budget deficit

He Has Nothing To Say.

To say that President Obama’s speech, marking the retirement of our last combat units from Iraq, was uninspiring… well, it was uninspiring. As usual, he’s taking credit for something that was planned back in the Bush administration. He did acknowledge former President Bush in an offhand sort of way, making it almost an insult.

We know Obama doesn’t do ad lib, so it makes you wonder about some of his writers. It’s like they are as far out of touch with the pulse of America as Obama is, maybe more so. The speech was short for Obama, but then he hasn’t much to say these days… just the same updated re-written garbage that he’s been spieling for two years.

The speech returned to his economy, and make no mistake about it, it is his economy… George Bush retired two years ago, though you wouldn’t know it to listen to some of the liberal backwash out there. There’s no amount of spin that can disguise the fact that George Bush left us with a budget deficit of 400 billion dollars plus, which was bad enough in the opinion of most conservatives.

Barack Hussein Obama has lied, cajoled, bribed and corrupted the political process with his phalanx of Marxist apparatchiks and regulators… choking the life out of American business. He has blasted his way through 1.85 trillion dollars.

If you look at it from that aspect, it’s not surprising he doesn’t have much to say.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

The State Of The State = The State Of The Union.

California is looking just like its business model back in Washington… which is to say not well. We are unfortunately used to seeing governments big and small underestimate just about everything. We probably should scream like crazy about every item… but we can’t, not in the real day to day world. That’s why we hire politicians to represent us, who are supposed to look out for our interests and do the will of their voters.

It isn’t working that way, certainly here in California with our State Assembly, strongly left leaning and overrun by myriad special interests and environmental activism. Our politics are almost comical in ineptitude. Fresh from an environmental disaster that came very close to destroying the State’s Central San Joaquin Valley, our State government stood largely silent, as did the Governor, when the Feds shut off the water to the farmers citing damage to a 2″ junk fish.

The Assembly, ignoring the record unemployment figures plaguing the State, actually put forth a bill for a single payer health care for California. The bill was estimated to cost a total of as much as thirty billion dollars. This bill went bye-bye. But what was in the heads of the politicians who seriously put this bill forward at a time when most Californians are struggling to get along and many aren’t… getting along that is? It’s their responsibility… all of it.

Other than scope, the way the State is being run is very much like the way the nation is being run under Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, and that’s not very pretty either. California has ‘discovered’ that, along with the reported thirty billion dollar state budget deficit, we now have an ‘adjusted’ unfunded liability to the state’s various pension programs of three hundred and fifty billion dollars. How’s that for money management? We’re not in Obama’s class and we (no thanks to our State’s politicians) don’t have a thirteen trillion dollar black hole into which everything gets thrown, regardless of reason.

The accounting system for progressives, both in Sacramento and Washville, is measured in ‘feelgood‘ points, with which the liberal leftist salves his conscience of responsibility for virtually any act, constantly reminding all and sundry of his great good intentions, regardless of disastrous results using a model which has failed every time it has been tried.

The problem with governance is that it can’t work like that… not for long. But the other endearing quality liberals have is that of vociferously demanding money from others to fill perceived injustice, while being singularly unwilling to place their fortunes on the line… they love to spend your money. The similarities between Sacramento and Washington are striking. The remedy remains the same.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Entitlement Reform: The Compassionate Solution

5.7 trillion.  It’s an almost unimaginably huge number.  It’s about six times the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.  It’s more than five times the amount that federal, state and local governments combined spend on educating our children every year.  It is almost half as large as America’s entire GDP.  And yet, that is what America will spend on interest on the national debt over the next decade—not principal—interest.  And things are quickly getting worse.  President Obama’s budgets will add more than $10 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, and America’s debt to GDP ratio will jump from an already alarming 63% today to 90% by the end of the decade.

America is clearly on a fiscal crash course.  Fortunately, some politicians have shown courage and put forward solid ideas to put America back on a sustainable path.  However these solutions are said to lack compassion; the left spreads doomsday scenarios about Americans cancelling retirements, going without medical care and even spending their waning years eating dog food.  No bombast, hyperbole or imagination is spared in the left’s attempt to convince Americans that any action to control the growth of entitlement spending is a heartless sop to rich voters.

