Paul Johnson's blog

Defending Obama - If We Don't Own The Problem, We Can't Fix The Problem

Let’s face it, all presidents fall under criticism.  Some of the criticism is fair and some of the criticism is not.  There is nothing new in expressing dissatisfaction with any given U.S. President.  Balance is found in the individual being able to determine what criticisms are fair and unfair by being able to decipher fact from fiction.  And then there are the scathing criticisms of President Obama that are so profoundly unfair in their defiance of all logic and reason that they undermine the intent of even those most displeased with him.

Lately there has been a trend of criticism that transcends the very essence of what Obama represents to so many.  “Black America mistakenly traded the future of its young black men for a black president.”  This criticism on the part of Phillip Jackson would be quite true if it had the right intent.

Mr. Jackson goes forward to detail statistics that are equally well known as they are horrid.  Detailed statistics that were reported inaccurately.   Jackson reports that blacks comprise “less than 7% of the U.S. population.”  This of course is untrue; 12.85% of the U.S. population is “Black or African American Alone” according to the US Census Bureau.  He further used a statistic claiming the blacks “make up 50% to 80% of the jail and prison population…”  It is important to understand how crucial these statistics are and how they are reported.  First, prison statistics generally show a trend of a national average of about 50% of those imprisoned in the U.S. are black.  Second, in regions and communities that are predominately black, the incarceration rate of blacks is far higher.  Third, in areas where the black population is higher than the white population, up to 90% of those incarcerated on drug charges are black males.  The national average however, is 50%.  More critical is a report that was generated ten years ago that demonstrated one in ten black males was currently imprisoned.  These statistics are then translated into how blacks are targeted to serve longer sentences and have a higher incarceration rate; not the behavior or personal choices made that put the individual in front of a judge who then had the choice of leniency.  In “leniency,” only incarceration is reported, not issues of probation violations and repeat offenses which immediately skews the data. 

[This is not to say that the judicial system does not discriminate against blacks, but demands attention be given to the choices our people are making that allows the judicial system to inflict such damage upon our people].

The young black male in America faces challenges that no other demographic does.  We represent anywhere from 1% to 3% of the population on an average American college campus while only 35% of black males complete a degree in six years.  Current unemployment rates among blacks are as high as 50% in cities like New York.  Complicating the matter is the fact that more than 70% of our children are born to single and often severely disadvantaged mothers.  The plight of the black male in America is of tale of peril and imminent doom when you consider abortion and HIV rates among our women.

Correcting this has been placed on the shoulders, or “laid at the feet of” Obama because he is America’s first “black” president.  When repeatedly challenged to select this specific group and direct aid designed to help the black community above all other communities in America, he retorted with the ideology that it is his job to help all communities equally.  The response from many in the black community has been of the nature of Phillip Jackson’s where the president is ridiculed for articulating the need for “fairness.”

Where we have gone wrong as a community is allowing for the expectation of the unreasonable.  We have been lured into a false sense of security by a group of politicians that has sought to economically oppress by establishing a theory of entitlement.  Obama is no different is his desire to oppress through economic dependency on government.

Abandoned have been values and laws both Divine and constitutional as the black family unit eroded ahead of the nation’s moral decline.  We more readily accelerated away from the values of the Traditional Generation which are much in need today to combat the ever declining moral standards of acceptability of Generation’s X and Y.  No president can correct this, nor should a given president be expected to.  The death of the black family in America can only be saved by re-establishing the importance of family in the black community and the return to respectable morals and values.

In supporting Obama, many failed to understand the dichotomy between values and politics.  Simple background research would have told the “would be Obama voter” that Obama would be everything except what they set their expectations for him to be.  The sudden growth of government was thought to be the panacea for all that ails an ill nation and a troubled black sub-culture.  Silently it was determined that because Obama was “black” he would deliver blacks from the very perils we have chose to ignore as we opted to follow a political belief that without the help of others, we could not help ourselves.  Obama is representative of the epitome of such political agendas, not a savior from it.  His aid will be further economic oppression through impoverishment of the masses as dependency on government grows America into true welfare state.  The black community has gotten a head start in dependency by believing politicians and government provided support was more important than embracing the values instilled by previous generations.  In reliance on Obama, we fail to acknowledge the responsibility we have to ourselves.

For this, Obama cannot be blamed or faulted.  In doing so we seek to rationalize and justify failure through the absolution of accountability while embracing entitlement over strong morals and values.  The black community is not a political agenda piece; it is an issue that can only be corrected by embracing the black family unit. Obama is simply not to blame, we are.

