Archive for the ‘Federal Budget’ Category

2016: What’s the Point?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

I hear and read endless speculation about this one and that one, and who’s in and who’s out, always superseded by the next day’s news, and always bereft of any measurable facts.  All of this can be both entertaining and frustrating.  All of it may be altogether pointless.  You see, the country is dying now.  By the time a new president is inaugurated in January of 2017, on our present course, it may not make any difference.  The country may be closing in on that tipping point, if we haven’t passed it already, at which nothing will be done to save us, irrespective of party, principles, or propaganda.  Our nation is deathly ill, if not terminal, and yet the politicians continue to chatter on as though there’s no end in sight.  Ignoring the stock market, which is many thousands of points over-valued due to cheap money practices at the Federal Reserve, this economy is a wreck.  As always, I urge my readers exercise care in what they believe or are willing to consider plausible.  In this post, I intend to revisit a topic I haven’t covered in a long while, because I think you ought to consider it.  The subject is the very real possibility of a hyperinflationary great depression that will make the 1930s look like a day at the beach.

As a reference to what hyperinflation looks like, here’s a graph of the infamous hyperinflation in the German Weimar Republic:

German Hyperinflation 1918-1924 (Wikipedia)

Long-time readers will remember I have used John Williams’ ShadowStats website as a reference in the past.  The nature of Mr. Williams’ warning hasn’t change, except to become substantially more strident inasmuch as such a calamity now seems to be possible at any moment.  For those of you who don’t remember, here was his Hyperinflation forecast of 2012:

2012 Hyperinflation Special Report(pdf format)

In 2014, Mr. Williams has updated his report, once in January, with a second installment in April. Here are links to these two in PDF format as well:

Hyperinflation 2014 – The End Game Begins

2014 Hyperinflation Special Report, Second Installment

 In these reports, Mr. Williams goes to extraordinary lengths to describe to you what I’ve told you right along, since the birth of this website:  Any alleged “economic recovery” was a fraud, and the nation is in deepening financial and economic trouble. Naturally, it’s not as though you hadn’t suspected it on your own, the obvious signs being what they are, but with the drumbeat of media, many people are soothed into complacency over a long enough time such that they begin to doubt what their own eyes and wallets are telling them.  In these most recent installments, Williams goes into great detail, putting numbers to the assumptions, providing actual data to support his conclusions.  In this sense, it is time for another reality check, because while the bulk of the people you know may well be ignoring hard reporting, in favor of popular media garbage, somebody ought to be warning them.   Chances are that being the good citizens most readers here tend to be, and being the sort of people who are trying to save their nation from disaster, you’ve been warning them right along.  Now, when they dismiss your warnings, you can dare them to read these reports.

If you’re among that number of people who are desirous of dismissing all of this as “Chicken Little” talk, I’d dare you directly.  Read these reports and if you aren’t at least a bit concerned, concerned enough to learn more, there’s no reaching you anyway.  In 2011, Sarah Palin and others were sounding the alarm.  She was ridiculed and mocked,  but the hard data supported her warnings.  All along, I’ve been warning you of the dangers of the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, and the grotesque expenditures of the Federal Government.  In the years since 2008, when this latest crisis began, the Fed has borrowed into existence a sum approaching(if not exceeding) fifty trillion dollars.

All of this money-printing or “digitizing” will necessarily lead to a calamity of unprecedented scale.  There can be no escape from the laws of economics, any more than there can be an escape from the law of gravity.  The only question is: When? As Mr. Williams points out in his report, the conditions are already in place.  It’s simply a matter of triggers.  With that in mind, I’d ask my readers to prepare to the extent they are able.

Some will argue that all of this is tantamount to alarmist fear-mongering.  but Williams does offer this, in his second installment for 2014:

“Conceivably, immediate massive and fiscally painful action by the federal government to restore and maintain long-range U.S. government solvency still could avoid the looming dollar collapse, but the related political issues appear now to have been pushed off until after the 2014 midterm election, again, as those controlling the government continue to push politically-difficult choices and actions as far into the future as possible. That has been explicitly demonstrated in actions by both the White House and Congress in the last several years. Nonetheless, despite political efforts to dodge the issues, the U.S. dollar and the deficit do matter, and the looming financial storm likely will break before the election.”

In other words, getting our financial and fiscal house in order could still serve to avoid this calamity, but as he notes, and as we are all too aware, the probability of that being done is low. The question isn’t “Will there be pain?” The real question is whether it will be pain we choose while we maintain the ability to moderate it, or an uncontrolled and apocalyptic pain from which there will be no recovery.  We’re very much like a stage four cancer patient in that only the most radical treatments have any chance of saving us, and the chemotherapy and radiation will be so severe and thorough as to inflict more pain than we might want to endure, but failing to choose this, the results are known and unavoidable.

I have significant doubts as to whether there exists the political will to induce pain via the radical treatments necessary.  The politicians in Washington DC are hoping to stave-off this calamity through the current election cycle.  I believe this is folly, but I also know they’re banking on the notion that they will be able to deal with this after the election, but you and I know the truth: There’s always another election.  The dust will still be settling from the 2014 election when the first real moves for 2016 begin.  They will already begin to make the political calculi about how to survive through the next election, or how to save the next election for their respective parties, but none of them will be thinking about any of this. The truth is that saving the nation will be furthest from their minds.

We have a president who is a functional economic illiterate, driven by dogma of a failed ideology.  We have a Congress driven by short-run notions of self-preservation of their power.  We have a people who possess a low tolerance for bad news in good times, and a complete intolerance for self-imposed discipline particularly where it implies any sort of pain.  It’s time to consider what all of this will combine to create in the coming years, if you haven’t done the math already. People are talking about 2016 like that represents some sort of panacea, but ladies and gentlemen, our nation may not make it until 2016.

 Editor’s note: I realize that the linked reports from John Williams’ site constitute a fair bit of reading, but like most issues, the devils lie in the details. Understanding the roots of our impending calamity, and the historical precedents as well as the actual manipulations of statistics by the current regime are critical in understanding what is afoot. While it’s a lot of reading, it’s entirely worthwhile.

Note 2: There was an error in the links to the two 2014 reports. These have been fixed.

Debunking Stupid Ideas in Mainstream Media

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Bloviating Zone

Seldom is there a shortage of stupid, insipid, vapid ideas in the mainstream media, but lately, it’s coming from every direction.  I was watching the idiot at 8pm(Eastern) on the diminishing network that is Fox News, when he promoted an upcoming segment featuring Michele Bachmann(R-MN.)  The segment has not yet played, and I’m not really interested in anything this perpetual TV dipstick has to say, so I was not surprised at the vacuous formulation of his segment, based on a recent McClatchy-Marist poll: “Why are the American people still more dis-satisfied with Republicans than Democrats?”  Let me suggest an answer that refuses to evade the obvious, irrespective of what Bachmann may or may not say in response, and howsoever the bloviating 8pm-er may otherwise characterize it.  It’s really a simple math problem, and it’s time we ask goof-balls like O’Reilly to understand mathematics. There is one reason Republicans are doing more poorly in Congressional approval polls, and it is not because they’re not moderate enough.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Various surveys tell us that roughly 20-25 percent of the populace considers itself liberal.  As much as 42 percent consider themselves conservative.  The rest  consider themselves mushy moderates and independents.  Let me suggest that we break this up into a simpler math question: If 33 percent of respondents approve of Democrats in Congress, that is roughly equivalent to the number of avowed liberals and a portion of the “moderates” who are simply embarrassed liberals hoping to maintain some semblance of non-partisan cover.  The rest of the country hates the Democrats, including some actual moderates.  Meanwhile, the same 33 percent can be counted on to hate the Republicans. One might then think that since 40-45 percent of the populace considers themselves conservative, Republicans would gain the benefit.  Actually, it’s not like this at all.  You see, since Republicans register around 25 percent approval, let us then admit that the group most likely to be adding to disapproval of Republicans isn’t the moderates, but instead, the conservatives.  42 percent plus 33 percent equals 75 percent.  While I am confident there will be some instances in which this isn’t precisely true, the obvious answer is that the Democrats are disapproved less because their own core constituents support them relentlessly.  In contrast, conservatives who constitute the core of the Republican constituency are as unhappy with Republicans as liberals are. Only squishy moderates like O’Reilly support Republicans.

