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Was Keenes Right in a Quote Liberals Ignore?

Former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman. who wrote a book titled “Trumped” predicting a Trump victory in 2016, said in a recent interview as reported by retired economist Charles Hayek (not to be confused with the world famous famous economist Frederich Hayek, the patron saint of Milton Friedman) responding to questions about Trump’s programs for spending money on military, etc.and assertions that under his amazing leadership the economy would soon really rebound,

“I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in the hot place that’s going to happen. This is delusional. This is the greatest suckers’ rally of all time. It is based on pure hopium and not any analysis at all as what it will take to push through a big tax cut. Donald Trump is in a trap. The debt now is $20 trillion. It’s 106% of GDP…Trump is inheriting a built-in deficit of $10 trillion over the next decade under current policies that are built in. Yet, he wants more defense spending, not less. He wants drastic sweeping tax cuts for corporations and individuals. He wants to spend more money on border security and law enforcement. He’s going to do more for the veterans. He wants this big trillion dollar infrastructure program. You put all that together and it’s madness. It doesn’t even begin to add up, and it won’t happen when you are struggling with the $10 trillion of debt that’s coming down the pike and the $20 trillion that’s already on the books… 

“I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th2017. That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015. That holiday expires. The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion. It will then be law. It will be a hard stop. The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash. We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate. By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises. Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”

He also noted,

“The S&P 500 has been trading at 26 times earnings while earnings have been dropping for the past six or seven quarters. There is no booming recovery coming. There is going to be a recession and there will be no stimulus baton to bail it out. That is the new fact that neither Trump nor the Wall Street gamblers remotely understand.”

If that is an accurate assessment, then Trump’s plans are simply unattainable.  His base seem to think that he can, by the strength of his claimed unique expertise, turn the U.S. economy around because he says he can and because so much of this country desperately needs him to pull it off.  But if we hit that new debt ceiling quickly and become 20 trillion dollars in debt, all the while we, as we are currently,  adding about a trillion dollars a year to that total, I don’t see any possible way that Trump can cut taxes, increase military spending, build a border wall, spend much more on veterans much less spend an extra trillion dollars on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.  We already are technically bankrupt as a nation (more debt than we have revenue via production to cover).  So it is possible that in a VERY short period of time, Trump (and the rest of the country) will get a very hard economic slap in the face.

Before you think of this as an anti-Trump rant, let me be clear: I don’t think it would have been any different under Clinton; the end date of that “debt ceiling holiday” was already set into law by Obama and she would simply have wanted to spend as much as Trump just on different programs.  He will, of course, be blamed for it since it will happen on his ‘watch’ regardless of when it was set in motion.  I don’t think he or Clinton could have stopped it without Draconian measures that would loose their respective basses as their pet causes were gutted. His ego and her conviction we can spend our way out of debt would have precluded either from tackling the problem appropriately.

And there is too much pain to go around for the weak willed and desperate-to-keep-their-cushy-jobs congress to even propose such austere measures as would be needed. And the people as a whole, in direct contradiction to JFK’s admonition, simply want to know how the government can better take care of themselves and relieve them of all consequences for their personal choices and behaviors.

So it will be interesting to see if Stockman’s prediction comes to pass as predicted and it is not like we will have to wait very long to test them.  Unfortunately he did not also say what would be the outward effects on us all if he was right, just that Trump’s plans would be made unattainable.  But their unattainability is due, in his view, to the government essentially running out of cash.

From a practical standpoint I’m not exactly sure what that means since we already know there is not enough currency in circulation to cover the debt already (the Federal Reserve says we have about $1.5 trillion in circulation).so where does the rest of the $18.5 Trillion come from to retire the debt were it called in? Can we continue forever addicted and euphotic from overdoses of what he calls “Hopium?” Much of the debt is intergovernmental to agencies such as Social Security and held in the form of Treasury Bonds.  If that failed then they would have to shut down.  THe current administration would, of course, be blamed for “shutting down the government” but the policies and situation that came to that was set in motion well before they had any say in it.

Over $6 Trillion of the debt is foreign held.  Some pundits assert that China would never simply call in its $1.1 Trillion debt because it would basically kill the dollar on the world market which would hurt everyone including themselves.  But if they had sufficiently divested themselves of dollar holdings to allow their own currency and gold to sustain them trough a rocky period, and the world reserve currency was now also held in Chinese currency, (which, thanks to the IMF it now is a part of their Special Drawing Rights currencies mix), and the result was to essentially destroy the U.S. economy and with it our ability to wage even a defensive war to stop their expansion into other areas (think about the economic ruin of the Soviet Union and its effect on them), I am personally not so sure of their benevolence on our behalf.

Whether anything happens on Match 15th or not, I think this could be a VERY interesting year… and, for us, not an altogether positive one.  And it has nothing to do with Trump or Clinton as it has been set in place and grown over a long period of time.  THe economic patron saint of liberals, Charles Maynard Keene, in a quote liberals ignore, wrote that the easiest way to destroy a country was to debauch the currency.  We have done that with reckless abandon and I think we shall soon see whether or not he was right.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Sheeple Have Spoken

San Diego – Well, the good news is that it is over.  The lies and misinformation that dripped moment by moment from the politicians as they sought to outdue each other in the amount of venom and vitriol they could spew at the other side has been spent and they will have another few years to recharge their reservoirs of political bile.

The end came, unfortunately, too late for me to retain respect for some of my acquaintances who did not just fall into but rather flung themselves full bore into the hateful, distasteful, and often idiotic fray of yet more bumper-sticker intelligence and cartoon level thinking about issues that were incredibly important on a scale broader, obviously now, than their self serving, simplistic, often one-issue intellects could grasp.

And make no mistake, that preamble is aimed in ALL political directions.  The real issues that face us now and will face us in the near future as a nation were all but ignored by both sides as they sought simply to smear each other with the offal they could only be obtaining by scraping it of off themselves.  Both winning and losing sides studiously avoided a confrontation on truly critical issues of national importance.  The winning side did so because they had no standing to claim a shred of integrity or sincerety had they attempted to enter that arena and the losing side did so for reasons totally obscure to me but which could not be all that flattering.

And in the end, we, as a nation, got not what we needed (and probably could not have extracted from either side) but what we most likely deserve and what most likely will be the first major move down the path toward those “step” or “stage” changes prophesied by historians and political philosophers from Polybius to Marx I spelled out in a previous post.

