .

From these studies there are a couple of lessons to be learned about the current crisis of faith that plagues science. Science skepticism is quite diverse. Further, distrust of science is not really that much about political ideology, with the exception of climate-change skepticism, which is consistently found to be politically driven. Additionally, these results suggest that science skepticism cannot simply be remedied by increasing people’s knowledge about science. The impact of scientific literacy on science skepticism, trust in science, and willingness to support science was minor, save for the case of genetic modification. Some people are reluctant to accept particular scientific findings, for various reasons. When the aim is to combat skepticism and increase trust in science, a good starting point is to acknowledge that science skepticism comes in many forms.

Jensen Comment
One reason for doubt in my mind is that there is so much cheating and corruption around the world. Asia comes to mind but the USA has its share of cheating from a variety of causes. Exhibit A is the corrupt past of pharmaceutical research. Exhibit B is pressure to publish on a short term horizon that leads to fabrication of data. Another reason is that scientists are increasingly dependent upon others to help collect data those assistants and collaborators are increasingly prone to cheat ---

There are increasing pressures for replication, but replication is often costly and low prestige and mundane since replication may limit chances of discovery of something entirely new.

With a shrinking welfare budget Britain is becoming more like the USA than the rest of Europe

Jensen Comment
One key difference is that the U.K. has shrunk its military down to about 5% of the budget whereas the USA is hanging in at around 16% of a much larger federal budget ---
Also see

In both nations much of the military budget is nondiscretionary and continues to pay for old war pensions and other social services. The fighting force of the U.K. is shrinking much faster than that of the USA.

In both nations expenditures on social services (in the USA think Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Misc. Welfare) comprise well over half the expenditures.

Social Security Trust Fund ---

. . .

The Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (collectively, the Social Security Trust Fund or Trust Funds) are trust funds that provide for payment of Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance; OASDI) benefits administered by the United States Social Security Administration.[1][2][3]

The Social Security Administration collects payroll taxes and uses the money collected to pay Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance benefits by way of trust funds. When the program runs a surplus, the excess funds increase the value of the Trust Fund. At the end of 2014, the Trust Fund contained (or alternatively, was owed) $2.79 trillion, up $25 billion from 2013.[4] The Trust Fund is required by law to be invested in non-marketable securities issued and guaranteed by the "full faith and credit" of the federal government. These securities earn a market rate of interest.[5]

Excess funds are used by the government for non-Social Security purposes, creating the obligations to the Social Security Administration and thus program recipients. However, Congress could cut these obligations by altering the law. Trust Fund obligations are considered "intra-governmental" debt, a component of the "public" or "national" debt. As of June 2015, the intragovernmental debt was $5.1 trillion of the $18.2 trillion national debt.[6]

Continued in article

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on June 6, 2018

The U.S. Social Security program’s cost will exceed its income this year for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits.

Jensen Comment
The media never mentions that most of the assets of the $3 trillion SS trust fund are IOU notes from Congress. A naive public thinks that the $3 trillion SS trust fund is comprised of gold bars in Ft. Knox or some other valuable assets that can be sold off to meet annual deficits in spending versus revenue of the SS system. In fact, the deficit must be made up with additional government borrowing.

The analogy here is a setting where a loving husband and wife put away 10% of their mutual earnings for 20 years worth of gold coins in a bank's safe deposit box that's intended to fund their pensions when they retire. Then over the next 20 years the husband slyly commences to replace the gold coins with IOU notes promising to replace the coins before retirement. Then upon retirement the safe deposit box contains no gold coins. It only contains the husband's IOU notes, and the husband gambled away all the gold coins.

Of course every accountant knows that it violates GAAP accounting standards to list a note receivable IOU of $1 million from yourself as an asset on your balance sheet even if the offsetting $1 million note payable makes the balance sheet balance. This is a GAAP accounting violation for individual estates and business firms. But, gasp, it's not a violation in Federal governmental accounting that lives by its own deceitful accounting rules set by the U.S. Congress.

The only way the Federal government can meet most of those annual SS deficits after 2018 is by borrowing on top of the $21+ trillion amount of booked US debt as of June 2018.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $21+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---
One worry is that nations holding trillions of dollars invested in USA debt are dependent upon sales of oil and gas and other commodities to sustain those investments. Currently President Trump is playing chicken with trade policies with our national debt holders like China.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---
Social Security is of less worry than Medicare and Medicaid.

Welcome to Ukraine’s Corruption Park ---

In Ukraine, graft has become so pervasive that only Russia, with its annexation of Crimea and the low-grade war in the east, seems to pose a greater threat to the nation’s security. Young Ukrainians have become so inured to corruption that it’s no longer seen as exceptional. The European Union’s Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine, together with officials in Kiev, have decided to address the problem head-on this month by opening “Corruption Park” at the city’s botanical gardens, in an apparent effort to shed light on a typically invisible problem.

A series of domes resembling a space colony are hosting virtual reality, 3D and interactive installations to offer a historical overview of corruption, from ancient Sumeria to the present. Eka Tkeshelashvili, head of the initiative, told Interfax:

“Young people become more tolerant to corruption. They don’t want to read long texts about anti-corruption investigations and dig deep into this problem.

” Maybe a pop-up park—replete with such items as a 100-meter-long, golden loaf of bread, assorted confiscated riches of crooked politicians and the tools of the Sisyphean officials who combat corruption—is a better way to get the message out. “It describes corruption as a phenomenon that no one in the world was able to eradicate completely,” Tkeshelashvili said.

“However, the world knows examples of how the level of corruption has been reduced to a minimum, followed by economic growth.” Ukraine’s problem afflicts the world, too. Experts estimate that dirty money currently accounts for almost 2 percent of the global gross domestic product.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---


Bob Jensen's threads on health coverage are at

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives --- 

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major Accounting Scandals ---

Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---

Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Enron ---

Rotten to the Core ---

American History of Fraud ---

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at 


Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  ---
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging

Bob Jensen's threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page ---