This is not difficult math, so simple in fact, that even a mindless dolt like O’Reilly should be able to figure it out. The problem is, however, that it’s only easy to see if one is willing to see it.  O’Reilly isn’t willing to see anything that contradicts the DC orthodoxy. When O’Reilly implies that it’s all because Republicans are too immoderate, he’s evading the truth, because it’s not a truth he wants to purvey.  If the Republicans in Congress were interested in getting a better approval rating, they wouldn’t push ridiculous “bi-partisan” budget deals like the one now being offered by Paul Ryan(R-WI) and his Senate counterpart, the estimable Patty Murray(D-WA.) Conservatives are rightly disgusted with this and other deals, and the explicit unwillingness of Congressional Republicans to fight. 42 percent plus 33 percent equals 75 percent. Mathematical wizardry is not required.  All one needs is a commitment to the simple truth, and that’s something Bill O’Reilly plainly lacks.

(Editor’s Note: Apparently, the math escaped Bachmann too, because her explanation turned out to be that the media is against Republicans, which while true, doesn’t answer the heart of the question.)

How Many Americans Still Don’t Understand: We’re at War

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Can there be peace?

Most Americans are too charitably naive to recognize his actions as anything more than business-as-usual, dirty politics, but what this President is doing goes far beyond anything this country has seen previously, exceeding even the thuggery that was rampant under Franklin Roosevelt.  Roosevelt had the good sense to avoid directly “flipping the bird” at the American people, however, even if that was the net effect of his policies.  He certainly wasn’t bold enough to attack American heroes, or to perversely torment the families of US service-members killed in action.  FDR was too careful a politician for that, but the same cannot be said of Barack Obama.  Since the beginning of the partial government shutdown, he’s been conducting a campaign of attacks against treasured American values, while inflicting maximum pain on the most vulnerable. He’s trying to provoke the American people, with one object in mind: He wants a violent reaction from the American people so he can carry out his deadly intentions.  Had you wondered why DHS needed more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition?  Most Americans believe he’s just another politician, but he’s nothing of the sort. The evidence lies not only in his unrepentantly communistic past, but also in the intransigence of his actions.  There will be no negotiations.  This is war, the American people are his enemy, and he knows it.

By all that is good on Earth, Barack Obama should not be president.  He shouldn’t have been elected, and he certainly shouldn’t have been re-elected.  Now that he will never face another election, he’s undertaking to destroy the country more quickly than before, and sadly, there are a few on the Republican side in Washington DC who cannot wait to help him.  I address here the establishment Republicans of the sort who are trying to help Boehner sneak amnesty through while Americans are watching the shutdown fight, including former Vice Presidential candidate and general snake-in-the-grass Paul Ryan(R-WI.) He has been laboring with various Democrats to put that steaming pile of dog excrement over on us while we’re otherwise engaged.  “Watch this hand…” Even at that, however, nothing compares with the provocations being thrown like satchel-charges into the American political arena by Barack Obama. His Defense Secretary, the estimable Chuck Hagel, has ordered a suspension of death benefit payments to families of soldiers killed-in-action on the ludicrous basis that benefits to families aren’t the same as benefits to soldiers.

Hagel is a piece of dirt, but he’s simply doing as Obama orders, and this incident may be the thing that lights the fire, if nothing else will.  You see, in truth, service-members’ families really have no benefits that aren’t tied to and dependent upon the service-member.  This last bit of dishonor has been heaped upon them by the man who claims to be their commander-in-chief, but who hasn’t even the guts to take full credit for it, instead relying on Hagel as the heavy.  Don’t be fooled.  This came from the top, and everything about it reeks of the fly-ridden pestilence that is Barack Obama and his inner circle of reds, pinks, and islamo-fascists.  He’s doing this because he knew it would be an outrage.  He’s doing this because it permits him to deliver one final abuse to the service-members’ memories, and to the families who will forever miss them.  This isn’t merely petulant behavior.  It’s the behavior of a bully picking a fight, because that is his ultimate aim.  Already, the number of people talking about impeachment and about arresting this treasonous president has sky-rocketed, just like he planned it.  Before this is over, he wants the American people to be seething with rage, and by my estimation, this incident will go a long way to achieving that end.

Early in his career as a professional Marxist agitator, one of his former Occidental College room-mates noticed that he had a particular affinity for the notion of a violent communist takeover.  That’s right, Barack Obama was one of those nuts in college, and there’s really no evidence that he ever amended his beliefs.  As his former room-mate points out, there is no “conversion story.”  This is because Obama hasn’t converted, remaining the true-believing Marxist monster he had been trained to become by his mother and Frank Marshall Davis.  This man was raised on a solid diet of anti-American sentiment, ironically rising to occupy the office of the President of the United States, abusing now the people of the country at will.  He meets with his star chamber of leftists, Marxists, and garden variety statists to plot out the means by which to drive the American people to the brink of violence.

On Tuesday, he held a press briefing during which he lied endlessly, mis-characterizing virtually every point, both lying about his congressional adversaries, and his own part in the government shutdown and the debt ceiling affair.  The problem is that more and more Americans are beginning to doubt his credibility, since all the evidence actually runs in the opposite direction: More and more are noticing that President Obama is lying to them.  When combined with the indignities being heaped on our service-members, living and deceased, as well as their families and the millions of veterans in the country, it’s becoming clear that he’s trying to instigate a civil war, and slowly but surely, he is succeeding.  This is why he permitted a pro-amnesty group of illegal immigrants and their supporters to rally on the National Mall Tuesday, while denying veterans access to the same grounds.  He’s trying to provoke a violent reaction, and if he continues on this path, I fear he will get what he wants.

As it is, there already exists a movement of truckers and bikers who intend to raise a ruckus in the nation’s capital.  There are purportedly hundreds of thousands involved, perhaps millions, and some have mentioned arresting members of Congress.  Truth be told, I suspect they’d like to say the same of the President, but don’t dare for fear of the Secret Service.  Either way, I can almost bet dollars to donuts that Obama will un-ass the White House as the bikes and trucks roll into town, perhaps going to Florida for another golf outing or off to Las Vegas despite his own cautionary note about traveling there during his first few weeks in office in early 2009.  Either way, I don’t expect we’ll see much of him in DC at that time.  He and his handlers would never permit him to remain in town with such “riff-raff.”  Besides, if things get out-of-hand, he’ll need to be in a position to strike back.  Hard.

What many Americans may be on the cusp of grasping, perhaps too late, is that Barack Obama really isn’t just another politician.  He’s not Bill Clinton, and he won’t stick his moistened finger in the air to discover the direction of the political winds.  He’s every bit as committed as any jihadist, and similarly convicted of his ultimate victory over the “infidels,” in this case: Americans.  His inner circle is similarly fanatical, and the proof lies in the fact of these obvious attacks on American values.  If he had been listening to political advisers of the typical DC variety, he would not have permitted these incidents because they’re bad politics, as demonstrated by his dramatic decline in job-approval polling numbers over the last week.  The fact that he’s no longer worried enough about politics to do the politically expedient things, or at least avoid the obvious political pitfalls should demonstrate to any observer that this guy is on some kind of a count-down.  He’s like the suicide-bomber holding off the cops because he’s waiting for the timer to expire and the bomb to blow.  He’s hoping his non-negotiating negotiations buy him the time he needs before too many realize what he’s doing.  He’s gambling that you will continue to think he’s an ordinary scum-bag politician, rather than a committed, ideology-driven suicide bomber who is about to detonate your world.  You, Republicans, and not a few in the press continue to assume he’ll come around in due course, which is why he continues to throw these bones of “I’m willing to negotiate” but never does.