Some of you old timers may recall that years ago, in the late 1990s and early 2000s I predicted that by the time of this election, we would set our nation on a path to reclaiming the shining example to the world our founders gave us or down the road to ruin retracing the same path and for the same reasons previous great civilizations took to their ultimate demise as virtual centers of the world in terms of geo-political importance and economies.  I hoped it would not happen in my lifetime but now, I am sad to say, I think I have lived to see it.

I have now seen the parasitical class out-vote the productive class.  It was bound to happen sooner or later but I truly had hoped it would be a lot later.  I have now seen those who believe they are entitled to the fruits of the labors of others out-vote those remaining few who think they are entitled only to what they can produce and accomplish themselves.  I have seen now those who believe that if there must be some consequence for their actions and behaviors, it is OTHERS who should bear it and not themselves out-vote those who believe  we should all bear the consequences for our own actions and behaviors.

Unfortunately, those feelings of entitlement and social justice have an economic impact.  Of course it does not — or in their minds, should not impact them because it is the others that are expected to pay “their fair share” when some pay nothing at all.  But as the Iron Lady said, pretty soon that approach runs out of “other people’s” money.   Certainly we have run out of our own as a country.

If that were not so we would not have a $16 Trillion dollar debt and be in immediate need of asking to borrow more.  You cannot claim to be solvent and yet require – REQUIRE – additional borrowing just to meet your liabilities.  And the result is each child now alive will be saddled with over ¼ million dollars in personal debt to the country if it is EVER to be settled.

Of course under the new order set in motion at the polls last night it cannot ever be repaid.  Why not?  Here’s a heretical idea, look at the logic.  It is simple Aristotelian logic and not complex at all.  Here are the premises…

  1. The only way to create sustainable revenue to the government is via increases in national productivity.
  2. National productivity is a function of jobs, solid jobs that create the majority of the goods and services needed so that the balance of trade can remain favorable.  And it is those employees who, if the winners of last night are to be believed, carry the major tax burdens and whose taxes keep the ship of state afloat.  So from all standpoints an increase in the productive workforce is mandatory for any sort of national recovery.

    However…

  3. The world that could easily employ lots of unskilled labor is dying at a rapid pace.  Today’s solid jobs depend on skill-sets and knowledge not dreamed of when I was just entering the work force.
  4. The only institution that can properly prepare future workers with those needed skill-sets is education.
  5. The only institutions that can hire and retain those workers, assuming the existence of requisite skill sets are businesses and corporations.

But…

  1. What institution is designated as the first to receive cuts due to those same budget problems that are claimed do not exist?  Education.
  2. What institutions are designated as the whipping boys for all the unfair ills around and so throttled with tax and regulation burdens to limit or stifle their productivity?  Businesses and corporations.

Is not the disconnect apparent to you?  Are you following any of this or am I going too fast and using words that are too big?  The answer has to be that no, you are not following this or the election results would have been different.

Luckily I am an old guy.  My “future” is well behind me and the truth is I had a very good run at it.  In my opinion we took the first big step over the edge last night but we have so much inertia going that even a dedicated transformer like our president cannot undo us overnight.  It will take a little while.  So I may never live to see it all utterly fall apart.

But my students will and I am sorry for them.  They will never see the America I saw as a youth; a beacon to the world as a place of opportunity and hope for all willing to buy into the culture and work for it.  A major nail was driven in the coffin of that old place last night. Maybe it will be the last nail needed.

But my students were and are among those cheering it all on, pleased at the outcome to savor the flow of entitlements and goodies they expect to come flowing down the government food trough.  So maybe I should not feel sorry for them after all.  They will get the results of the actions they have set in motion; actions and results I do not think can be reversed by the time this term will be over.  And it will be what is deserved.  I do not think they deserve the America that was, the America of dreams and fantastic potential.

(As an aside, yes, I do still think that there is the possibility the technology of efficiently extracting oil from shale noted in my last post will still happen… somewhere.  But having vast oil-based revenues, despite the major growth it has twice allowed in this country, is no guarantee of having things move in the best directions.  Riches do not guarantee a benign government.  Think Saudi Arabia if you do not believe it.  It can also provide the power for a tyrant-in-training to solidify their position by now passing out the goodies even more extensively.  We talk about the best politicians money can buy but the real worry is about the most dependent voters money can buy.)

Anyway…  If I were a national politician this morning, my attitude would be, “OK, you voters made your choice… so be it.  If this is what you want, even though you have no idea what you are asking for, then let it happen and happen quickly.”  Since my own pension and salary are secure as a member of congress, I would give the President everything he wanted with no problems whatsoever.  And make sure who is getting the credit (him) and who will, down the road, deserve the blame.

After all, if we are doomed to pass on through to the next stage, then lets get it over quickly so we can then start setting the ground work to move the cycles rapidly ahead and perhaps the next time we reach the point of wonder and power, we will be able to look back to when we through it all away and see what that cost us.  Perhaps next time we will learn from history rather than ignoring it.

Nah…

 

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Aren’t You Tired of the Nonsense Yet?

San Diego — I am so sick and tired of the inane. petty, moronic, offal passing for political discourse I could scream.  Good grief people there is more at stake than the petty BS filling the sound-bites, talking points, and most of all simplistic, cartoonish Facebook posts increasingly corrupting cyber space as the election nears.

Is it really more important that one or the other will provide free birth control than what they will do to correct the suicidal course of our economy?

Is it really more important that they care one way or the other about same sex marriage than it is about how they will respond to global terror actions?

Is it really more important whether they will, in their heart, find solace in a belief in Allah or God or Yahweh or pure science, than what they will do to uphold their oath to defend and protect the Constitution?

Is it more important that they or their parents were born in Mexico, Kenya, Hawaii, or on the moon than whether they will work to make this country strong and secure?

It saddens me and sickens me to discover that apparently those inconsequential things that, in the cosmic scheme of things, will not make us one iota more secure and will not strengthen our economy or make us less of a debtor nation, are more important than the things that will do those things.

If we crash and burn economically because the dollar loses its status as reserve currency or our credit rating is so diminished by our profligate borrowing that interest rates on our debt skyrocket or, worst of all, our debtor nations have had enough and refuse to loan us another dime, it will not matter if we hand out contraceptives for free.

If we let the jihadist world see us as weak and incapable of (or unwilling to) protect our own people abroad, much less our own diplomats, it will make little difference if we allow or disallow same sex marriage.