The problem with these supposedly compassion based arguments from the left is that entitlement reform is no longer optional—it is an absolute existential imperative.  No amount of willful ignorance can erase tens of trillions in debt or prevent an implosion of America’s social safety net when the money finally runs out.

Given the need for entitlement reform it’s worth asking: which side in American politics is truly compassionate?  The left has long claimed to be the advocates of society’s downtrodden and abused.  And rather than challenge the left’s false assumption of the meaning of compassion, the American right has all too often fallen into the trap of trying to outspend the other side rather than promoting its core philosophy which is inherently compassionate and empowering.

I ask the left: what is compassionate about spending $5.7 trillion on interest alone every ten years when that money could be better spent on education, or left to America’s families?  What is compassionate about hoovering up an ever larger portion of America’s wealth to send to overseas creditors?  What could possibly be compassionate about trying to convince Americans that the programs they have paid into their whole lives are safe and dependable when the exact opposite is true?

The debate over entitlement reform is not a dichotomy between the heartless right and the compassionate left.  It is between a realistic, compassionate and forward thinking right and a woefully ignorant, irresponsible left.  With so much at stake, nothing could be more compassionate than putting America back on a responsible, sustainable path to secure a bright future for America’s children.

Zach Howell is the National Chairman of the College Republican National Committee

The "CBO Street" Memo

You know the amazing accounting miracle of the health care reform bill,  where we can add a trillion dollars to federal spending and reduce the deficit.

Once again, if it sounds too good to be true, then it isn't.

Since the announcement that made Democrats 'giddy" we've ben treated to how this report isn;t worth the ink used on the paper. Forget the obvious dodge here, where the taxes kick immediately for ten years and the expensive part of the bill ony runs for six; we've got bigger fish to fry.

There seems to be a hard to justify $29 billion "plug number" in Medicaid reductions years from now.  

Unless the Democrats are really eager to hammer the medical community, it is assumed that they will forego a reduction in Medicare reimbursements...i.e. the "doc fix".  Remove this spurious budget reduction and there's about $208 billion in added costs; and this alone makes the bill in the red by $59 billion.. 

The Democrats have challenged the authenticity of a memo outlining this pretty little scam, but there's no doubt of the truth of the central allegation....the bill's true cost is being hidden so that in the midst of an era of trillion dollars deficits a fig leaf of fiscal responsibility is provided to the Blue Dogs.

I also suspect that one way the federal numbers were managed was to expand the unfunded Medicaid mandates on the states, therefore shifting expenses on their backs and imploding their already precarious budgetary situations. 

I'll leave to the likes of Megan McArdle and Keith Hennessey to find the other scams and gimmicks embedded in whatever bill Nancy Pelosi can cajole 216 votes for this evening. One message to deficit hawks. Tax increases and budget cuts deferred now for political expendiency now are highly likely to be deleted in the out years for political expendiency. But the left will defend the entitlement rules and expenditure levels.  Don't fall for the "Wimpy" approach.

I've seen documents like this before. It's like a sham appraisal used to get a subprime lender to approve a loan for more than what the property is really worth. It's like a Moody's rating on the MBS instruments secured by the bogus mortgages. It's a transparent "Made as Instructed" canard only Bernie Madoff could love.  Subsitute "Blue Dog" Congressman for "pension fund" and we now see a bogus deficit neutrality score is like a bogus investment grade rating. It justifies unwise investments.

Once upon a time there was an urgent matter for the national administration, which it sought to gain public and congressional support.  Supposedly the folks supposed to provide objective analysis were pressured into providing the evidence necessary to gain support for the policy agenda.

There were also allegations about memos and reports being "sexed up" to better sell the policy.

After we are years into the quagmire of expanding entitlements as the nation careens towards bankruptcy like a Toyota with a stuck accelerator, I suspect we will get some tell-all book about how the CBO budget process was manipulated.  I can;t wait to read the "CBO Street Memo"   Once upon a time even Ezra Klein complained about gimmicks.  I look forward to the meal of crow down the line.

 P.S. Last night on the House floor Ohio Democrat Rep. Ryan compared health care reform to Chevrolet.  Rep. Ryan is aware that General Motors went bankrupt, isn't he?    