The Index of No Surprise

The consequence of attempting to force economic recovery on a nation is the same as Peter returning to a now broke Paul demanding payment in full, plus interest.  In the case of America, Peter is the consequence of a stimulus and other government spending initiatives named Paul. 

The probability of a double dip recession is now at 40% as the stimulus and programs like cash for clunkers come home to roost.  What is happening is very simple.  Stimulus and like programs are followed by short term economic activity which ebbs as fast as it surges.  As with any ebbing tide, it recedes further than the preceding flow.  In terms of economics, it causes more damage than it creates good.

Where we have gone wrong is using economic strategies that are proven to have severe repercussions and have deployed them at a time when the benefit will be most short lived by the fewest people.  The very few targeted individuals who felt temporary relief in turned have stopped spending forcing stagnation of an economy which must now pay Peter.  As a consequence, the third quarter growth is predicted to be less than 1%.

 “With growth at a stall speed of 1 percent or below, the stock markets could sharply correct, and credit spreads and interbank spreads widen while global risk aversion sharply increases,”

“Thus a negative feedback loop between the real economy and the risky asset prices can easily then tip the economy into a formal double-dip,” stated Nouriel Roubini of the economic crisis.  It was Roubini who predicted the global economic crisis.

The market had the chance of course to reset itself citing normal economic ebb and flow patterns.  Forced upon the people was the stimulus followed by spending programs and the hiring of census workers in order to delay aspects of an economic crisis that could not and cannot be permanently offset.  For the economy to flow, it must occasionally ebb.  Rather than allowing the economy to ebb and correct it by fiscally conservative and responsible spending, the administration has done the exact opposite.  The effect of the cause is persistent recession followed quite possibly by further economic contraction – a double dip.

The Commerce Department predicted second quarter economic growth to be at 2.4 percent.  This has been corrected to 1.4 percent in the wake of the consequences of programs that sought to force recovery through volatile means of spending.  From a prediction of 2.4 percent to only achieving 1.4 percent followed by a third quarter of less than 1 percent growth are not the indicators of recovery; they are the indicators of a further failing economy.  The Obama Administration’s response?  Spend more and indebt faster.  While the spending is a clear problem, the indebtedness is of equal concern.

In the U.S., the debt as percentage of revenue is 358 percent!  This is one of the highest in an stricken world economy and serves as another good indicator that double dip recession possibilities have increased.  To make sense of this, take the cash for clunkers programs.  The driving incentive was indebtedness, not taking gas guzzling, high emission rated cars off the road.  You get “cash” per se for your clunker, but you also now have (in more than 90% of the cases) a new car note to show for it.  The perceived relief was cash in hand to push into the economy, the reality was personal debt.  Making it worse, those who received cash saved it causing a double whammy effect.  Citing that more Americans were saving in the year prior to the program only meant the program was ill advised and poorly timed.  It is a tremendous leap in logic to assume that saving Americans would suddenly spend with no other economic factors in place to support spending over saving.  What the Obama Administration did get was the indebtedness they have been in pursuit of; only because Americans again fell for yet another government scheme.  This was of course before the administration announced publically that their agenda was to force indebtedness to such degrees, but consumer logic should have been enough to encourage the American to not indebt themselves so deeply in troubled economic times.

As nationalized European banks are beginning to hinder economic growth abroad, it is safe to say the bailout of financial institutions in America will only further exacerbate the financial plight here.  Underestimated is the expense of nationalizing financial institutions.  Here, we are slow to admit that banks have been nationalized, but the fiscal reality is that they have.  The administration boasts the factors of only what banks have paid bailout monies back while they remain silent about the expense involved to manage the program.  These expenses are identical to the expenses crippling the European economy today as they pertain to nationalized banks in the wake of the global economic crisis.  To put it simply, we are next.

If you remember, President Obama declared to the world that he would cut U.S. spending to aid the global economy.  This triggered incentives of indebtedness to curtail available spending dollars allowing the freedom of foreign markets to surge.  They were too weak to surge and could not respond the sacrificial lamb the American economy was being turned into.  The individual saved while the government incrementally increased spending creating an unsustainable leveraging within the confines of the American economy.  Yet another double whammy due to ill advised fiscal policy.