And if we allow our national interest and standard of living based now on fossil fuels to be in thrall to countries that hate us and wish to see harm done to us, then it will make little difference if we are only “investing” in technologies still 10 to 30 years away from practical deployment and refuse to exploit our own resources in the meantime no matter how many Delta Smelts or Spotted Owls we save (unless we are saving them as a future food source which they may need to be when we can no longer afford to raise much less transport our foods because fuel costs have stopped the tractors and the tractor-trailers along with our cars.

And if we loose our basic freedoms, if we allow executive orders to openly countermand laws passed by Congress and transparently do violence to constitutional protections, then the change we will get will leave us without very much hope.

Here in California we are leading the charge to demonstrate just how uninformed we can purposefully become in order to maintain the free flow of government goodies given to those who will not produce, and taken from those who will.  Of very special interest to me is Proposition 30.  I find myself in the bizarre position of wanting it to pass even though I do not believe for one heartbeat it will do for education what the unions or the liberal academicians say or think it will.  I read the bill, something apparently those supporting it did not.  It allows the same escape clause for the state legislature to commandeer the moneys that the California lottery, also passed to support education, contained.  Education sees not a penny from that educational lottery anymore; and I think even if it actually does get what the Proposition promises — that is 11 percent for education broadly defined and, of a personal interested, only 4 percent of that 11 percent for Community Colleges —  that won’t even cover the deferments we endured for the past 4-5 years.  So why am I wanting it to pass?

Because academe is so sure it will solve all their ills and put us back on track, its passage will at least buy us some time to plan for the chaos to come when they realize the money isn’t coming as the ads and the unions promised.  If it does not pass, however, there will be an almost instant bloodbath of course cutting and with it the jobs of lots of adjunct professors and, in our case, a gutting of our program.  The governor even promised as much.  Whatever logic might be found in the concept that revenues are paid mostly by wage earners and in an age when unskilled labor is a dying need, wage earners need an education ergo education ought to be the last thing cut, is lost on politicians and the voters who keep voting them to return and keep it up.

What a joke this has all become.  And the biggest practical joke on our citizens is that our national choice of leaders is between someone who would like to see the country follow the lead of California or someone who would at least, perhaps (though not certainly) attempt to slow down that slide into ruin but not likely do what is needed to actually fix it.

I think the founders of the country, and, in fact, the founders of this state, would be disgusted by where it is come.  And truly saddened by the lack of people on the political horizon that seem to have an interest in saving it and have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting elected to do it.  The only workable solutions would levy so much pain all around it is political suicide to propose it.  The parasitical class has become so large and so powerful politically the nation and the state have a far better chance of sliding into an implosion than of actually working to climb out of the holes we have allowed them to dig.  In another four years Greece may, by comparison, look like a model of fiscal responsibility.

And we are worried about who can marry whom or whether or not the government’s job is to try to make sure there are no consequences to sex.  If that turns out to be the position of the majority of voters in this country and this state then perhaps we deserve to implode.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Today’s (and Today’s Only) Stance on the Election

San Diego – As you may have noticed I’ve not added anything here lately.  To be honest I was burned out on what I feel is a nearly pointless activity, that is, trying to get anyone to actually think about it.  And that goal is made all the more difficult when the options to think about are both so far less than ideal as to easily render the whole process pointless.  Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum had it far more together than the options we have allowed ourselves to run for the most powerful job in the world.  Shame on us.

But I was roused a bit once again by a query from my great friend from High School, Gary, asking, following the second debate, what I thought.  And here, with some further editing and thought, is my answer.

I’m still absorbing and processing last night (the second debate between Romney and Obama) and waiting for the next one so my position truly is “in process” in terms of details and announced policies.  My bottom line “for today” is as it has been actually for the past number of elections: I would prefer another choice and will likely end up voting against a candidate rather than for one.

Both seem to have a pretty cavalier attachment to the truth or to the facts on the ground except as it serves their interest.  And that, a characteristic of every politician I can think of, and to our serious and profound discredit as a people as well as possibly our doom as a country, seems to be where we have brought ourselves these days.  But that is an indictment of US more than of them since there have always been sleazy politicians but in the past of some decades ago, the people, even with far less communication and information flow, seemed to be dedicated to seeing through it.

In terms of policies, at least as Romney has annunciated his and Obama has implemented his, I would prefer to individually select and discard policies from both sides far more than to have to live with either in their entirety.   I think we have let the debt/deficit crisis and economic issues go so far that on their own, neither the minimalist or maximalist views of government are, in the short term, practical or likely to succeed getting us over this mess.

There is no medicine for this fiscal illness that it not wretchedly distasteful and without unpleasant side effects of its own.  This cancer has spread so far that the chemo and radiation that will be required will take a serious toll on the host body even if, in the end, it manages to eradicate the disease.  And there is a frightening chance that any really viable medicine will kill the disease but at the same time, kill the patient.  That is the pitiful and pathetic and stupid place we, the people, have allowed ourselves to reach.

There was a time when, had we had people smart enough to continue to “stay the course” walking a tight rope through all of the competing interests influencing policy both domestically and foreign, when I would prefer new policies to be much nearer the minimalist ideal.  TR was perhaps my ideal in that approach; and the last of a breed.

But following first Wilson then FDR then Johnson our government had so changed into a lightly socialist balancing act, that approach grew less and less likely to work all by itself.  As I have written, liberals pine for a world that never existed and conservatives pine for a world long passed on and neither seems willing to truly face squarely the world as it is (or, to be honest, as it seems to me to be).

One item of critical need not even directly mentioned in the Constitution is education.  If Justice Brandeis could fabricate a “right of privacy” out of whole cloth from issues of general welfare, then I think it a much smaller leap to construe the government’s interest in education though it is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution either.  With the availability of low tech unskilled jobs evaporating as we watch, the future of this country’s prosperity lies directly in the lap of education.

And no, I do not believe in free education as a right; I see it as a responsibility of each citizen.  But I do believe that in a country where the federal government has essentially usurped form the states the right to oversee education, then it brings upon itself the responsibility to make sure that the education available for the citizens, at least from those institutions it supports and aids, is absolutely top drawer and aimed at preparing students for the world as we see it evolving.