Swiss-Cheese-GO: When the Exceptions Swallow the Rule

It was to be a new era of fiscal responsibility. In 2006, Nancy Pelosi promised that “the first thing” Democrats would do when they were in control was to reimpose Paygo rules that “Republicans had let lapse.” That didn’t quite happen. By 2008 those rules had “lapsed” twelve times for a total of $400 billion in new deficit spending. Ok, well that didn’t stick, but on the campaign trail Barack Obama promised to “reinstate pay-as-you-go budget rules, so that new spending or tax cuts are paid for by spending cuts or revenue elsewhere.” He subsequently engaged in a trillion dollar spending binge that painted the nation’s ledger red with deficit spending. Well, that was a slip up, but now he’s was super serious when he said in his weekly internet address,

“Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else. . .  After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility. It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do.”

At least he got the first part right. Polls show that Americans, especially Millennials, are tired of the federal government’s big spending ways. A February poll by Rasmussen finds that among voters 18-29,

  • 74% are either very or somewhat concerned by the federal deficit
  • 68% believe that cutting the deficit would be better for the economy than the Keynesian approach of increasing deficit spending
  • 64% believe that increasing the deficit will hurt the economy
  • 85% thinkthat the government fails to spend taxpayer money wisely and carefully
  • 87% blame politicians unwillingness to reduce government spending as the cause of the federal deficit

Our fiscally frugal generation has been let down again. Far from being responsible, Congressional Democrats have found creative ways to work around the spirit of the Paygo law. For instance, the law exempts more than 50 federal programs from its reach – including the biggest ticket items like Social Security, the Medicare doc fix, and the alternative minimum tax patch. These tidy little exceptions are worth some $2.5 trillion; money that the government is not required to offset under Paygo.

The biggest farce comes in the form of an “emergency” exception. Patricia Murphy of Politics Daily explains,

“[A]lready, the Senate has issued itself a waiver from the provisions on three of the four spending bills it has considered by declaring several bills to be emergency spending, including a $15-billion jobs bill, a $10-billion measure for unemployment benefits and $100 billion package of tax extenders.”

If everything is the exception is there really a rule? We won’t (though we could) argue that there isn’t a unemployment emergency that requires government action. But, it does not follow that the government can’t make up for that spending elsewhere. As Olsson Frank Weeda of the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform makes clear,

“You can find there are so many places in discretionary spending that have been increased tremendously over the last two, three, four years that can be cut.”

On Tuesday Tom Coburn attempted to rein in the clear abuse of the Paygo law by introducing an amendment requiring the Senate to post the full cost of Paygo violation online for the public.  Of course the Senate passed it unanimously. To vote no would have been to uncover the swiss-cheese fiscal responsibility of Paygo. Nevertheless, Coburn is less than optimistic about his amendment’s chances to create lasting change to Democrats’ free spending ways. In an emailed statement he says,

“Today, minutes after the Senate accepted my amendment to post its violations of PAYGO online, Senators signaled their intent to remove this amendment from the bill before it goes to the President.  Taxpayers are tired of this cat and mouse game on spending and will hold Senators accountable if they want to be for transparency in words but not action.”

Unfortunately, Obama and the Democrats in Congress have perfected this game of cat and mouse. They say all the right things in public yet continue to drown our generation in red ink. Paygo is a good idea to get us back on track. There should be no exceptions.

by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee

Read more: www.collegerepublicans.org

 

Congressional Quail Break For Cover – Conservative Bird Hunt.

IT’S MAGIC! Congressional leftists are finding all sorts of mainstream centrist and even (gasp) right of center issues to take up… as they scatter in all directions trying to distance themselves from a President and a Democratic party leadership who they see as leading them down a rocky road to destruction.

This magic transformation has come about, as predicted by yours truly, by the turn of the new year and the sudden recognition by some REALLY arrogant Democratic Congress critters who have had a really rude awakening, something else I predicted was on the way. Before anyone gets the idea that I’m making claims towards prescience, I’m not and it wasn’t really all that hard. Following the mood of the American people through news research you can get a pretty good idea of how things may go. Once the Virginia and New Jersey races were improbably won by Republicans in predominantly Democratically dominated areas the change in the temper of the electorate started to make itself known loud and clear. Then came Massachusetts and the Democrats were rocked to their core.

Tea Partiers Make Themselves Heard.