It’s the same tactic the jihadists used on 9/11 to immobilize the passengers on the jet-liners.  Only those on Flight 93 figured it out in advance of the end, making a heroic effort to stop the hijackers.  On the first three airliners, passengers knew they were being held by terrorists, but they naively thought there was a negotiation to be had.  The hijackers even played upon this thinking, telling them they would return to the airport until their demands were met.  They couldn’t afford their victims discovering their true aims.  They knew that once the passengers discovered it was fight and perhaps die, or do nothing and surely die, there would be a battle.  Only the people on Flight 93 figured it out in time to make a difference, with better information and a bit more time on their side.  Obama has taken over the controls of our nation, and he doesn’t intend to negotiate about it.  His impending appointment of inflation-diva Janet Yellen should demonstrate his intentions, as she will continue to devalue the dollar through inflation, on the claim that it will create jobs.  The sooner more Americans begin to realize that we now have a president who is at war with the American people, the American system of government, and the greater set of ideals that is America, the sooner we can responsibly do something about it.  Until then, he gets closer and closer to his target, and too many still believe some negotiation is possible.  This is a president whose minions actually made 800-F(1)UCKYO the phone number for his signature program.  Some of you might think it’s a clever joke in poor taste, but instead,  it’s a statement of his intentions.

Will Americans learn only after he collapses the economy?  Will we learn when he uses his powers to starve Americans and deny them care?  Will we learn when he uses troops against Americans?  Drones?  What is it going to take?  Even if Americans finally catch on, how will they react?  Will they give him the violence he desires, as an excuse for greater violence?  Will they realize that their time is running out and that he must go by legal means?  The situation looks every bit as hopeless from my point of view as it must have seemed for the first passenger to realize too late as the airplane began its descent into New York twelve years ago that something was very wrong, and that it didn’t look like an approach to an airport.  The problem is always the same: Our enemies know they’re at war with us, but we never seem to notice until it’s too late.  Obama knows.  His inner circle knows.  Boehner, McConnell, and most of the Congress are oblivious to the danger.  Sadly, so also are far too many passengers on our national plane.  There will at long last come the refrain, probably once again too late to save us:

“Let’s roll.”

By then, we may have been rolled.

Obamahu Akbar!

John Cornyn Isn’t Merely a Coward – He’s a Shameless Fraud Too!

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

I explained to fellow Texans in a note last Friday why they shouldn’t support John Cornyn.  Today comes further evidence.  In an effort to further mislead Texans, and in an attempt to pretend his cowardice hadn’t been, this deceptive politician, this un-Texan, has posted a phony poll on his website asking a question based on a false premise.  The question itself is a lie.  He asks: “Do you agree with Senator Cornyn’s vote to De-fund Obamacare?” The truth is that he didn’t vote to de-fund Obamacare. Instead, he voted to permit Harry Reid and the Democrats to prevail.  His poll is garbage.

This deception brands this man as a despicable liar.  To explain for the readers not up to speed on the trick, John Cornyn joined with Democrats to close off debate on the House continuing resolution, permitting Harry Reid to amend it.  After it had been amended, Cornyn then voted against it, along with twenty-four other sell-out Republicans.  His phony poll on this webpage(see screen-capture of site below) asks if you agree with his vote to defund Obamacare.  HE DIDN’T VOTE TO DEFUND OBAMACARE!  He voted to permit Harry Reid and the Democrats to strip the Defunding language out of the bill, so that he could vote against that amendment and pretend to have voted against Obamacare.  The cloture vote WAS the vote.  Texans aren’t stupid, whatever Cornyn may think of us, and I suspect that as the truth spreads, Senator Cornyn will be heading home for good next fall.

Here’s the sleazy, dishonest poll on his website:

This Poll is a complete scam and fraud.

A number of Senators implied or directly accused Ted Cruz of trying to use the de-funding push to raise funds.  Meanwhile, Cornyn’s phony poll is nothing less than an attempt to solicit email addresses and names so he can later solicit funds.   More, since the poll is based on a lie, he’s shamelessly misleading voters both as to his actual position and to the effect of his votes. Classic “for it before against it” nonsense! Naturally, there’s no way to answer it without seeming to support him or Obama-care.

Call Your Representative: No Surrender!

Monday, September 30th, 2013

We are at that moment when less-than-courageous politicians will think to waffle, turn back, and avoid a fight.  If we’re to prevent that outcome, it’s going to take some Hell-raising on our part.  Even now, elements within the House of Representatives, in the Republican leadership, are beginning to whisper about capitulation to Obama and Reid.  In the Senate, we already know there exists a group of GOP senators who will be only too glad to put this issue behind them.  It’s going to take a Herculean effort on our part, but we need to buck-up these politicians.  This is, after all, the hard part of their job, and if they won’t stand and be counted in the tough times, who needs them?

Go to the House website.  On that site, you can find your representative, and all the relevant contact info.  Visit their pages on Facebook.  Tweet them.  Email them.  Call them.  The more they hear from you, the more inclined they will be to fight, and the more likely they will be to stand up to leadership if they begin to crumble.  Barack Obama is trying to bully them.  In the end, their own leaders may try to bully them too.  Remind them who it is that had put them in office.  Remind them of their duty. There is no reason Harry Reid should determine what goes on in the House.  Instead of getting tough with conservatives, for a change, John Boehner should be tough on Democrats.  It’s time for them to stand up, even if we will need to hand-hold them through it.

Former Marine Who Told Feinstein “No Ma’am”

Monday, January 7th, 2013

No Ma’am!

Joshua Boston is the former Marine who published a letter on December 27th, informing Senator Dianne Feinstein that he would not obey any law that demanded he register or surrender his firearms and his right to bear them. Corporal Boston’s letter was a response to all the talk about gun bans, and particularly Feinstein’s proposed legislation. CNN interviewed him, and he figuratively stuck to his guns, telling the CNN interviewer that an unconstitutional law is no law. The interviewer naturally seemed argumentative, but that’s to be expected when a Marine talks to the press.  Watch the interview here, courtesy of Mediaite:

Feinstein’s office responded, saying she respected the Corporal’s service, but like most leftists, I believe the Senator from California is lying through her teeth. If she had any regard or respect for Corporal Boston or any of the millions of other veterans who have worn the country’s uniform, fought it battles around the globe, and kept the nation secure against all threats, she wouldn’t be considering this sort of legislation. Among other things, in his interview on CNN, Boston said:

“Whatever happens happens. I have a right granted to me by the Second Amendment in our bill of rights and it says ‘shall not be infringed.”

In his original letter, Boston in part made his case this way:

“I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.”

What I find interesting in this interview is the demeanor of the CNN interviewer, who seems to hold his remarks in contemptuous, laughing disdain.

“The law is the law, right?”

As the 8-year veteran observes, an unconstitutional law is no law.

This is another example of what I explained in my piece on Sunday about Confronting Ignorance About Guns. These people in the newsrooms are frequently factually ignorant of almost everything relevant to the issues they cover, and it is perfectly understandable why conservatives and conservatism never seem to get even-handed coverage in media.

To his credit, Cpl. Boston acquitted himself well in the interview, and he did the Marine Corps proud.

Semper Fidelis!

What Your GOP Has Done to America Again

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Guess who will pay!