California has demonstrated, however, that education is a priority somewhere near the bottom rung of its ladder of interests.  When money falls short education is the first thing to be cut.  The community colleges are, let’s face it, the bulwark against such rampant unemployment as it is the most used institution to prepare individuals to enter the workplace.  But even in the proposition (30) being pitched to bring money to schools, the actual wording states that of all the money to be generated (assuming some is) only 11 percent is targeted for education and of that 11 percent only 4 percent is targeted for Community Colleges.  And even that can be dipped into if the state feels a need.

If that is how a friend of education implements policies then we have no real need for enemies.

So in the Presidential race, today, and that is the only time frame I can speak to, I am straddling the fulcrum of the balancing board tilting ever so slightly toward the Romney side but only because I sadly believe that there is something malevolent underpinning Obama’s reign; malevolent, that is, toward the notion of America as I believe it was founded.  Were his policies genuinely implemented in the single interests of getting the country back on track then the truth is some very better economic minds than mine have disagreed over it and continue to do so: some would agree with him and some do not.  That means the jury is out and a final position is far from being determined even among those in the discipline that should be able to give us some definitive answers.

But I do not believe his motives are benign or are genuine.  I believe rather that his real interests, as his books state and as he clearly stated before being in the public spotlight, are not in rescuing the country and returning it to a former state of glory but in transforming it into a far different place than I want it to be.

He believes that transformed place to be a good one.  So did Marx.  I do not.

So I will vote against him but on any numerical scale of comparisons, the difference would probably be in very small numbers.

But that vote against Obama should not be construed as a vote FOR Romney or read as if I think Romney’s policies are, in total and exclusively, what it will take to get us back on track.  I simply see Romney as less damaging to our future than Obama.

Partly that is because though I am merely and only slightly tilted toward Romney’s policies economically, I think Obama’s foreign policies will, if continued as they have been, make the world and our corner of it a far more hazardous place.  As critical as our economy is (and it certainly is reaching critical mass for the far more unemployed than Obama will admit to) it is not the only issue of the America facing the 21st century.  I think Obama has ZERO grip on that portion of our interests.   More on that will be revealed, I hope, in the final debate.

The key to our future, in any case, rests less with the presidential outcome than with the outcome of the races for congress and in the composition of the court that will flow from the result of the presidential election.   Or at least it used to.  But Obama has taken the authority upon himself to send the military into acts of war, he has taken it upon himself to determine which lawfully passed laws he will direct his administration to enforce and which to ignore.

I read one of the simpletons on Facebook declare that America would never allow a dictatorship to occur.  What is it of importance about a president openly ignoring and countermanding congress that is missing from the definition of dictator?

The world has seen, though probably not since ancient Greece, that it is possible for a benign dictator to be good for a country.  But the ease with which that slips into abject tyranny is so well documented in history that even if I were comfortable with the specific policies involved in Obama’s usurpation of congressional powers, I could not ever feel at ease with the precedent it sets.

And I simply cannot bring myself to vote for someone who has shown the willingness to act in such direct violation of constitutional authority.  THAT is something I will always vote against even if I happen to agree with the specifics of the policies being enacted, I cannot accept a president assuming such personal power.

So that is where I stand at the moment.  Once again being very angry over having to vote against someone and not for someone.

 

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Can A Transformation Based on Hate Be A Good Thing?

San Diego — Let me give you some dots to connect…

Obama announced and is openly pursuing a program to, in his words, “… fundamentally transform our country.”  In this he has the lock-step support of followers who see him as a political messiah.  This, however, is a very different goal than the founders had.  They recognized a distinctly American character, also easily recognized by early visitors and writers such as Alexis De Touqueville, and sought via the Constitution and its amendments, to protect it, not to change it.

But following the popularity of the works of European writers such as with Rousseau, Godwin, and Marx, starting with Woodrow Wilson many in his party slowly transformed what had traditionally been the political philosophies of the so-called progressives, into something new, and something very, very different than the culture that was being protected by the Constitution or, for that matter, different than the one held by early liberals and progressives alike.

By the time we get through the years to Obama, we find a man who is openly contemptuous of that document and speaks openly about its fundamental flaws, but without the integrity (and with the hypocrisy) required to take an oath to adhere to it and defend it and actually do that instead of working diligently and brilliantly to obliterate it.

I have written before about his adherence to and support of the works of those early social writers just mentioned.  I didn’t have to make anything up, I simply used his own writing and speeches and have shown where some phrases were lifted in their entirety.

To accommodate his dream utopia as formed and informed by his father and reverend and close associates during his philosophically formative years, one must first destroy the society from within.  They all knew this and wrote about it since they all studied the works of John Maynard Keanes, the economic god of the left, who wrote that you could only do that economically and the way to do it was to “debauch the currency.”   How to do that exactly was spelled out in the economic theories of Cloward and Pliven who were the mentors of the professors under who student Obama claims to have studied.  And they are certainly the approaches that appear to be implemented and are playing out pretty much as predicted.

And so a very successful effort is being made to transform the culture, which means that before the new order can be instituted, the old order must be destroyed or at least crippled.  There is a roadmap you can check to see if I’m speaking the truth here and it is from their own side.  From these same authors, now synthesized in the writings of Saul Alinsky, another mentor for the president and his close friends, are clearly spelled out the strategies needed to make all of that happen.  And the foremost is that the country must first of all tear itself apart.  And to implement that strategy, Saul observes, the best approach is to set the people upon themselves in a great class war, just like Marx predicted and said was necessary.  And then he tells how to do it.

But class war requires something that most Americans deplore and that only existed in the fringe elements because it was seriously discouraged by the founders and their philosophies.  And that something is systemic, cultivated, institutionalized hatred.  Of course there have always been examples one can point to of evil people wrapped in their own petty hatreds, but it was never a part of the official or sanctioned social fabric of our culture nor was it the social goals as outlined in the Constitution.

When evil was applied by or in the name of the government, and there is no denying that it was, it was an aberration and in direct conflict with the ethics, outlook, and morals embodied in the Constitution itself.  If there was a flaw, it was that sometimes it was not crystal clear about how abhorrent some behaviors among its citizens were and how much violence the allowing of those behaviors to continue would someday do to the document itself because, for reasons of greed and personal power, some individuals got away with despicable acts in the name of the country.  The real flaw was in the law makers who initiated or cowardly allowed such behavior to start or continue.

(A Quick “Aside:”  if you want to argue that the great flaw was the allowance of Slavery, I would agree as would many of the founders.  But in the short term the greater question was to have a country or not?  Once established, then the provisions of the Constitution itself allowed that particular evil to be abolished.  So the real message is that the Constitution provided the internal processes by which any “flaws” could be addressed without the kind of damage to the core document typical of trying to do an end run around it does.  And since that “flaw” had been corrected 150 years prior, it could not have been the one or ones referenced by Obama.)