The Democrat leadership began to lose their iron grip on the membership, with Senators and Representatives being incessantly hammered by their constituents and any number of the millions of patriots who have been making themselves heard in no uncertain terms. The Obama, Reid and Pelosi brand of hope and change is not what we want and as AMERICANS we really resent having something crammed down our throats or sneaked behind our backs. We pushed back. We stopped the Obama juggernaut in its tracks, super majority not withstanding. We stopped the illegal and unconstitutional theft of our health care, though that battle isn’t over yet. There are other battles yet to fight, but as Conservative challenges have sprung up all over the nation the momentum has begun to change.

Then there was the disclosure of President Obama’s massive budget and deficit figures. With Obama more determined than ever to try and force his agenda on the American people, Americans are more determined than ever to stop him. The 2010 elections may well prove disastrous to the socialist aims of Obama and the Democrats.

In the interim the Republicans have their work cut out for them. They will have to challenge the administration and the Democrats in Congress on every item, every word if that’s what it takes. It’s good to see Republicans learning how to fight again and doing it to good result. It’s amazing to see liberal arguments dissolve when challenged on fact and principle.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

 

The Government is Not the Answer to Our Problems, It IS the Problem

With health care reform consuming the majority of Congress’ time and public’s furor it is no wonder that sweeping student loan bill has quietly made its way through Congress.  Besides, it would be hard to find a student who would not advocate for student loan reform. After all, have you ever tried to fill out a FAFSA? It’s the paper equivalent of Rubik’s cube.  

But is a government takeover the best method of dealing with a hundred-billion dollar a year industry? After all, the Congressional Budget Office has sounded too chipper about the sustainability of our fiscal policy, saying

“[An increase in debt] could result in an economic crisis. Foreign investors could stop investing in U.S. securities, the exchange value of the dollar could plunge, interest rates could climb, consumer prices could shoot up, or the economy could contract sharply. Amid the anticipation of declining profits and rising inflation and interest rates, stock markets could collapse and consumers might suddenly reduce their consumption.”

They actually said that back in the 2003, when people actually batted an eyelash when the words “trillion” and “dollars” ended up in the same sentence. I can imagine they are sweating bullets now since the past 6 years has seen our national debt nearly double from $6.76 to $12.9 trillion. Tack on a potential $1.04 trillion for proposed health care reform and all of the “coulds” mentioned by the CBO turn into “wills.” But as Massachusetts has shown, the public has grown more concerned about the rapid increase in the size of government and the deficit.

The public’s concern has not deterred this administration which has quietly pushed the Student Aid and Financial Responsibility Act (SAFRA) through the House of Representatives. The bill will overhaul the student-loan market by ending the current system of government-guaranteed private loans and shifting all lending to the federal government’s Direct Loan program and Federal Direct Perkins Loan program.

The bill represents the government’s attempt at a solution to a problem of their own creation. In 1993, Congress established a government option to private lenders dealing in student loans, urging that competition would create more beneficial rates. In 2007, Congress mandated that lenders maintain interest rates at levels too low to turn a profit. To keep the system running the federal government began purchasing loans, promising it was a temporary foray into a traditionally private industry. Nevertheless, fast forward two years and the U.S. Department of Education is now set to become the exclusive originator for student loans (beware the parallels to health care reform.)

The downsides to a sole public option are diverse and numerous. First, it’s simply not popular among universities who will be forced to implement it. As Congressman John Kline, the top Republican on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee said in his floor speech,

“[I]f it’s truly about competition, the best program ought to win in the marketplace. In fact, one program has won – the public-private partnership . . . which is the choice of three-quarters of colleges and universities today.”

Part of the displeasure comes from the poor customer service that walks hand in hand with government bureaucracy. In addition many universities worry about the cost of transitioning between the two programs when their budgets and time are already stretched to the breaking point. Even the U.S. Department of Education admits that “[o]f course, the school must ensure that its systems and processes are, if necessary, modified” and that “a full training calendar to assist schools” will be provided.[3]

Second, it removes choice, competition and the incentive for innovation. As Chuck Sanders, President and CEO of the state-run South Carolina Student Loan Corporation testified before Congress,

“[S]tudents, parents, and institutions are better off with the ability to work with the local, community-based or national organization they desire. If the Direct Loan program is indeed their choice, it should be for reasons other than having no other option at all.”

