Told ya so

I’ve often written about the unintended consequences from the acts of governments. Today, we have a story about an INTENDED act of government—specifically, gun confiscation by the state government of Connecticut. February 17, I wrote about an open letter to the members of the Connecticut State police. In that letter, the members were warned about the possible consequences if they follow orders to confiscate firearms from Connecticut citizens who were suddenly made potential felons by a government gone mad.

That story isn’t over.

Connecticut to gun owners: hey, did you *try* to register? …SUCKERS!

Moe Lane (Diary)  | 

Well, isn’t this just a fine how-do-you-do:

After tens of thousands of defiant gun owners in Connecticut chose not to register their semi-automatic rifles to comply with a hastily-passed gun control law, the state is now taking some action. Officials are reportedly notifying gun owners who submitted late applications that they have one last chance to get rid of their “illegal” weapons.

State officials did accept some gun registration applications that were submitted after the Jan. 4 deadline, however, not all late applications were accepted, the Journal Inquirer reports.

“But rather than turn that information over to prosecutors, state officials are giving the gun owners a chance to get rid of the weapons and magazines,” the report adds.

And completely expected, too. But it gets better! You see, these are the people that tried and failed to register their firearms… and it’s absolutely dwarfed by the people who refused to tell the state of Connecticut about their newly-illegal firearms. You know what will happen to those people? That’s right: probably nothing at all.  Those people vote, and they’ll still have those votes in November unless the state of Connecticut has suddenly developed a way to arrest, detain, and felony convict en masse several hundred thousand people.

Moral of the story?  God help you if you try and fail to comply with the State.  You’re better off by far if you just keep your mouth shut.

Like I said, intended consequences. They allowed these folks to ‘register’ their weapons late and then disapproved the application to create an excuse to confiscate them. Sounds like King George III, next door in Massachusetts in April, 1775, doesn’t it?


I’ve talked from time to time about graduates who emerge from college and are debt-ridden by tens, and sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. For every graduate, there are three or more who didn’t graduate and also have an accumulation of tens of thousands of dollars of student debt. Debt is endemic across the country.

As I write my blogs every weekday morning, I listen, with half an ear, to Dave Ramsey‘s radio show. The show provides a microcosm of American debt. Easily, 9 out of 10 callers, have massive student debt to Sallie Mae.

Now that debt is impacting other areas of the economy…like home ownership.

Housing market recovery hamstrung by buyers’ crippling student loan debt

High school seniors — and the parents encouraging them to attend college on borrowed money — may find the American dream of owning a home out of their reach after the bill for their student loans comes due.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, loan applications for new homes fell a staggering 20 percent in the past four months. Meanwhile, student loan debt in the fourth quarter of 2013 rose five percent above the last quarter — outpacing mortgage debt, which rose only two percent in the same quarter.

“Overall debt is falling but student loan debt is increasing year-over-year and at a much faster rate,” chief executive David Stevens told The Washington Post. “[Young graduates] are already on the margin for being able to qualify for a mortgage. If you add on a large student loan debt payment of $400, $500 or $600 [a month], that’s going to impact your qualifying ability to buy a home. … First time home buyers are usually 40 percent to 45 percent of the mortgage market. Today they’re close to 35 percent and we think that’s directly correlated to student loan debt.”

Student loan debt is also non-dischargable — the federal government dispatches an army of 32 agencies to squeeze graduates for loan payments. In one remarkable case, a woman recovering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, an affliction for which the survival rate for patients quickly drops to zero, was told by federal agents that as long as she was still breathing, she had to pay her loans — until the Ninth Circuit Court intervened and discharged most of her debt. (RELATED: Federal loan sharks prey on cancer patients filing for bankruptcy)

“Student debt trumps all other consumer debt. It’s going to have an extraordinary dampening effect on young peoples’ ability to borrow for a home, and that’s going to impact the housing market and the economy at large,” Stevens said.

Student loan debt stands at a total of $1.08 trillion dollars, and tuition grows at an annual rate of 7.4 percent, outstripping both rising health-care costs and inflation. A college degree’s cost has grown 439 percent since 1983.

Over 37 million Americans are shackled with permanent debt, with 40 percent of households headed by Americans under 35 making the minimum monthly payments under interest rates ranging anywhere from 3.4 to eight percent.

This includes many mortgage brokers and realtors who rely on a steady influx of new customers to help pay down their own student loan debt. While home prices and mortgage interest rates are low for the time being, rising rates would likely push more young graduates out of the housing market altogether.

What is worse, guidance counselors in high schools and colleges actively encourage students to use student loans to finance their education. It’s a great deal for the colleges and universities, they have a government guaranteed stream of revenue. That stream allows them to steadily raise the cost of education because the competition is doing the same. There is no restraint on the institutions to curtail costs.

When my wife and I were in college, we had scholarships that covered most of our tuition. We had to work to cover our expenses for room and board. We often worked forty or more hours a week and also carried a full load of classes. I wasn’t in the top, grade-wise, of my classes, but I did pass and graduate with a degree. My wife’s story is similar to mine.

Student debt is a disease that, along with liberalism, has infected education. It is still possible to go to college and pay as you go. No, you won’t have time to party, go to Cancun on Spring break, or hang out with friends. But you can get a very good education, a degree from a recognized institution, and emerge with no or little debt.

It’s a lesson our local, state and federal governments need to learn.