But it was not the Constitution that encouraged it; it was a really a violation of the Constitution that allowed it until corrected.  You need to take the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as a single piece not two separate ones.  The grievances spelled out in the Declaration form the “thou shalt not” actions that the Constitution sought to prohibit the government founded under it from doing.  To understand the Constitution you must understand the grievances that inspired the Declaration.  And then apply them to our own government since we did not want to allow a new government being created to fall into the same behaviors and patterns as the one we were about to shed.  if you want to know how to interpret Constitutional provisions, especially in the Bill of Rights, you must read it in the context of the grievances set forth in the Declaration.

So now our leader wants us not to protect that founding document and its intentions but to transform it.  And from reading all of those authors noted above, he knows how it can be accomplished.  But part of the unintended consequences, known to him, but apparently not to his disciples, is that to do it you have to get people to hate one another.  And the easiest arena in which to create that hate is the economic one where using the directives of Uncle Saul, one can easily manipulate emotions from jealousy, to envy… and ultimately to hate.

We all tend to focus our thoughts on the topic of hatred in different arenas than to look at our own government (unless talking about the bigots on the other side).  Usually such discussions are centered around small fringe groups.  Skin heads and neo-nazis, supremacists of all colors (and yes, bigotry is not limited to certain skin colors or races), all practice focused hatred but are generally not in large enough groups to have much overall effect.

We also sometimes think of hatred as the purview of religions and sometimes it is.  Islam, the “religion of peace” for example, openly tells its followers, not, by the way, only a fanatical fringe but ANY follower who believes in the sacred words of the founder, to kill or convert all who are not Muslims and establish as a goal a world wide caliphate based on Islam.  The only way you can get a normally peaceful people to engage in Jihad to exterminate others based only on their beliefs, is via carefully crafted hatred. And to do that you set up the chain: jealousy, envy… and finally hatred.

But that is anathema to all things American where our Constitution forbids us to ever establish a State Religion a la King Henry VIII or some Ayatolah.  So how do we do it?  It was remarkably simple we had to create a category of entitlements or people who were, for oner reason or another, entitled to something the others were not.  We’re not talking about the natural rights spoken of in the Declaration or spelled out in the Constitution.  We are instead talking about government created “rights” because in doing that we can create the class divisions needed to start the process.

The American character was originally based on self-sufficiency but also in concern for our neighbors.  When one of our numbers fell on hard times we were expected to help them as best we could; not because it was mandated by the government and not through some government program, but because it was our individual responsibility.

And when the system was allowed to work unfettered, the rising economic tide lifted all boats and the few blind-sided by life were helped by private or faith-based charities.    But as the social experiments of the utopians started to come into play, the rising numbers of needy, resulting from the heavy caps on the production sources, overwhelmed the natural system and, right on cue, the government stepped in to “save” the “less privileged” it had created and thereby started to create dependencies and with them the beginnings of a systemic jealousy and envy. And with dependencies comes the real currency of tyrants: power.

Greece is now showing us the natural results of this.  Totally without money and utterly dependent on the largesse of their EU neighbors who have demanded, as a price for their help that Greece clean up its economic act, the now entitled and dependent citizens have turned on themselves and are rioting in the streets.  Envy has segued into hatred. People are rioting to have a bankrupt government keep providing their entitlements even when there is no money and therefore are angry at the government and at the OTHER governments for not keeping the trough full to their liking.

Here, in the US, we are on the fringes of that (and in California may be looking over the edge).  The Occupier Movement, driven by jealousy and envy and a complete disavowal of a “clean your own room or house first” approach, has evolved, predictably into a situation where envy and hatred are starting to merge.  And who is supporting that?  How to you get from envy to hatred?  Convince the envious one that they are somehow entitled and are therefore somehow a victim.

The American character, as noted before, was initially predisposed to help one another in times of need.  But the assumption was that such help was not a lifetime achievement award for galactic level laziness and at some point it would end and the person would return to productivity, leaving only the truly needy unable physically or mentally to care for themselves, that we had to collectively support.  That lasted only until, with the government’s help and support, the numbers feeling victimized and entitled became unworkable.

The strategy is a simple one: keep the economic instability to a point where the progression of jealousy to envy to victimhood to hatred is maintained, then turn it around by skewing it so out of balance and in favor now of the entitled class that the productive people themselves now feel victimized by those clamoring to take from them the products of their own work, and now you have done it: you have everyone hating everyone else and a simple push, a simple match or spark, is all it will take to bring the system crashing down waiting for a charismatic leader to step in to “save” it.

Our world’s history is full of such saviors usually carried into power on the shoulders of academia and the various victims in an unlikely alliance.  Stalin, Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, and before them all, Robespierre followed this historical progression.

So have we again reached critical mass?  Have we reached the tipping point where a single match will set us all at each other’s throats making way for the latest messiah?  Are we so far along and desperate to get our minds off of the situation we will fall for a war as the solution because we are so ignorant of the past that we will once again accept any jingoistic call to arms because we have been sold the old tale that our problems are NOT the fault of our own government but of someone else?

Will we be pushed into war with Iran to knowingly (on the part of the government) spike the price of oil which is critical to all of us and will make nearly everything more expensive to give us some external demon to hate?

Or will we simply be given a domestic demon in the form of someone from the other political persuasion that wants, oh horrors, to cut back on the entitlement gravy trough?

Right now the debt is about $1 million for every citizen.  Can you expect to pay that back in your lifetime?  No?  Then who will get to do it?  And if we keep debauching the fiat currency making each newly minted dollar worth less then the effective debt rises accordingly.  If ever there was an arbitrarily created scenario for disaster we are staring it in the face.

The only question is, are we going to fall for it?  Are we going to fall for the tactics to get us to hate each other and so take our eyes off the larger picture?  Or are we going to stand, collectively, and say if this is the transformation desired by our leaders then NO THANK YOU!  Instead, will we, as a people, prefer to recover the American Character as exemplified in the Declaration and Constitution?

instead of transforming it, are we more interested in trying to tweak and strengthen the areas that can profit from it by using the methodology spelled out in the document itself?  Or are we interested in creating for the office of president, the precedence that allow anyone occupying it to transform the country in his own vision and as he sees fit without regard to little problems like the citizenry, the congress,… or the constitution?