In the end, the American consumer has learned the importance of saving and now uses better saving practices as a back-up plan in an attempt to protect the family unit from a failing economy.  Because the American economy is supported by consumer spending over all else, consumer prudence is temporarily the enemy of recovery.  Only time can balance this out.  Time the Obama Administration is unwilling take.  The lost stimulation of the economy due to lack of free spending will only force this administration to seek further and more aggressive means to infuse money.  Increased taxes is their only remaining viable option.  If the American is to save, the dollars going into savings must be cut before they get there.  Of course this will in turn force even more saving strategies by Americas further complicating the recession, but given the impatience of the Obama Administration this is what they will do.

Expect the Bush tax cuts to expire, anticipate the VAT and be assured that all bills being signed into law will involve some sort of spending.  If the government cannot get the cash into the economy through the people, it will seek to circumvent the people rather than express the same fiscal prudence many Americans now have a new found appreciation of.  If you will not give it to them, they will just take it from you.

It is also safe at this juncture to predict the government will begin defaulting on government bonds.  Taking the American’s money is fine; paying it back in full is all the more unlikely as the economy contracts into a second recession.  The most probable strategy; devalued monies in return on investment into the government.  A current index of economic data surprises fell to minus 59 last week.  This is the lowest since January of 2009.  Yet another clear indicator that the U.S. is not in, by any stretch of the imagination; recovery.  Not even close to it.  Yet, Vice President Biden continues to tout the need to increase spending.

[Surprise Index more or less measures economic outlook for a given period of time; usually a week.  Better than expected news is assigned 1.  Meeting expectations is assigned 0.  Worse than expected news is assigned -1.  We are currently -59 which essentially invalidates the Obama Administration’s claims of any semblance of a “Summer of Recovery” at the hands of increased spending.]

This spending versus saving imbalance is what the Obama economic plan is all about.  Though it defies both economic logic and reason, they insist upon it.  They will barrow to spend.  As the sources of their barrowing dollars begin to deplete, they will fully turn on the American to support their spending.  The most detrimentally impacted will be the lower income levels which are barely scraping now.  As prices increase, the lower incomes will assuredly fail.  This will increase the needed dollars being driven to support them and only further indebt the nation in general. 

A double dip recession is said to have a 40% chance to afflict this nation.  If the Obama Administration continues it’s failing plan of barrowing to spend while seeking avenues to indebtedness, it is more like 60%.  It is not the second recession that should be of concern however.  The bigger question should be addressed to how America, on its current economic course could recover from a second recession.  Right now it does appear that we can.

Read more of my articles: http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-phoenix/paul-johnson

 

Cap and Trade; Dead or Alive

“I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.” –Barak Obama; 2010 State of the Union.

One the most intriguing legislative agenda pieces for the Obama Administration has been Cap and Trade.  The on and off again malignant bill has been repeatedly forced into remission by voter discontentment, Senate and House in-fighting and the botched and actual lack of “overwhelming scientific evidence.”

The administration persisted however.  With each setback the Obama Administration pushed harder with more determination and vigor insisting the tax revenue was worth the farce surrounding the science of so called “man made global warming.” 

In May a devastating blow was dealt to the Obama legislative efforts from the scientists; not the politicians.  ICCC-4 was aptly entitled, “Reconsidering the Science and Economics.”  The panel determining the cause and effect of “man made global warming” tucked their tails between their legs and conceded that the representations of the science were more myth than fact as they moved to step back; not forward.

This of course would not thwart the Obama Administration nor President Obama himself who attempted to use the Gulf disaster in an attempt to propel the failing legislation forward in a reenactment of Jimmy Carter like nauseatingly boring Oval Office pitch exploiting American hardships to advance Modern Liberal agendas. 

Interestingly enough, the Whitehouse website has been scrubbed of elevator pitch for Cap and Trade legislation.  Thwarted at last?  Probably not.

The Democrats must have the tax revenue in order to maintain the program of spend and barrow economics; A.K.A., “Obamanomics.”  Many find the removal of Cap and Trade selling points from the website as a warming signal indicating the Obama Administration has succumbed to the obvious.

Citing administration’s desire to only increase spending this summer with the expectation that for the first time in history an economy in recession can be forced into recovery through spending money it does not have. 

Cap and Trade is laying in wait for winter Lame Duck sessions to defibrillate it back to life during what could be a mass Democrat exodus from Washington.  This is when the legislation could be most lethal; as a perverse parting gift from Democrats to the Americans they have misrepresented while in office. 

Though Obama and the administration have given the appearance that Cap and Trade is dead, it is merely having attention drawn away from it by giving it a lower profile as they await their next opportunity to enact the legislation which will literally tax you for reading this very article.  While the Whitehouse has indeed drawn back on their aggressive pursuit of Cap and Trade, the legislation has only taken an even more opportunistic stance.  Don’t be fooled.