I knew the outcome before it had been announced.  There would be no way in which McConnell would do anything differently from what he did in 2011.  The sell-out Republicans in the Senate, excepting a few token “resistors” have voted with the Democrats to raise taxes and cut spending by a ratio of 41:1.  That’s right, they’re going to cut one dollar in spending for every forty-one dollars they’ve raised in taxes.  If you are an entrepreneur, just forget about making any money.  If you’ve scrimped and saved in order to make your lot in life a little better, forget about it.  If you’re a welfare moocher, the gravy train will continue. What this means is simple enough to understand: Your Republican party has succeeded in throwing your hard work, your efforts for prosperity, and your tireless struggles on the funeral pyre of America.  These Republicans are helping Obama in his goal to kill jobs, kill wealth, and ultimately, to kill the country.  Now the action returns to the House, where John Boehner will push his members to Obama’s bidding.  Once again, your Grand Old Party has abandoned you, but what we must now consider is when mere political treachery traverses the boundaries of treason.

Do you want a job?  Do you want a better job?  Sorry.  You want sanity in government spending?  Balanced budgets?  What budget?  Budgets are so antiquated.  Why should politicians be restrained by budgeting, never mind balancing them?  In truth, our problem is that we have no opposition party.  The concept of loyal opposition isn’t even relevant.  There simply is no opposition.  We are being ruled by a gang of thugs, and the only split between Republicans and Democrats is in the matter of how much they will pinch us.  It’s more like rival factions of gangsters, all under the same mob bosses, with only the matter of which particular gang will rule the day remaining in question.  Boehner’s arm-twisting tactics will be employed to bring the few remaining actual conservatives into line, and those who opt to oppose him will find their posts on various committees stripped from them.  Even now, as The Hill reports, Boehner is busily crafting a voting majority comprised in part of his “100 loyal soldiers” (Loyal to him, but not to the constitution,) and a number of Democrats who will together shove this legislation down our throats.

Back in early December, I warned about the coming betrayals of Boehner and his band of sell-outs, and I urged that we rid the Congress of this fifth-column wart on the face of the party.  Now you will have it, and your lives and the lives of your children will suffer for it.  It wasn’t hard to predict, as past is prologue in Washington DC.  In 2011, when Boehner walked conservatives off the plank, and when so many conservatives were scratching their heads in disbelief at the utter weakness being projected by Republican leadership in the House, I told you that these people were not working for us.  At the time, I was mocked, and there were those who scoffed at my assessments, but by now, the matter should be clear.  If you’re waiting for the Republican Party to rescue you, or to stand in the name of the dying republic, you will be disappointed repeatedly.

Why do they not fight?  The answer is simple:  Some of them are in league with the statists, adopting their principles, and some are merely cowards who wish to retain power.  These people will disappear when the country collapses, to the bunkers for which you have paid, with the provisions for which you have been taxed, secured by guards you have funded, with weaponry to which you will not have access as the mobs ravage the countryside.  They will be safe.  Their money or wealth will be shielded.  All of the “fiscal cliff” theater is simply one more diversion.  The consequences of the so-called “fiscal cliff” were not so severe as pretended, but the debt cliff over which we will now almost certainly plummet shall constitute the real undoing of America.

Happy New Year America!  John Boehner hates you.  Nancy Pelosi dismisses you. Mitch McConnell despises you.  Harry Reid spits on you.  How do you know the difference between Republican and Democrat?  By their beliefs?  As expressed through their actions and their votes?  Tell me once more: What is the difference?  The Club for Growth is warning the GOP not to make this deal, but do you think Boehner and the boys will listen?  No. It’s time to embrace reality, and to see for once and for all that there can be no salvation through the Republican party.  The GOP is not interested in saving the country, but only themselves.

And you will pay for it all…

Obama Openly Hints at Dictatorship

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Dictator Obama

In a speaking engagement that looked suspiciously like a campaign stump speech, on Wednesday, Barack Obama implied that if Republicans attempted to tie the debt ceiling to the budgetary negotiations, he might ignore them, stating “We’re not going to play that game.”  All along, Obama has shown a willingness to exceed his constitutional authority.  Since the Debt Ceiling debacle of 2011, there’s word circulating in leftist circles that under the 14th Amendment, there is some authority for the President to ignore Congress in order to satisfy the payment of our debts, but no such authority exists in the 14th Amendment.  This is a troubling proposition, and the fact that our Prevaricator-in-Chief  now makes these kinds of implications portends potentially lethal danger to our republic.  Obama has made little secret of the fact that he detests the prohibitions on excessive government authority in the US Constitution, but ladies and gentlemen, if he hasn’t gone too far already, this should be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

To help you understand what this ludicrous, malevolent narcissist has in mind, let’s first view his speech to the Business Roundtable on Wednesday.  The most interesting remarks come after the 13:00 mark, but the whole of the speech offers insight into the maniacal thinking of this man.  He is going to destroy this economy to exact his revenge, and none should be in the mood to let John Boehner make deals with this sort of mindset:

As to the proposition that the 14th Amendment provides some authority for the President to circumvent Congress, this is a preposterous claim.  The relevant sections of the Fourteenth Amendment states:

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article

Notice that section 4 was intended to deal specifically with war debt accrued by the Union in fighting against the confederacy during the civil war.  The leftists who advocate on behalf of section 4 as a proscription against a debt ceiling are lunatics.  It not only requires the setting aside of the context of the amendment, but also ignoring the subsequent section, that specifically empowers Congress to enact legislation pursuant to this amendment.

In Article I, Section 8, the following are to be found among the specifically enumerated powers of Congress:

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current coin of the United States;

Notice that all of these powers that are in fact granted to Congress in financial and fiscal matters fall within the context of the following statement, concluding Section 8:

;—And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

There is no mention of a Presidential role in this process, apart from his ordinary Article II authority to veto or approve legislation.  Nothing in Article II provides the President authority to coin money, borrow money, or appropriate funds. No imaginary, tortured rationalizations of the 14th Amendment permit him to touch this apart from signing or vetoing legislation that comes before him. If he attempts what the leftists are suggesting, he is in open violation of the constitution, and this must be confronted.

Naturally, given the track record of Barack Obama, there’s little to suggest that he wouldn’t merely claim the authority, act on such basis, and then simply let Congress try to stop him in court.  This would essentially create a window in which we would be reliant upon John Boehner and the Republicans to stop him, but the tepid leadership we’ve seen to date suggests they would present no obstacle to this imperial president.

My friends, there is nothing so dangerous as a demagogue acting as chief of state, and his inclinations toward dictatorial actions provide plenty of cause for concern.  Not only must we rid ourselves of John Boehner, but we must also be willing to make a stand against this president in the name of the constitution.  Our nation is dying a slow death, but rather than acting responsibly, Barack Obama is rushing to be the first man to throw a shovel-full of dirt on its grave.  John Boehner is weak and tepid, a pallbearer to our premature national funeral, and he seems more concerned with his own political survival.  We are in deep trouble, but we must stand on behalf of our constitution, or risk losing it.

 

Another Bite at the Apple: The Desperate Need for Welfare Reform

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Insensitive?

In the immediate aftermath of the election, I suggested to readers that the key driver in Barack Obama’s re-election was one particular sub-group of the electorate in which Romney got creamed.  I pointed to single mothers as the key group that killed any chance of a Romney victory, and the reason I suggested was simple enough to understand: “Free stuff.”  In short, this particular segment of the populace views big government as a “sugar daddy,” and by extension, it’s chief advocate, Barack Obama was the chief beneficiary of this view.  I had known that the number of programs and benefits available to women who fit that description was quite amazing, but I had no idea the extent to which this is true. The simple truth of the matter is that unless and until conservatives devise a method by which to change this formula, they are going to lose national elections.  The problem they will face in so doing is the screed of the left about a “war on women,” but apart from weak-kneed leadership, afraid of such attacks, if something doesn’t change, the country is already lost.