This is the simple question facing you.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that ANY of those people vying for the office are likely to do the latter.  But isn’t that what we OUGHT to be searching for and supporting?  If we don’t, and don’t do it soon, it will not make any difference and we will, like the citizens of Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, China, etc. look up one day and ask how this could have happened.

And the answer will be… us.  We made it happen.  We didn’t just allow it to happen, we MADE it happen.

I’m an old guy and sincerely hope I will not live to see that day.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Bottom Line: It’s About FREEDOM, Stupid!

San Diego – We are pretty much launched into the Campaign “Silly Season” leading up to the next Presidential election in 2012.  There will also be senatorial and congressional seats being contested.  Now we will be inundated by blather from politicians far more interested in keeping their cushy and powerful jobs than in doing what is best for the country.  The old jokes about lying and disingenuous politicians will once again be shown clearly to have a solid basis in fact and we will be called upon to make choices based on rhetoric customized for the moment and distractions tossed in the way to keep us from actually trying to separate bloviation from behavior and determining not what they SAY but what they are likely to DO based on what they likely BELIEVE.  That is, of course, IF, in fact, they believe in anything other than the importance of their keeping their job.

Some of those Red Herring distractions will actually refer to real issues but issues which are not life or culture threatening no matter how passionately some follow them.  I believe, however, that our country is facing a truly existential crisis and allowing these distractions is like Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Some issues, of course, will be quite important but are usually couched in language so complex and purposefully obfuscatory as to make a thoughtful analysis nearly impossible in a country peopled by folks who predictably cannot pass a 5th grade equivalency test or a high school civics test and yet who line up to select our leadership and by extension, in our republican form of governmental structure, our direction for the next several years at least.

The people in those “people of WalMart” internet collections, the morons who derive self awarded macho points for bucking lines, the people at the retail counters who cannot even count change, and the survey takers who do not know what country we fought for our independence or when that happened, will go to the polls to determine directly and indirectly matters of national economic and security and educational issues.  Worse, many are gullible recipients of the latest class warfare tactics designed to scare the bejesus out of old folks and tug on our heartstrings to care for “the children” (insert sound of s sniffle) and the “less fortunate.”

For the most part they are all lies.  We are now being purposefully frightened by the President about Social Security as he blithely overlooks the law that separates it from the budget process and mandates its benefits be paid no matter what or until congress changes the law itself.  But already people have fallen for it and are in a state of panic.

And to muddy the waters entirely, each candidate is calling the other candidates liars and evil people out to bring chaos and mayhem on us all.  While all too often that is true, the problem is how do you know which is which?  For the brain dead true believer, is it simple: whose party is the candidate affiliated with?  Some look back to a time or even a single incident sponsored by a party that worked in their favor and forever after closed their minds and eyes to subsequent actions and were never, in the first place, willing to look more deeply into the likely or possible consequences, intended or not, of those actions on our country as a whole.

I think, though, that is the kind of one-dimensional, abjectly stupid non-thinking that has gotten us in the mess we are in.  So, in my opinion, we need a much simpler way of looking at the behaviors and words of those telling us they know best how we should lead our lives and spend our money.  I would, therefore, propose a single, specific criteria because it is the one that permeates ALL of the others and is, in fact, foundational to the individual and collective discourse on all political issues.  And that is this:

Where do they stand on F R E E D O M?

I’m not talking about “Freedom” in some abstract, philosophical sense, but instead real, tangible, viewable, actionable freedom for the individuals that make up the citizenship of this country. (And no, I do not think non-citizens share our rights just because they are standing on our shores.)  It is the core concept on which we were founded and the value that was our guiding principle for at least the first half of our existence as a country.

But it is being undermined and outright attacked on both overt and covert levels, and in one way or another by both parties.  And this coming election may be the one that most defines how we will pursue that concept of Freedom into the future.  One side wants to have the freedom for themselves to tell us what is best for us and keep us in line by making us dependent upon their largesse and good will.  I am virulently opposed to the attitude and philosophy that supports such an outlook because I think it is anathema to any construct of “Freedom.”  When we toss away our freedom we will have ceased to become Americans.

However, to achieve the type of Freedom envisioned in our Constitution and in the writing of our founders, we actually need to embrace several constituent freedoms so let’s take a look at them and also a look at interpreting how politicians really feel about them, not from their words but from their actions.

Economic Freedom

The foundational freedom that determines the types and even existence of our other freedoms is really financial/economic.  And the political question boils down to a very, very simple one:  Does your political leader want you have the unfettered freedom to apply your efforts and skills to earn (whatever is passing for money at the moment) to the extent those skills and efforts allow?

There are a few corollary questions as well.  if they institute the programs they seem to support, will you have the freedom to apply those skills and efforts toward EXPANDING your capabilities and therefore expanding your return?  Are you being offered the freedom to determine how YOU wish to apply the results of your own labor and skills?  Will you or they determine how much of your own labor you can keep and how much of your labor will be used to support those who do not wish to labor as you have?  Will they allow and encourage your own philanthropy or will they impose it on you to carry those who will happily take it rather than solve their own situations (and thereby become very loyal voting blocks for those doling out the goodies to them)?

The complete opposite of Freedom is dependency.  Too often people think power is a result of money, but that is not true and never has been.  Money can be, instead, a by-product of power (as well as the result of intelligence and hard work), but power itself derives exclusively from dependency.  Think about it; if I can make you dependent on me for something important to you then I have power over you.

Machiavelli knew this and so does every actual or want-to-be autocrat who ever lived.  So the very first question to ask yourself about a politician running for office is this, “Are they trying to convince me that I need to depend on them for something?”  Or are they promising to give you the tools to become dependent only on yourself?  If it is the former then run from them as fast as possible; freedom is attached only to the latter approach.

And how is this Freedom taken away?  Simple, as history has demonstrated over and over: destroy the currency and enhance the debt until only bankruptcy or hyper inflation can keep things afloat…for awhile.  And how does that find explanation in various political philosophies?  Socialism allows private ownership of the means of production but has the government control it; in essence tell the nominal owners how to run their businesses.  Communism takes it one small step further and nationalizes (by fiat or purchase) businesses so that the means of production are both owned and run by the government.

So ask yourself what all those unelected “Czars” are doing to the means of production and apply it to the goals of the various political philosophies and their attached economic theories and see for yourself what the underlying if unspoken goals really are.