Choice ensures that lenders remain responsive to the needs of their potential customers as well as keep prices low through competition. On the other hand, a single market player eliminates the incentive to remain efficient, keep costs down, and remain innovative.

Third, the bill does address the underlying problem of the rising cost of a college education and instead will contribute to skyrocketing costs. The government is touting that the bill redirects $40 billion in efficiency savings to increase need-based Pell Grants which serve as the main scholarship vehicle for low income students. The SAFRA Bill increases the total amount of the Pell Grant award and indexes future amounts to inflation plus one percent.  However, this ignores the fact that the annual costs of college has increased 122% at public and 80% at private colleges after adjusting for inflation.

One of the main reasons for the rise has ironically been government spending to increase affordability. This arises from several reasons. First, students receiving grants and loans have less reason to advocate for lower tuition since they are not paying their own way. Included in this principle is that colleges have little incentive to cut costs or create efficiencies. Second, principles of supply and demand dictate that as more people can afford to attend college, prices climb.  According to the theory, the market for education has an equilibrium point at which the number of people willing to pay to attend equals the amount of spots available. However, a subsidy, such as the Pell Grant program, shifts the demand upwards by distorting the price equilibrium and leading to increase tuition costs. Third, colleges are rational economic actors who incorporate any federal assistance increases into their tuition decisions. As former secretary of education William Bennet said, “[i]ncreases in financial aid have enabled colleges and universities to blithely raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsidies will help cushion the increase.”Thus, the SAFRA bill does nothing to address the underlying problem of affordability and will force the government to spend increasing amounts on education entitlement programs.

Fourth, and most directly affecting the youth, SAFRA significantly expands the size of government while adding billions to the national debt. Despite proclamations for Democrats that SAFRA will create $80 billion dollars in savings and efficiencies, the numbers tell a different story:

  • The Congressional Budget Office admitted that the methodology used for the figure “does not include the cost to the government stemming from the risk that the cash flows may be less than projected.” Afterwards, the CBO re-estimated the potential savings down to $47 billion
  • Indexing Pell Grants to inflation lowers the CBO’s initial estimate by another $11.4 billion
  • According to CBO estimates the bill requires a $13.5 billion increase in new discretionary spending which is not counted in the savings
  • The government is claiming lower default rates than private lenders despite the fact that many of the new loans they will control are for community and two-year college students which have percentages of defaults
  • The estimate ignores the possibility of ballooning costs if the governmental bureaucracy proves less efficient in administration and collection that private lenders

Despite the dubious savings and numerous question marks, the government is set to start spending the $80 billion dollar figure immediately. In addition to entitlement programs such as early childhood education, green construction grants, and money to develop online curriculums for community colleges, the plan adds a budget busting $46 billion to enlarging Pell grants. What is being touted as savings is really tens of billions in new spending. What is being touted as efficiency will add $100 billion dollars per year in student lending to the national budget.

At a time when Americans believe the government is doing and spending too much, the unbridled take-over spree continues. Ultimately someone has to foot the bill for these huge expansions in the size and scope of government deficit spending. That someone is America’s youth. So while Democrats continue to laud SAFRA as “landmark investment in higher education” the real story is one of unprecedented debt being handed to the next generation. One can only pray that the Democrats lofty goals of increasing affordability and graduation rates comes to fruition…students are going to need the best jobs possible to be able to afford it.

- Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee

Read More at www.crnc.org

Ohio – Obama Preaches To The Wrong Crowd.

I can’t get no satisfaction could well be President Obama’s mantra these days. Picked audiences or not it just keeps getting worse for the embattled Barack Obama, while telling us about the ‘green jobs’ that may or may not be created by research into solar power and wind generation, which most experts agree will never amount to more than 20 per cent of the power requirements of this country at best. All the while bringing the entire weight of the government and its unelected regulatory agencies to destroy our most abundant sources of energy, coal, oil and natural gas.

It is so typical of Obama to speak out of ‘both’ sides of his mouth… promoting an unproven and economically questionable technology while attacking another economic sector and its jobs. Speaking of his administration’s recent debacles in collisions with the American people Obama said, “I’m not going to walk away just because it’s hard”. Sounds a lot like Hillary saying, “I don’t feel no way tired”.