The following image is a chart put together by James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute, and it demonstrates how a single mother is subsidized by the state, or how Eve, once tempted from her pedestal, became a ward of the state:

The first thing that should strike you is that a single mother of two earning only $29K is subsidized to the extent that she has the same effective lifestyle as a similar woman, unsubsidized, earning $69K, because net, the two have around $57K in income and benefits.  Effectively doubling her meager gross by virtue of the welfare state’s programs, the woman earning $29K is in pretty good shape.  People have lamented to me over the years about people who use foodstamps, but who also load their groceries into awfully nice cars, and the question had been: How can this be? Here’s part of the answer, inasmuch as relieved of the costs of food, medical care, and a tax burden, among other welfare-state benefits, what income is present is freed-up for the purchase of that nicer car.  It’s no wonder she has an iPhone 5, because under this construct, she can afford it, since taxpayers are subsidizing to some degree virtually everything else.

Leftists and those of the moderate middle wonder why we conservatives claim that such programs are a disincentive to work, but the facts make it clear.  What is the point in bettering oneself if it actually can be a detriment to income, as the chart above makes perfectly clear.  At certain thresholds, by earning the next marginal amount, benefits available drop off to the extent that it’s punitive to earn more.  This explains well why in certain lines of work, we have the phenomenon of women roughly matching the description, who quit or get themselves fired once they’ve been there a certain period of time, and it’s because they need to keep earning, but they also need to prevent themselves from crossing these thresholds, or “welfare cliffs.”

The challenge to conservatives is to reverse this without being accused of waging a “war on women.”  The first thing we need to admit is that such a situation is a travesty, both to the women trapped by this process, and to those who are working outside the blanket of this lavish welfare state.  It should never be the case that our people are faced with the choice of placing reason in adversity to morality.  Let me try to explain it this way: If you’re that woman earning $29K, you’d be nuts to earn enough money to push you over the cliff.  It would diminish and damage your lifestyle, and the lives of your children.  At the same time, you would [hopefully] know that to continue to languish on these programs is wrong, but when you look around, you notice everybody around you is doing it, so how wrong can it really be?

This dichotomy is the difficulty we face.  We have provided this system, and it is entirely socialistic.  Viewed from a big-picture perspective, it’s constructed precisely to create a very socialistic outcome: The net wages and benefits are flat from wage or salary levels of $29K to nearly $70K. The woman who earns $29K is the economic equal of the woman who grosses $40K more.  This is an astonishing revelation to many people, who had no idea how thoroughly perverse with socialism this system had really become.  Is there any wonder that welfare-to-work initiatives have failed in recent years, to the largest extent?  Is there any wonder that job training programs seem to have been largely fruitless?

It’s easy enough to identify the problem once you have the facts before you, but then the question becomes: Whatever shall we do about it?  If Congress simply slashes these benefits, they fear they won’t be re-elected, but if they don’t do something soon, they won’t be re-elected anyway because this will have become the daily reality for far too many people to ever reverse it.  The problem is that if we don’t reverse it, it’s going to bankrupt us, and that day is coming all too soon. All of this subsidization is being accomplished with borrowed money, and it simply is not sustainable.  It’s always difficult to convince people that their best long-run interests are better served by giving up a little in the shorter run, and the evidence is quite obvious when one examines how few people ever put money away for retirement or savings in any form. Part of the reason they’re unable is because the money they’re earning today is being taxed to subsidize others, so that the total effect of this problem is much worse and much more widespread than the superficial conclusions one might draw.

We need a real, thorough examination of our welfare state, but under the current administration, we’ll be lucky if we can merely restrict its growth.  This administration knows where its bread is buttered, and it’s not going to yield any ground on this without a brutal fight.  The truth may be that this has already doomed us to a financial and monetary collapse of epic proportions.   When that happens, it won’t matter any longer because this will come to a screeching halt, and both the single mothers in this scenario will pay a terrible price along with every other American.  The left has worked very hard to dissociate any stigma previously attached to such subsidies, so we’re going to need to make more than a financial argument, because this is a problem in largest measure of desperate moral concern.  We need adults in the room, but right now, Congress is acting as the elves in Obama’s portrayal of Santa Claus, and the states have become the sleigh, Rudolph, and his eight four-legged friends. It must stop, but in truth, one way or the other, it will stop.  The question is whether it stops in a sudden crash, or instead because we decide wisely to apply the brakes. The choice is still yours.

For now.

So Now Bernanke Is Worried?

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

He Warns Congress?

In the immortal words of officer John McClane, played by Bruce Willis in Die Hard, all I can say to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is “Welcome to the party, Pal.”  Bernanke is now warning legislators about the fiscal cliff over which Washington  is shoving the United States.  I must say that I have a few problems with this primarily because Bernanke has been leading us over a monetary cliff all his own.  At the same time, I have a few other pointed question for Chairman Ben as he chides Congress on its lack of budgetary restraint.  Why, at this late date, when we’ve all known this has been coming, is it only now that the Federal Reserve Chairman feels the need to show concern?

He certainly didn’t say any of this, or not loudly, when Nancy Pelosi was running the House.  I also notice that he didn’t chide the President, who hasn’t taken any substantive steps to curtail the problem, and could be said to have arguably multiplied them with his stimulus bill(a.k.a. Porkulus) that unlike previous stimulus programs, wasn’t a single budget year project, but has been copied in each successive year.  Bernanke can complain to Congress all he wants, but when this whole mess got started, he was nowhere in sight.  For the first three years of Obama’s administration, he said nothing much to the executive branch on the matter, at least not publicly, and he said nothing of the sort to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid when they controlled Congress in one-party dictatorial fashion.

Worse than that, however, he has administered the greatest printing of money in Federal Reserve history, and it has all been largely inflationary as I have reported.  Mr. “Fiscal Cliff” should have thought about all of this as he was digitizing more currency into existence, through QE1 and QE2, and more recently, a quiet QE3(by another name.)  All of this quantitative easing really amounts to is printing more money, (or digitizing it.) That policy leads to the same cliff, because it is by his printing of it that it exists for the government to borrow and spend in the first place.

For Bernanke to come along now, conveniently after the House is in Republican control and to then waggle his finger is a bit of a sideshow act.  Some will take him seriously, and the markets may react badly, but the truth is that he has been leading us into an even greater danger, and I think he knows it.  This may be his way of making a preemptive strike for later this year, if the dollar crashes.  He can point at Congress and claim: “See, I told you so.”  The problem is that if tries that, I will be right here waggling a finger at him, to assure him that others, like Sarah Palin, have told him so.  I have made this clear repeatedly, and yet Bernanke now comes along to warn Congress?  Congress?  He had better heed some warnings over at the Federal Reserve himself.

Don’t get me wrong:  Congress is being as irresponsible as ever, but some in the majority party are at least trying to do something about it. For Ben Bernanke to come along and say this now suggests that he’s either seeking political favor with President Obama, who re-nominated him for his current second term, that ends in Janurary 2014, or he’s setting us up because he knows something bad is coming, and he now wants to disassociate himself from any blame.  It may well be both.  The sharp fall in gold prices on Wednesday may signal the beginning of a deflationary cycle.  That could lead to a complete economic collapse, and Bernanke’s actions over the past four years have done nothing to remove the possibility.  He can point a finger at Congress if he likes, but that means there are at least three pointing back at him.

 

About Obama’s Travel Costs…

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Travel In Style!

There are those who insist that we need the dollars and cents to fully grasp what this President’s jet-setting ways are costing us, and how much he’s putting on our national tab as he flies here and there.  We won’t know the full extent of the costs, but we can begin to get an idea when we consider only the hourly operational costs of Air Force One, the President’s own plane.  The cost per hour to operate the VC-25(a modified Boeing 747 airframe) is $179,750.00 according to ABC News, and while they admit that this doesn’t include the crew, since they’re military and would be paid in any case, it doesn’t even speak to the advance teams of Secret Service, the cargo planes that haul the presidential limousines, or any of the other costs.  In a short trip to Florida, the cost exceeded $674,000 just for Air Force One.

In this time of crushing deficits, and economic hardships, it’s hard to understand how he justifies this as he’s using the plane as his primary transportation for campaign fund-raising.  Has this guy ever heard of a teleconference?  We can do those things now, you know.