Remember, a benign dictator is still a dictator.  Solon and Pericles of Greece were benevolent but were replaced by not so wonderful regimes.  Some of Rome’s Caesars did some good things to be sure, but is that slave-based, war and tribute-based, arena sated world one in which you would enjoy living?

Personal Behavior Freedom

The old joke was that conservatives wanted to control your life in the bed room and and liberals wanted to control your life in the board room.   But we were founded by thinkers who gave us a Constitution that said we were free to do almost anything that did not harm someone else.  So long as we did not endanger others we should be able to control our own lives in ANY room, especially in the privacy of our homes or within the confines of our own businesses. You have an “absolute”right to swing your arms but that right stops at the end of my nose.  You have “absolute” freedom of speech but are not allowed to yell, “FIRE!” in a crowded theater.  You have the “absolute” freedom to openly worship any deity you want but you may not force that belief on someone else nor can you do harm to them because of their beliefs. You have a right to own a weapon and defend yourself with it but you do not have a right to carry that use to the point of becoming the aggressor yourself once the threat is stopped. And on it goes, all getting to the same point: you can behave pretty much as you want so long as it does not cause harm to someone else.

Or so it was intended…

But that freedom has been eroded by people who believe they should be protected from being offended as well as from being hurt.  it has been eroded by people who think they need to be even protected from their own stupidity.  Anyone who supports that idea is diminishing personal freedom and trying to create the dependencies of those who are hiding from potential offense or need to be protected from their own failures and errors.  And in my opinion are, with that purpose, killing our country and our ideals of personal freedom which also entails the costs of those freedoms.  We were, like life, all about choices and consequences.  But now we are suffering from the tyranny of so many who want the government to protect them from their own choices and behavior.  My advice to them is simple: get a life or go elsewhere!

So where do your political idols stand on this freedom?  Look to their actions and if they are already in office, their votes.  Listen to their speeches yourself, read their books yourself and do not rely on how other people interpret them good or bad.

Personal Thought and Expression Freedom

Only in the most egregious dictatorships was thought the subject of control.  Orwellian horrors accompany every story, real or fantasy, of dictators who attempt to control thought.  And yet it is done every day by politicians who cajole you into thinking as they want you to think and into giving up your rights and abilities to think, analyze, and draw conclusions for yourself.  Those people control thought as much as any fictional “Big Brother” and given enough power will soon quit being subtle about it.

We see this every time some self anointed enlightened person suggest the people do not or cannot “get it” so have to be told what to think or, better yet, simply allow the politicians to do the thinking for them.  King Barrack told us this just this week over the budget/debt issues. The sad news is he has every reason to believe that and in fact is a major beneficiary of it.  But if you are tired of it and want to prove him and the other politicians relying on your ignorance of the situation du jour wrong, then it is all in your hands.  and all you have to do is start researching the data — it is out there and easy to find.

We are supposed to be a republic, a representational form of government.  Not a pure democracy but one in which we elect a subset of us to represent us and pass laws to our mutual and collective benefits.  So are they doing as you want or expected or as promised?  Are things getting better as they promised would happen or are they trying to tell you that if it seems worse then you are just not thinking about it correctly or clearly and they know better?

Personal Security Freedom

Are you feeling safe in your homes and person?  The constitution guarantees that.  But like all freedoms there are limitations: you can lose it by threatening the security of someone else.  As noted before we have the right of self defense but that right does not allow us to cross the line into becoming the aggressor ourselves.

Be very, very wary of any politician who asks you to trade freedom for security.  It is always a bad trade.  They are usually building dependencies.  if you are truly free you have the freedom to make yourself secure in a world where when seconds may count the police can be there in mere minutes…

Following the French Revolution, Robbespierre wrote a brilliant and impassioned essay showing how, for the good of the state and the security of the revolution, citizens needed to give up some freedoms.  THe result was the infamous “Reign of Terror” with people marched in full carts to Madame La Guillotine because they did not think in accordance to proscribed philosophies.  The National Socialist parties of Germany and Italy and the Communist parties of Russia and China routinely executed people wholesale for thinking wrongly.  do not for a moment think it can not happen here.  Already people can be ostracized or even fired for politically incorrect thinking.  There are not that many steps between firing and firing squad.

So where does your favorite politician stand on that issue based on actions not on rhetoric?  Do they attempt to stifle opposition, clamp down on dissenting voices all the time mouthing platitudes about free speech and intellectual freedom?

The Freedom to Fail

Several times I’ve mentioned the freedom to opt out — to fail — and pay the consequences.  It is only when that Freedom to Fail is alive and well that the other freedoms find any real motivation and reward and personal growth.  in a frightening way, Marx was right in some ways.  Human nature is such that human behavior rapidly reverts to its infantile attitudes of ego-centric world views after a fairly short period of being taken care of by the parent or State.  Democracy, and its underpinnings of capitalism, form a very fragile system maintained with difficulty only by the strong because it is under constant attack by the accumulated masses of the weak.

Freedom is so precious because we also have the freedom to kill it or toss it away.  Ronald Reagan said,

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free… for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

I personally believe we are headed in that awesome and horrible direction towards loosing freedom because our nature is such that too many soft sheets and safe nights have passed and we have forgotten, as a culture, what the lack of freedom was like, what it costs, and perhaps even, to some extent, what it means.

We seem to like and, if recent polls are correct, gravitate towards the public trough because we do not truly understand what we are giving up to get it.  We are soft, afraid, unwilling to stand for anything and so, as the song says, we then fall for anything in order to maintain the flow of goodies.  In short we are making ourselves dependent on people who have only their own interests at heart and neither ours nor the country’s apart from how it serves their own interests.  And that problem crosses party lines with ease.

Of course they would never phrase it like that because then we would all instantly “get it” and push back.  so rather, under the sweetest most patriotic rhetoric they lull us into granting them the powers that once were embodied in our own freedoms to think, do, and work for ourselves.  We are now facing upcoming choices that will have a direct effect on our retention of freedoms.  At this point we have gotten far off of the path of freedom but we can return to it with only some figurative bloodletting politically and some serious sacrifice by the citizens.  But if we continue to lose it, we will soon reach a point where it cannot be recovered except by action, if it can be recovered at all.  And then it will take what it took in the late 1700s; a real revolution.