John Boehner

The fact is he got his butt kicked good and hard. Ohio Republican Minority Whip, John Boehner, speaking of Ohio’s TEN POINT NINE PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT rate, referred to Obama’s touting of his failed stimulus. “Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs since the stimulus was enacted”. “Nine straight months of double digit unemployment”. The rest of the country echoes these words.

The entire machinery of Democratic governance nation wide is a runaway freight train on a collision course with the real world. Witness the State of California under a ‘liberal’ RINO (Republican In Name Only) Governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), with a completely leftist state legislature more attuned to social engineering than action which would save this most populous state in the nation from bankruptcy and economic oblivion. With an unemployment rate at more than 10.6 percent, and some areas such as the San Joaquin Valley as high as FORTY PERCENT.


Ron Nehring

With our total state budget deficit at close to SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS and many of our Governor’s spending ‘cuts’ amounting to book-cooking budget shifts, the state legislature is proposing a universal health care system at an annual cost of some 200 billion dollars annually. I have run out of superlatives to describe this nuttiness but Ron Nehring, California State Republican Chairman, put it nicely, “California Democrats are either tone-deaf or delusional”.

This exact statement could be used just about anywhere in the country and especially at the national government level. The Democrats simply seem unable to stop or change course. The American people will no longer tolerate BUSINESS AS USUAL, from Democrats or Republicans. That’s the message. Ignore it at your peril.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

 

Remember what I said about Colin Powell?

I caught a lot of flak for writing this back a few weeks ago

Moderates won;t come back to the ranks of the Republican party because we beg them. They will come back because we look like we are going to win some elections and we make the otther guys look extreme or incompetent

well, lookie here!

State of the Union: Powell 'concerned' about Obama's agenda

WASHINGTON (CNN) – In a wide-ranging interview set to air Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, one of President Barack Obama's most prominent Republican supporters says he is 'concerned' about the new president's ambitious agenda and the high price tags accompanying many of Obama's initiatives.

 

"I'm a little concerned," former Secretary of State Colin Powell says. "I'm concerned at the number of programs that are being presented, the bills associated with these programs and the additional government that will be needed to execute them."

Powell also seems to sound a note of warning to the young president.

"I think one of the cautions that has to be given to the president — and I've talked to some of his people about this — is that you can't have so many things on the table that you can't absorb it all. And we can't pay for it all."

With all due respect to the General, perhaps he ought to have read my stuff and realized that Obama and company were going to create a federal deficit of galatic proportions. It wasn't like some mysterious military secret to figure out, please.

But then again, like I said.

If Powell was convinced that the GOP couldn't mount a comeback he wouldn't leave the door open to come back in.  A general always thinks strategically

I'm always willing to let people back into the church after they leave, so no real hard feelings. (What Governor Palin thinks, well, it's up to her). But once again, I feel like Panasonic 

 

So, how hot is the pot now?

I was forwarded this from a friend on Wall Street. It is from the in-house newsletter his firm's senior analyst circulates.

 

There can be no explanation other than that the US taxpayer is suffering from boiling frog syndrome. As the old story goes (which is totally fantastic, btw), if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he will immediately leap out. However, if you put a frog into a pot of cool water and gradually turn up the heat, you can cook him alive right before your very eyes. Of course, what this visual suggests is that we are being lulled into a cozy state. (I guess any rebate checks or decreased withholding tax, coupled with the regular excoriation of the rich, backed up with promises to raise taxes on those rotten, earning dirt bags … and on those rotten, earning dirt bags alone … will get an Administration a lotta’ brownie points towards this goal of lulling.) By degrees, we are becoming accustomed to the changes that are being made. And as the water in which we are stewing heats up, I fear some kind of desensitizing is taking hold as well. Unfortunately, we won’t realize until it’s too late, that the continuous installments of increasingly hotter water eventually will cause our demise. What’s particularly galling about our situation is that the changes that are being rammed thru are not even being done all that stealthily. The problem as I see it, though, is that the subject matter is a bit too sophisticated or complex for the average, lazy American to want to lift a finger to either educate himself, or better, put a stop to the madness. 

I presume we want to turn down the thermostat--so what's the plan to cause that to happen, folks?

 

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