Obama’s OMB Director Jeff Zients Caught Hiding the Truth – Video

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

President's New Budget Liar

Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients testified before Congress on Barack Obama’s proposed budget.  House Republicans spent a good deal of time and effort trying to get a straight answer on when our budget would balance by grilling Zients on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, Zients is another Obama liar.  He has no intention of telling you when, under Barack Obama’s budget proposals, the budget would balance, because under Obama’s ludicrous budget offering, it never does.  Let me say this again.  Under Barack Obama’s budget proposals, they merely slow down the rate at which debt is accumulating, in theory, but in practice, it will not slow down since they are assuming rosy interest rates on new and existing debt, and his administration is rigging the numbers.

Here are two videos of Congressmen trying to get a straight answer from this newly-appointed Presidential Budget Liar, who will not admit on camera that the budget will never balance under these proposals.  Never.

You can take what you want from all of this, but what is clear is that Obama is not interested in upholding his oath, but instead merely running our nation into the ground in opposition to his oath.

Dereliction or Treason?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

What's He Doing?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to offer you a number of facts to consider and then I’m going to ask you to consider them as a complete set.  At present, our military is falling into a disgraceful condition under the maladministration of Barack Obama. In fact, the condition of the country at large is one of unsustainable weakness, but every day, Obama undertakes more bad ideas that hamper or harm our nation.  Most assign this to a reckless incompetence, and while I can understand the desire to not think the worse of a US President for his intentions, I am questioning them now as far too many things seem to be aligning disturbing synchronicity.  It seems as though something is wrong with this President, and it may be far worse than misguided intentions. His actions as President have severely undermined our defenses, and may make us essentially naked to aggressors. When one observes such a trend, it must be called to the attention of his fellows, because if this is intentional, then the only name for this is not “dereliction” but instead “treason.”

We are now slashing the defense budget to make room in the Federal budget for entitlements, including Obamacare’s implementation, and all those other programs previously in existence.  We are now grounding our Air Force’s fighters at a phenomenal rate.  We are nearly 20% weaker in this vital area than we had been a short decade ago, and cancellations of projects like the F-35 guarantee this will only become worse.

We have handicapped our naval capacity by insisting they use a certain percentage of bio-fuels in their combat aircraft at an outrageous expense to tax-payers, and an as-yet unknown cost to the defense of the nation.  We are nearing the point where we will effectively scrap two entire aircraft carrier battle groups, further limiting our ability to respond to threats around the globe, or protect our own air-space here at home.

We have given most of our critical missile defense secrets to the Russians, allegedly to ease their worries about them, but in truth, what we’ve done is to give them to a potential adversary that has contractual relationships with Iran and other nations with which conflicts may be inevitable.  At the same time, Iran continues to threaten us and our allies with missiles against which these systems were designed to act.

Iran now flagrantly sails its fleets not merely through the Suez Canal, but also threatens to shut down shipping through the Straits of Hormuz, and between these two passages, nearly 50% of the world’s oil supply is transported.  We do not challenge them there, except to waggle our finger, but it’s worse because their ships now sail openly along the edge of our territorial waters in an intentionally provocative way.

Petroleum and its distillates are soaring in price, even though President Obama has killed off the Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought fuel to our energy-starved nation within a short time.  Our current oil production is dipping, but more than this, the taps at the Strategic Petroleum Reserves remain open, as Obama uses this to hold down the price of oil only slightly.

The Iranians are developing nuclear weapons and they already have mid-range missiles on which to deliver them, but more than this, they are developing long range rocketry that will reach to the North American continent.  Iran continues to fund terrorists who attack us globally, and yet, when there was an uprising in Iran, Obama did not back it until well after it had been quelled, but he did so only half-heartedly.

Soros is raising an army of rabble that you know as the Occupiers.  What these will be are the useful idiots to be led into slaughter when the time comes, and Obama needs an excuse to clamp down. At the same time, Obama’s department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement(ICE) is being directed to permit illegals to go without arrest whenever possible.

Our financial system has been directly tied to the banking systems of the failing Euro currency, and it’s no secret that if they collapse, as seems likely, we will almost surely accompany them over the precipice and into the abyss.  Your purchasing power is being eroded away, and soon you will begin to see a more distinctly inflationary trend that they will not be able to mostly hide from you as has been true over the last few months.  Instead, we’re going like gang-busters to worsen our troubles.  The government rigs the unemployment statistics, and we’re told “things are improving.”

None of these things are likely to have been unknown to you,  because as readers of this site, you’ve seen most of them covered here.  You might look at any of these in isolation, and conclude that they are the results of colossal incompetence or even dereliction, but as yet, you may not have noticed the common thread running through them.  You might be satisfied with that notion, but for the fact that you know nothing exists in a vacuum, and that you cannot separate the out from the whole if you’re to understand them in context.

What all of these things have in common is that each of them substantially harms America’s economic and physical security.  Each and every one of these things also have in common is the fact that they are directed by a single authority, and the person who wields it is none other than Barack Obama.

Barack Obama maintains two separate cabinets, one consisting of his official cabinet secretaries, and the other composed of his shadowy system of czars and advisers.  The latter group wins every argument, and it shows in the decisions this president takes.

If not dereliction, could this really be treason?  If we didn’t suspect otherwise, I’d think he was getting us ready for a take-down on all fronts.  What’s worse is that his chief opponent in November is likely to be the candidate of his preference.  Still, one can hardly miss the fact that what all of these things leave in play is the fact that we are being set up, and it is we Americans who stand to lose everything.  His sympathies for Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are telling relations, and the fact that his favorite pen-pal is the radical, Islamist President of Turkey, and what you realize that there’s almost no hope.

Is Barack Obama intentionally leading us to the banquet of the enemies at which we are to be the main course?  Consider what might happen if an electromagnetic pulse(EMP)  bomb was detonated by Iran over US territory:  You will not see television again, perhaps for a generation. Your vehicles will not function.  Every electronic device, and indeed the whole electrical grid may be down for years.  You will have no oil with which even to do battle to reopen the Straits of Hormuz or the Suez Canal, because we have been bleeding our Strategic Petroleum Reserves into the ground at their behest.  No oil?  No Navy or Air Force, meaning no response from us.  At that point, fuel-less, and with nothing in which to place it  if we had it, the country would almost immediately grind to a stop.

Spend a little time to think about everything Barack Obama is doing, and ask yourself if these are the actions of an honest man concerned with his country but inept in application, or instead the mere organizing of a man who is committed to its destruction.  The worst-case scenarios are too awful to imagine, but that we must stop him is also clear.  If it isn’t treason, it sure looks like it, and if the net effect is the same, it won’t make a difference either way.  Does it matter?  In this context, is negligence distinguishable from treason?  I don’t think so, but we must begin to assess the threats against our country, and if we should survive through election 2012, we must unseat this president, though I do not know now how we can beat him.

European Downgrades Imminent(Updated)

Friday, January 13th, 2012

The Beginning of the End?

As I have discussed at length over the last few months, the Euro currency is in trouble, and the member nations who make up the Euro are all facing potential credit rating downgradesDrudge is linking the CNBC report that France has been downgraded by S&P, while others are sure to follow in the short run.  At present, Germany and the Netherlands aren’t among those under immediate threat of downgrade, but the effects have been immediate as stocks have slumped throughout the morning on fears over the blow-back in financial markets.  This is going to continue to threaten the global economy, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see a way out of this mess.