Nothing could be more unsettling than that thought because no one ever knows how revolutions will turn out even if they are successful.  Our own revolution, which was really less a revolution than a war of independence, concluded with a virtually unique result in the world’s history of revolutions.  Without the leadership of those founding thinkers it is impossible to have high hopes that we could do it again.  We can maintain our freedoms easily at the voting booth.  But once lost, they can only be recovered by the same price that  gained them in the first place, blood; and by the same people: soldiers.

In 1970 Charles Province wrote a few lines that expressed it well.  (Historical note: his poem was submitted to  “Dear Abby” by a marine Chaplain who was given (but never claimed) credit for authoring it.)  No matter who really wrote it, the message is important and vital for us to understand, not only to give thanks in the right direction for our Freedoms but to understand what the price will be should we throw it away politically and then want to reclaim it.

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

It is up to us now.  Time alone, and not very much of it, will tell if we are still strong enough or wise enough to reclaim the freedoms that once were ours.  if you want to retain freedom you will have to put some energy and time into it.  That is tough, but not nearly so tough as having to put your blood into it.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Adrift and Rudderless in a Keynesian Fog

San Diego – Only 8 weeks ago, wrapped in the sacred robes of Keynesian wisdom, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke asserted proudly that from that the country, following the application of the economic policies of that paragon of financial wisdom who, in the history of the world, though he is adored by socialist and liberal thinkers, has yet to once be correct, was now vindicated by the situation where we were seeing slow but steady progress out of our economic woes.  The sentiment was echoed by White House occupants and sycophants and their heralds in the media.  If you listened to network news or to the policy parrots of the administration at MSNBC, you would have every reason but one to think we were on our way to a splendid if slow recovery.

And that one reason not to think so?  It simply was not true.  Last week, according to the AP, Ben Bernanke admitted that it was not happening and he was clueless as to why not and worse, that the troubles could continue into next year.  Well, OK, to be fair, that is not precisely what he said.  What he actually said was,

“We don’t have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting. … the weak housing market and problems in the banking system might be ‘more persistent than we thought.’”

I want to remember that phrase for my own use: “We don’t have a precise read on…”  What an elegant phrase to admit you are simply stumped.  But the class of the annunciation does not ameliorate the underlying message.  They have tried what their guru told them and when it did not work, their blinders were so tightly aimed they had no way to analyze the results because they fell outside of the paradigm they had accepted totally.

Now bear in mind this is from the same group of briliant policy wonks that insist the way to help us out of a debt crisis is by raising our credit limit.  In talking about the Democrat’s position debate over raising the debt ceiling, Sen Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders said an agreement should include some spending increases for infrastructure, clean energy and other programs to boost the economy.

Don’t you get it?  There is only one reason to want the debt ceiling to be raised and that is so you can spend more?  If you truly don’t want to spend more money and wish to actually cut some spending, why raise the debt ceiling instead of simply starting to pay down the liabilities?  And don’t try the current red herring on me that if we don’t then we will start defaulting.  Bovine Excrement!!!  This is not about any default; the Congressional Budget office declared we take in more than enough in revenue (read, “Taxes”) to pay the interest on the current indebtedness plus basic essential government operations.

Therefore the only way we would default on our debt is for our dear leader to decide to default on the interest in favor of spending elsewhere.  In other words, an abject failure of proper prioritizing.  It is perfectly analogous to the decision by a person facing bankruptcy who decides, instead of paying off existing debt with his income and cutting his spending, to spend all his money buying a new TV and then buys a new car on the credit card before it collapses.  That is exactly what King Barrack, Baron Bernanke, and Lord Geitner are telling you is the best plan for the country.

And how has it worked out so far, do you think?  Has the investments we were assured would stop the recession and put us on the road to recovery worked?  Have they worked even a little bit?  Has unemployment dropped as promised?  Has national productivity started a noticeable climb?  Have housing costs adjusted properly?  No, no, no, and no.

The argument is we need to do MORE “investment” (spending) to boost the economy.  But that is exactly the plan Greece adopted and we all know how that is working out for them,  Ditto Portugal, Ireland, Spain… and we would be different why?

Every word this gang utters about wanting to get spending under control is a bald faced lie or exhibits galactic level stupidity.  The way to get spending under control is to stop spending.  Period.  There is no other.  The way to control debt is to cut up the credit cards not to increase the limits on the ones you have or, worse, get some more.  This is about priorities in a rational spending budget.  Period.  To get us out of this via taxes would require, using CBO, IRS, Census bureau, and Government figures, about $47,000.00 (that is $47 thousand dollars) from every individual in the country including those not now paying any taxes.

The math is, again as i’ve pointed out over and over, incredibly simple.  The only way to not “get it” is to not WANT to get it and be blind to it.  And how about those rich folks including the truly rich plus those owning small business as sole proprietorships whose income is listed at over $200,000.00 (and note the missing item you are not told is that people who want this figure as a criterion do not mention this is “Before Tax” income)?  Well then since it is a smaller number, each of them would have to cough up $3.5 million in taxes.

Sure there are some that could pay it out of pocket change but the majority of people in that income bracket are small business owners and do you seriously believe it would not have a detrimental effect on the same small businesses that are the major employers in this country?  I honestly do not have a problem closing true tax loopholes, but anyone who thinks that will solve the debt problem and let our profligate  spending continue unabated is either hopelessly stupid or sim[ply does not want to face or acknowledge the reality involved.  I’m in favor of the fair flat tax approach but it will not get us out of this mess.  As noted in another post using 100% of our tax revenues will not get us out of this.

So we remain adrift.  Or… as I have suggested before, we are not adrift at all but in the hands of a Captain Ahab, purposefully setting sail after the white whale of democracy and capitalism following the compass of Keynesian/socialist ideals and willing to take us all down with the ship for his ideology which he believes will, in the end be better for us after the ship sinks and he rebuilds us a better boat from the flotsam.  And who is to stop him except us voters?

I just was sent a “civics” test from an inter-collegial studies course.  The friend who sent it to me scored an 87% and I scored a paltry 86%.  But here comes the really frightening statistic.  Of the college professors who took it, the average score was 55% and the overall score of general citizens was 49%. It terrifies me to think our education is in such hands as those professors and worse, that our future is int he hands of those average citizens.   You can take it for yourself at this URL:

http://www.isi.org/quiz.aspx?q=FE5C3B47-9675-41E0-9CF3-072BB31E2692>

Good luck to the rest of you who, along with me, is drifting on the ship of state we need to rename the Pequod!

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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