To track changes to the Whitehouse website visit versionista.com .  It is amazing what you will find!

Missed The Mark

 Talk about missing the mark! 

Granted, some polls are far better than others and many of them you simply cannot trust because they are skewed to make a person appear to be ahead or behind.  Such an example would be one of CBS fame that printed “0% of African Americans disapprove of Obama.”  The flaws are obvious given the very person alone currently writing this.  On the flip side of the coin are polls that just simply show what is on people’s minds and allow you to make what you want of them.  One such poll revealed some startling concerns of the American people in terms of their priorities.   As Obama Bashing becomes as much as a leisurely past time for many as does Bush Blaming for others, it becomes apparently clear that the Obama Bashing opportunities have been handed forth on a silver platter trimmed ornate gold.

The top three priorities for Americans this year are; strengthening the economy, improving the job situation and defending the US against terrorism.  Clearly the administration has done too little and many will even argue that they have failed because so much attention has paid to three other areas; the stimulus, health care reform and cap and trade legislature.  It is here is where they have missed the mark.

A year after the stimulus, the president is passing words on a spending freeze; something many of the best economists argue should have been done a year ago.  Blow after blow suffered by health care reform was met by steadfast Democratic determination to get it passed.  The ever echoing words of the president in regards to whether or not people want it have come to fruition.  In fact, the people “who want it” has dropped steadily since 2005!  (60, 59, 56, 54, 52 to 49% each year respectively ending in the 2010 survey of “providing health ins to the uninsured”).  Not only does the word “mandatory” begin to make sense since fewer each year were actually listing this as a top priority, it makes sense why the arguments and rhetoric behind it have become so intense.  The administration has insisted on an issue that was actually dead in the water before it started.  Because of this, they used everything from race baiting to emotive desires like “broken” and the “American Holocaust” to incite and interest that clearly was not there to begin with!

Picking up the tail end of American issues of priority was “dealing with global warming” at 28%.  As with its issue predecessor of wasted time and effort of providing insurance, it too dropped markedly over the course of the last several of years.  In 2007 38% of Americans identified this as a top issue and it steadily declined to 35, 30 and to 28 percent this year.  Perhaps this is because we suffered a severe winter making it difficult to support such allegations that man is warming the planet by driving too much, or even because Obama said his plan would “cause electricity prices to skyrocket.”  Then again it may be that people have been brought to remember a not so recent attempt of such cap and trade style taxation with the ever thinning ozone layer at the hands of our gluttonous ways only to discover it was mere cow farts.  Who knows and who cares?  The bottom line is that the Obama administration has sorely missed the mark of the concerns of the people despite the fact that the people’s interests in their (the administration’s) agenda has been decreasing over the past years.  Imagine if you would, where would we be today if the administration’s priorities were that of the people they are representatives of?

Of the bashings befallen Obama, the most consistent is that he is too self-centered to put the people’s agenda before that of his own.  An ego maniacal narcissist or not, at least half the accusation is completely true.   You simply cannot hit the mark if you are aiming at the wrong target!

If the stimulus were replaced with fiscal conservatism then instead of now, and the efforts on health care reform and cap and trade legislation would have been focused on the top the American issues of concern, Obama may not have hit the bull’s eye, but he would have at least been within the mark.

As we listen to rhetoric coming out of DC, it is not clear whether or not Obama actually gets it.  The mixed signals are everywhere from Obama stating on his radio address that health care pushes in the future will be harder and more focused, to him saying he has lost touch with his base.  Of concern is the fact that he feels he must get in front of the people more.  441 speeches in 2009 and he thinks getting in front of a teleprompter more frequently will aid this problem is only a testimony to narcissistic tendencies.  T he American people want the rubber to actually meet the road, not be told the rubber is going to.  We have heard that four hundred and forty one times with far too little to show for it.  Speaking about it 500 times in 2010 will literally be more of the same.

The spark is gone, the honeymoon long since over, and the president’s influence has proven to do more damage than good.  It’s not just the polls we are talking about, it is expectations.  The American people expected much because he told them much was to be delivered.  Then he kept telling and telling while the whole time the delivery van was going in a direction the American people felt was on an unneeded route to nowhere.

The Obama Promises Delivery Van is now stopped on the side of the road on a rural route with no American homes on it.  He has the map with the target destination on it; the question is… can he read it not?

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