Meanwhile, there is no deal yet on Greek debt, which is a part of the trouble:  Sovereign debt is destroying Europe, and as this occurs, we’re mimicking the levels of expenditure that got Europe into all of this trouble. It’s now clear that during a single term, Barack Obama will have added $6.2 Trillion to the national debt.  That’s an extraordinarily dangerous growth in public debt that threatens the economic future and the political stability of the nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, this level of borrowing and expenditure cannot be sustained, and I cannot imagine how somebody like Mitt Romney will do anything to change this.  He’s a timid politician in most respects, and he has no record of making cuts in issues where there is substantial political difficulty.  In fact, the truth is that he’s added to the future liabilities of the state of Massachusetts through his health-care program, that is even now bankrupting that state. In this respect, Romney offers nothing substantially different from what another term of Obama promises to provide: American decline.  It’s time to look closely at all of these candidates to see if any have a record of real cuts, because our nation’s future will depend on it.

Update: Before I could even get this posted, the situation is fluid, and it is being reported that five nations have been downgraded, including Italy, Spain, and Portugal by two notches each, while France and Austria were each dropped a single notch.

 

Boehner Pushes, But You Pushed Back

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Why Don't They Love Me?

I was gratified to read that Speaker Boehner and his Republican leadership ran into a little difficulty with Conservative House members who are getting tired of always being the people asked to “take one for the team[again.]” This means your complaints are being heard by your conservative members of Congress.  According to The Hill, meeting with House Republicans, Speaker Boehner is quoted by an unnamed attendee that he’s trying to “make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.”  To me, that sound suspiciously like his whining over being only “one-half of one-third of the government.”  Some people never learn, and while Boehner races to compromise wherever he can to try to put something on the scorecard, I think he’d be better off to go golfing with Obama: At least there, he’s not doing damage while being at least competent in his environment.  He’s ineffective as the Speaker of the House, and it’s time we sent him home.  One commenter asked how but the answer is simple: He must be challenged and beaten in the primaries.  Some warn that if he were defeated in the primary, he would be a “lame duck” speaker for the rest of the year.  My question is: What’s the difference?

To be honest with you, I’d much rather have a lame duck Speaker who is subject to replacement, and who will have no backing to pull off all of these swindles and deal-making behind closed doors with Reid and Obama than to have him actively offering sabotage to the conservatives in reward for their support.  Today was no different, as this big government hack is pushing to keep alive the payroll tax cut.  I think that’s ridiculous, and while if it fails to pass, it will cost me and my wife thousands, the truth is that it’s undermining the solvency of Social Security, bringing further instability to our current course.  After all, how long can we keep kicking the can down the road?  I’m a tax-cut champion, but this one has provided little or no stimulative effects, and what it really does is let more Americans almost completely off the hook.  We already have far too few tax-payers in the sense that too many have no real stake in our country as their hands reach for more from other folks’ pockets.

What Boehner is offering are some token measures to get conservatives aboard with this compromise, such as a reduction in some regulatory power for the EPA.  Does anybody believe it would stick with this lawless administration?  Apparently, some conservatives were not being fooled according to The Hill article:

Several Republicans stood up in the meeting to oppose the extension of the payroll-tax cut, citing concerns about Social Security and the fact that GOP leaders want to pay for one year’s worth of spending and tax relief over a decade.

Amen!  According to John Campbell(R-CA,) the leadership was caught off guard by the push-back they received:

“I think they were a little surprised by the pushback — they looked a little deflated to me,” he said, before noting his opposition to extending any of the expiring provisions.

Further, The Hill reports that one unnamed member was quite blunt:

“now we’re a part of kicking the can down the road. … But shouldn’t we try to run the country, shouldn’t we try to do the right thing, shouldn’t we try to get this deficit under control?”

Right on! I wish they had told us the source of that remark so I could send the member a letter of congratulation on “getting it.”  This is the truth, after all, and it’s part of the reason Boehner and his leadership team needs to be shown the door in 2012: We conservatives and Tea Party types understand that the Republicans only control “one-half of one-third of the government,” but as a matter of fact, it’s time to make the other guys sweat. Just as should have been the case when the House passed “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” ahead of the debt ceiling debacle, they should pass bills and send them over to the Senate and let Harry Reid explain why he’s bottling them up.  Instead, Boehner goes directly for the compromise every time.  It’s time to find a new Speaker of the House for the GOP.  This one is stinking things up, and it doesn’t smell like chicken salad.

Obamanomics Delivers Worst Turkey Since 1932

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

One Turkey Gets Reprieve; Rest Get Axe

Nobody is really surprised by this development, but CNBC dutifully reports that this Thanksgiving week was the worst for the markets since 1932.  On the heals of miserable economic performance, and with all that has happened in Europe, it’s not likely to improve any time soon.  The Euro is on the verge of collapse, as US-based investors continue to balk at European banking institutions, and as they slide over the precipice, things aren’t looking any better here at home.  As I’ve explained before, our own banking system has thoroughly tied itself to the European mess that a significant collapse there will tend to spread its tentacles to this country in rapid fashion.  Perhaps in the worst sign of the day, now comes an early report that Black Friday spending by consumers was altogether flat.

No prolonged, significant recovery can commence until energy prices are brought under control, and as is now obvious, the only way to combat this in any sustainable fashion is to unleash domestic energy production.  Alas, the Obama administration is strangling our energy production, using EPA regulations to shut down coal-fired electric plants with no replacement of lost capacity.  Barack Obama is doing for the nation what his party first inflicted on California.  Rolling black-outs will likely become the norm next summer.  An economy like ours can never attain its most efficient stride under such a regime. Wealth and job creation require production, and production of anything at all requires energy.

Let us be honest enough to admit that we cannot recover while our President and his administration maintain their current course.  Since they are not likely to change course, we are stuck with this miserable economy.  It is for this reason that I believe that Barack Obama will go down to massive defeat in 2012.  Whomever replaces him, it will need to be an actual conservative, who will push for energy production, and who will act to lessen the regulatory burdens on the people of the United States.  Americans have been adaptive and creative people, but no people can be flexible enough to live on nothing, with no resources, and no energy.  This may be the most important lesson of the Obama administration:  You can’t make something out of nothing.  People who are accustomed to making lemonade have found that under this president, unless you happen to be one of those connected cronies, there aren’t even lemons.

The other thing we are going to be forced to address is the welfare state.  The welfare state in all its myriad forms has become a vast and overpowering drag on the economy of the United States.  Non-defense spending has exploded under Obama, and while many look to the defense budget when it comes time to swing the cutting axe, the truth is that the welfare state consumes fully two-thirds of our budget.  It is this spending that accounts for most of the growth in the federal deficit these last three years, and the time is rapidly approaching when we will be forced to choose: Welfare spending or economic growth.  Some will wonder what one has to do with the other, but it’s simply understood in this way:  Welfare-state spending is squeezing out private production and economic activity.  For far too many Americans, the welfare state has become a viable permanent alternative to work.

Barack Obama will be remembered for many things, and very few of them will be good.  When this President leaves office in January 2013, there can be some hope of a turnaround.  Until then, the American people are going to be made to suffer.  On the world stage too, Barack Obama has been a miserable failure, and with all the promises about making America more respected in the world, all this President has done is to multiply the contempt with which we are viewed.  If we are to have growth, and if we are to have hopeful economic times, we must replace this President and his band of cronies.  Like Sarah Palin, I believe “November [2012] can’t come soon enough.”

House Republican Leadership Prepares to Screw You Again

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Weak, Pathetic, Ineffective

This is absurd.  Speaker John Boehner is now behind a move to bring a “clean” Balanced Budget Amendment to a vote in the House of Representatives.  The Amendment in question would provide no protections against runaway government, or limit the ability of Congress to raise taxes.  Roll Call is reporting that the Republican leadership is willing to consider the weakened, unrestricted version of the amendment in what will surely be the most ridiculous act of self-defeat in a long string of them by this House Leadership.  The Democrats like the “clean bill”  because it’s going to present a huge “get out of jail free card” for them.   In the form that is now under consideration, the Amendment would serve as a club over the head of people who wish to reduce the size and scope of government.  It’s another pathetic surrender, and it’s not acceptable.

