budget deficit

It's Time for a Sellable, Coherent Federal Fiscal Policy from the Right

It is highly unlikely that the federal debt will be paid off or that we will be operating under a balanced federal budget over the next election cycle or two.  Federal fiscal policy promises to continue to be one of the most important issues to voters for some time to come.

In whatever form the "Next Right" eventually manifests itself, formulating and verbalizing a coherent federal fiscal policy in a manner which resonates with the general public will be a necessity for electoral success.

Electoral success is more likely to occur if a wide variety of public policy organziations, polical candidates, office holders, party leaders, think tanks, the "right roots" and other right-leaning media are all singing from the same sheet of music -- as happened with the Contract with America.

Four primary options are available in developing a new fiscal policy proposal:

  • Decreasing taxes while increasing spending
  • Increasing taxes while increasing spending
  • Increasing taxes while decreasing spending
  • Decreasing taxes while decreasing spending

Other vital components of such a plan would probably include dealing with Social Security, balancing the budget, deficit spending and coming up with a proposal to pay down the national debt. There are probably additional great ideas out there; this is a great time to think outside of the box to help stimulate even better ones.

What sort of approach to fiscal policy do you think the "Next Right" should take, and why?

 

 

History tells us...

throw

...you can't stop a recession by doing more of what caused the recession in the first place, i.e., by spending more money which you ain't got.

Let's face it, there is only one entity that has the experience, the know-how and opportunity to restart the economy and that's the marketplace itself. All Obama's stimulus packages will actually do is artificially inflate the economy thereby delaying the market from doing what it has to do, what it will eventually do.

In my humble opinion, it would be much better to have whatever authority that had the power to tax individual labor as profit in the first place, to now cease and desist from doing so.

I have recently read somewhere that for every dollar cut in government income, five dollars will be gained in the GDP over five years. Of course, state budgets would initially take a hit, what with their wildly inflated union wages and pension plans and the like, and in those cases the states could increase taxes at the local level, if voters approved. But I firmly believe, if the government allowed consumers to keep more of their hard earned money in their own pockets, the economy will pick up in the shortest amount of time. And who knows, we my even get rid of some wasteful government programs in the process.

After all, it was the government which caused this recession, it is only fair the government pay the price for fixing it, not the taxpayer.

ex animo

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davidfarrar

 

Accelerator v. Parking Brake-Obama's irresolute stimulus scheme

One reason I am a pretty firm conservative is my sense that deep down, liberals just aren't very practical. (This may also be why I often find both libertarians and neo-conservatives off target). Instead of worrying first and foremost about the practical concerns of citizens, liberals conjure up dystopias of quasi-fascist police states; platenary environmental degradation; and workplaces all being beyond the world of Charles Dickens.  And in order to prevent anyone's rights being trampled upon, a limitless series of public hearings, impact studies, administrative appeals and lawsuits must be negotiated before things get built, properties get sold or criminals sent to jail.  And of course, honest public servants are on the receiving end of this, and often conclude clock watching never got one's career ruined.

So, unlike many posters on conservative sites, I do have some admiration for FDR and his works.  But I also know well enough that the 21st century thicket of legal requirements makes the good of the New Deal very hard to implement.

Thanks in part to FDR's capital, Robert Moses, was the exemplar of "shovel ready"....he had shovels going in all five boroughs of NYC.  But now, projects of lasting utility like Moses's bridges and tunnels take decades to build, if they can be built at all. So one reason so many contemporary public works projects seem lame may be; well, that's what you are able to build in this environment.

Let's assume we are in need of massive Keynesian stimulus, and restoring American employment and productivity are the absolute most important things we must do.  So what would we do---besides finding things to spend money on ? 

We would look at what could render this expenditure ineffective and suspend it, remove it, or at the very least not add to it.

That's NOT the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda. Instead---it's just liberals in a candy store.

At a  point when businesses are finding it hard to make payroll, it's probably not a good time to write more strigent laws governing alleged gender discrimination , including terms which   "allows workers, for the first time, to collect limitless punitive and compensatory damages." 

Put aside whether federal judges or bureaucrats ought to decide you need to pay your receptionsist more than your fork lift operators, (because men drive fork lifts) irrespective of the marketplace;  more lawsuits mean fewer jobs.

And I think the negative impact of card check on job creation is self-evident to all but the most dedicated liberal.

And when the American manufacturing sector is hurting badly, maybe this is not the year to embark on a crusade against global warming  considering much of the multitrillion dollar price tag will no doubt be borne by energy consumers. Bloomberg news says  "There is no consensus on how the government and consumers would finance the needed investments in renewable energy and other projects to trim greenhouse-gas emissions during a recession" Well, as Nic Sarkozy would  say non merde.....there isn;t going to be $500B/year for this as long we are throwing that mind of dough at the banks.....unless, of course, someone thinks higher electric rates are going to stimulate the economy.  