What’s at stake is this: The amendment now under consideration is stripped of any requirements to cut spending or limit taxation.  Under this so-called “clean” version of the bill, if Congress wished to spend 100% of our GDP, the proposed amendment would permit it, and permit or even require that Congress raise taxes to support it.  In short, this proposal is a national suicide pact.  Earlier this week, 31 conservative organizations signed a letter published by Americans for Tax Reform to John Boehner insisting on the stronger restrictions.  From the letter:

“Unless tax hikes are taken off the table, reckless lawmakers will increase taxes to pay for these new bloated spending levels, rather than bring spending in line with revenues. A ‘clean’ BBA provides the excuse big spenders seek to raise taxes and grow government,”

This is exactly correct.  The letter continued:

“Any lawmaker committed to restoring American solvency cannot seriously vote for a BBA that does not include a super-majority requirement for tax increases,”

It’s not surprising that John Boehner would seek to do this for the sake of political expedience, but what is shocking about this is that it will undoubtedly be used to either punish the entire economy, or to politically attack Republicans.  Let me explain the way in which it will be used for the latter purpose, since the former is self-explanatory.  What will happen is that a number of House Conservatives will revolt against party leadership over this(and they had damned-well better,) but this will mean the Amendment will go down to defeat, and this will enable Democrats to say “We voted for a BBA, but Republicans obstructed it.”  The details and the truth won’t matter.  The President will claim: “See, we tried to get a Balanced Budget Amendment, but those darned Republicans stopped it.”

The way to prevent a disaster is to introduce the stronger version of the Amendment. This means it may go down to defeat, but if it does, it will have been defeated with Democrats’ votes.  That would flip the narrative, and place the burden of defending a bad position on Democrats.  What Boehner’s surrender promises us is a complete disaster of unrestricted tax increases, or the loss of the House majority, or both.   Boehner isn’t fit to lead.  He doesn’t understand the concept.  He’s a deal-making, arm-twisting surrender monkey, and if the GOP majority survives this disastrous leadership for another two years, it will have been a miracle, but Boehner must go.  Cantor isn’t looking any better.

National Defense Faces Severe Cuts

Monday, November 7th, 2011

A Scalpel or a Sword?

As you will may remember from the Debt Ceiling debacle in early August, the deal then worked out has some automatic triggers.  If the Super Committee created by the legislation fails to produce sufficient spending cuts, those triggers will kick in and cuts will be forced upon Congress.  The biggest target of these cuts is the defense budget, and as the New York Times is reporting,  it’s Leon Panetta who is now considering what those cuts will be.  This is one of the most despicable parts of our current budget morass, and it’s astonishing that nobody much seems to notice:  One of the few legitimate functions of government is the national defense, and yet among all the things to be cut, defense will be hit the most deeply.  I have no problem with an examination of the necessities of our defense spending, but I’m also aware that while government spends money on all sorts of things for which it has no actual constitutional authority, defense is clearly one of the budget categories for which the federal government exists.  In part, this is the result of the can-kicking in which Boehner and House Republicans joined by making their deal with the devil in August, but it’s also the built-in result of generations of governmental growth in other areas of expenditure.

Defense spending now stands at approximately $700 billion.   That’s an astonishing number that is as large as the entire federal budget just thirty years ago.  Part of that number owes to our engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the actual baseline spending for defense being $530 billion.  That’s still an incredible amount of money, but it is only $130 billion(yes, “only”) more than the defense budget at the height of the Reagan administration, but in inflation-adjusted dollars, it’s actually less.  Defense constitutes the largest single line-item in the discretionary portion of the budget, but the entitlements, in the non-discretionary budget, have begun to dwarf the spending on defense.  Social Security is a larger program, and Medicare and Medicaid together exceed the total defense spending.  It should seem odd to Americans that programs for which there is no clear constitutional authorization are considered “non-discretionary,” while programs that are most definitely among the legitimate roles of our federal government are considered “discretionary.”

What this means is that we don’t have a choice on a year-to-year basis about those items in the non-discretionary budget.  We are going to spend to support them, because previous legislation has mandated it.  Discretionary budget items are those that are adjusted on an annual basis, and not necessarily tied to previous legislation.  You can look at it this way for simplicity’s sake:  Non-discretionary spending is comprised of entitlement programs.  Discretionary spending is comprised of everything else.  In our federal budget, non-discretionary spending is roughly twice the size of discretionary spending.

I am certain defense can be trimmed without hampering the nation’s immediate defenses, but I am less certain that over the long run, we can maintain a force capable of deterring and repelling enemies around the globe.  Even in the midst of a deep recession, we are having difficulties with recruiting and retention of military personnel.  This is because just like any other large organization, most of the defense budget is actually spent on salaries and benefits for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. In precisely the same way that the CEO of a large corporation will make cuts to employees first, mainly because it’s the biggest single operational cost, the Defense Department suffers from the same basic problem: Service-members cost a great deal, and a good deal more than their already pathetic pay and benefits represent.  Training costs are phenomenal, and the costs of supporting units in the field are huge.

Many will suggest, naively, that we simply “buy a few less $400 toilet seats.”  While that makes for a good laugh line, the reality is that the defense budget has finally managed to clean up most of those sorts of egregious expenditures over the last decade or so, largely because the Defense Department has had no choice.  Still, there are matters that should be examined, like the billions of dollars simply missing, and other problems with big-ticket line items.  Nevertheless, in our dangerous world, there is an ever-escalating competition between us and our would-be and real enemies, where high technology will be contribute directly to reducing the number of flag-draped caskets that arrive at Andrews AFB during each future engagement.  This sobering recognition is among the reasons that any such spending cuts in the military budget must be accomplished as some might say, “not with a machete, but with a scalpel.”  We must be certain that whatever cuts we make do not leave us naked to attacks, and that when we do engage in warfare,  our troops are given every advantage we can provide to win with minimal losses.

One of the areas in which Secretary Panetta is looking for cuts to defense is in the area of medical and other benefits, in addition to gross payroll.   That’s a mistake.  We already have difficulties attracting people to serve in the military, and this too can have a dramatic affect on morale, and readiness.  In truth, to make the level of cuts they’re intending, nearly $200 billion annually, we’re going to be forced to withdraw from virtually all overseas engagements and forward locations.  This poses another danger, inasmuch as we may be slower to respond to crises around the globe, and we may be less able to react when things go awry in one theater of operations or another.  We can ill-afford to be caught short again, because the direction of global terrorism is marching toward weapons of mass destruction.  The 9/11 attacks of 2001 were just a sample of the sort of mayhem the terrorists around the globe are going to be able to create, and this says nothing of our strategic adversaries such as Russia, China, and several others.

This impending doom for the DoD makes plain the problem with our current budgetary priorities.  We are spending far too heavily on entitlement programs of every description, and it will no begin to affect our nation’s defenses.  There are those who argue that the military should be cut, but they don’t think in terms of scalpels or even machetes, but guillotines.  This short-sighted approach is surely destined to create a situation in which we will face increased vulnerabilities on some fronts, and escalating troubles with recruitment and retention.  Our fighting forces deserve the best equipment and training we can afford, but now the question is:  What can we afford?  The answer to this question is likely to be unsatisfactory, because too many politicians derive too much support by virtue of entitlement spending, and while the argument could be made that there is a certain element of the same thing with the defense budget where it comes down to large bases and projects, it’s also true that they aren’t so concerned about the costs in morale and readiness for ordinary soldiers.  What the American people must begin to recognize is that we’ve blown our budget not so much by virtue of military spending, but because we’ve over-extended our social spending to such a degree that it is now squeezing out defense.  There’s something terribly wrong in our thinking when we look at military spending as “discretionary” but Medicaid as “non-discretionary.”  What is our government here to do, after all?  Now we’ve been reduced to the near inevitability that a big-government liberal, Leon Panetta, is going to be hacking away at our nation’s defenses.  We should all be worried at this prospect.