Even if we delay a full bore green offensive, Francis Cionfrocco persuasively argues the massive proposed federal investment will be way off target.  Perhaps a year or so ought to be taken to determine if trying to force everyone to use electric cars is simply going to exchange blackouts for oil price spikes. (since generators and transmission lines get NIMBYed and BANANAed to death by politicians of both parties)

One also might wonder why we would be spending billions to increase the quantity of "affordable housing" when housing values are dropping like a rock   and one major city has a huge glut of abandoned firetraps.  Perhaps we need to get work to all the underemployed carpenters and roofers out there; building added housing and depressing prices further is a problematic way to do it.

The UAW's diffidence about a rational labor deal with the in extremis domestic auto makers is also going to stall our recovery. Domo Arigato Mr. Gettlefinger

Now one thing that might reduce unemployment of American workers would be to effectively control illegal immigration, which would also act to prop up wages for the less-skilled sectors of the American labor force. So, the Obama Administration plans to hire more border patrol and ICE agents to stop illegal crossings and deport illegals faster? (and, hmm, hiring more Border Patrol and ICE agents, might, hmm, lower unemployment?)

well, in a word, No.

Unless he's gonna throw his DHS pick "under the bus"  

In an 83-page policy questionnaire, Napolitano said she would consider "a broad range of changes" to Bush immigration policies, whose focus on raids, criminal prosecutions and expedited deportation of immigrants has been criticized by immigrant advocates and civil liberties groups as unduly harsh.

Ironically, Hispanic Americans list the economy far ahead of immigration as a pressing concern.  Guess their lobbyist didn;t get the memo to wise up the Obama team.

In the New Deal, the parts that worked (and stuff like the National Recovery Administration didn;t) were focused on simply getting things built and putting people to work. Like Robert Moses's bridges.

The Obama Administration says these are extraordinary times demanding extraordinary federal expenditures. But instead of telling the usual suspects in the liberal coalition to stand down while they go to work to restore our economy, they simply bring all them all along for the ride.

I might well still find much of the Obama spending spree objectionable , if for no other reason the unbelievable scale and manufactered urgency virtually insures inordinate waste and corruption. But had the Obama team made sure that the usual liberal barnacles on the economy were put on hold, I'd give them huge marks for sincerity.

But if this is simply going to be the world's biggest gift to one's political supporters in human hsitory, instead of a real recovery package, well , then I think John Boehner has it right. As Power Line  put it, it's the      Biggest Boondoggle in American History

I want the American economy to succeed no matter who is President. But this car is not going to go very far forward if we are flooring the accelerator with trillion dollar deficits and pulling the "parking break "of liberal special interest laws, taxes and regulations at the same time.  

I hope the "transmission" in the American economy does not "drop"......there's no AAA to call if Obama and company wreck the car not knowing how to drive it. .

 

 

  

$221,000 per job

The "new math" or "fuzzy math" wasn't taught in parochial school in Brooklyn in the 1960's, so if the numbers in the Obama deficit spending scheme are owrking for me I apologize for my limited educational skills compared to the Ivy League wizards drawing this one up.  

But I did the math, and assumed this amoprphous proposal works exactly as planned.

Obama advisers say plan would create 3.5m new jobs- AP

Facing growing criticism of his economic recovery plan, President-elect Barack Obama made public Saturday a detailed analysis by his economic advisers that estimates the $775 billion plan of tax cuts and new spending would create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years

$775,000,000,000 divided into 3,500,000= $221,428 per job "saved" or "created"

I've seen lots of local economic development proposals that got turned down with a better cost per job projection for being wasteful pork barrel programs.

Mind you I'm making two very big assumptions here in Obama's favor:

a) the plan works perfectly

b) the plan's cost comes in @ $775B. 

First, Senator Charles Schumer, Super Genius, has made clear Congress is going to add a massive amount of pork and fillers to the original Obama plan. But not to worry, it will come in under a trillion dollars.  

And the overall trillion dollar deficit scheme is going to be "paperless" Hard to tell if it works if it isn;t defined.

What's worse is what if the deficit spending scheme fails? And one economist points out that we've been trying to do "stimulus" for over a year in loose fiscal and monetary policy without result, suggesting a trillion dollar Obama program is akin to the Battle of the Somme   where Allied generals concluded that using more ammunition would achieve victory applying the same unsuccessful tactics.

What if we get a trillion dollars deeper in debt (adding a new $50B+/- interest cost in perpeuati )but the Obama scheme fails to revive the economy? (such as the Somme cost the UK most of it's trained soldiers to gain a few km) Will we be treated to the weak justification "well, things would've been worse"?  while they demand yet another trip to the stimulus bar?

Note: the annual interest cost on the added debt will run about $11,000 per new job created. If the new jobs don't net an annual increment of about $56,000 in GNP/job the new net tax revenue per job will be insufficent  to cover the added debt load to pay for the . (assumption is 5% interest rate average going forward and a 22% tax/GNP ratio--at the $775B cost/3.5M job gain).

Based on running these numbers, there's a high probablity the existing workers and taxpayers will have to go out of pocket ad infiteum to pay for these "new jobs"; which of course, will mean fewer "old jobs".

This is why the Republican Party has no business endorsing Obamanomics.  It may well decide to let the Democrats pass it on their own, but Warner Tood Huston explains eloquently how a loyal opposition gives the incumbent party a "chance" without being co-opted in the process.

Getting back to the original point--if Republicans proposed an economic scheme based on deficit spending that cost $221,400 per job created , think it would fly through unscatched?

Sorry, Mike: Barack is not like Ike

The usually erudite Michael Barone has lapsed into a bit too much holiday cheer, I fear.

He recently has expressed hope that the President-elect, Barack Obama, will resemble Dwight Eisenhower. 

Now, apart from the fact an infantry officer from West Point does not equate to a community organizer from Harvard Law School, let's look at the one resemblance:an interest in infrastructure  

Eisenhower's signature project was the Interstate Highway system . The program is still a major national asset and was constructed at current dollar price of less than $500 billion.It was paid by user fees, not deficit spending

During Eisenhower's years in office the federal debt burden as a percentage of GNP fell dramatically

Compare this with Obamanomics, a trillion dollar grab bag of odds and ends which are unlikely to make a lasting difference in our nation's economic future, like golf courses in resort communities. 

And remember the perennial Democrat pledge "to make America respected in the world". Well, our profligate fiscal policies are not winning friends across the pond.   As the UK's Financial Times pointed out

This is a dangerous tactic. America is already estimated to have a $12 trillion debt pile — roughly 70 per cent of gross domestic product. America’s annual deficit has now hit the highest level since the Second World War, running at an equivalent of about 7 per cent of GDP, surpassing the previous record in the early Reagan years of 6.5 per cent.

Having been born in 1959, I was an infant during the Eisenhower years, therefore I can't credibly do the Lloyd Bentsen speech. But even a cursory review can demonstrate Barack Obama is no Dwight Eisenhower.

 

 

An Unlikely ally in the 2009 Bailout War?

In politics, often times you find allies who you never thought you would have, but have decided necessity and temporary convenience make for a common cause.

Has Moveon.org jumped to our way of thinking on corporate bailouts? And if so, can we assemble a Right/Left coalition to fight the Great 2009 Bailout War?

Perhaps. Consider their recent mass e-mail

Dear MoveOn member,

Enough already!

We gave the banks $350 billion. It was supposed to get them lending again, to help companies and consumers get credit. But the credit markets are still frozen and the economy's getting worse. 

Now Treasury is asking Congress for the remaining $350 billion in bailout funds.1  No more oversight. No strings attached. Just $350 billion that could be spent on health care, or green jobs, or more teachers—going instead into the black hole that is our financial system.

We can't let that happen. Please sign our emergency petition:

"Not another dime for Wall Street until we understand where the previous bailout money went—and why the bailout didn't work as expected."

Clicking here will add your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/bailout3/o.pl?id=15290-9234983-PGJEvbx&t=4

What happened to our bailout money? The banks won't tell the media, or Congress, or the Government Accountability Office!2

But we do know a few things.

Banks appear to have used much of the money to buy other banks.3 As one analysis found, the bailout "touched off a banking-sector version of 'Let's Make a Deal,' in which the biggest U.S. banks are using government money to get even bigger."

Then there's good old-fashioned waste. Insurance giant AIG, for example, spent $442,000 on a lavish corporate spa retreat just days after receiving $85 billion of taxpayer money.4 How much got wasted? We don't know, since there's zero accountability or oversight.

What the banks don't seem to have done is lend the money out. The credit markets are still frozen.5 Companies that need loans can't get them. Consumers can't get credit to buy cars.

In other words: driven by greed, Wall Street brought our economy to its knees through bad lending and complex financial instruments based on little more than air. Then Wall Street got took our bailout money and seems to have spent it on everything BUT getting the economy moving.

And now they want $350 billion more.

No. Way. Not 'til we understand what happened, and know that the money will go to something that actually benefits our economy.

Please click here and sign our petition:

http://pol.moveon.org/bailout3/o.pl?id=15290-9234983-PGJEvbx&t=5

Let's not let this happen!

Thanks for all you do.

–Noah, Carrie, Patrick S., Joan and the rest of the team

Sources:

Now, I'd rather NOT use the extra $350 Billion to ramp up government social spending as far as the eye can see. But, if the Left decides it's tired of bailoutmania, this is going to place major pressure on Democrats in the House and Senate to recant their previous positions in favor of throwing money at failed business models.

I have not seen any recent polling on the Wall Street bailout , but I find it hard to believe they are held in higher esteem than the car companies , whose bailout is rather unpopular    One of the benefits of seeking common ground to liberals aghast at corporate welfare is obvious---it depoliticizes the opposition and makes opposition a matter of thoughful public policy, not reflexize partisan attitudes.  It creates a big tent for moderates and independents to see this is not just some hard-line conservative ideologues preaching Adam Smith who think it's time to make free enterprise be free of federal revenue.

There is also a predicament for Pelosi, Reid, Dodd and Frank. Since their party will be managing the bailout in a few weeks (and since the Democrats were too dense to replace their front men on this issue ) it's their problem now, and the people who allowed the problem to occur and wrote the remedy bill are now fully in charge.

Chris Dodd in particular is at risk. His recent CT poll numbers for re-election are upside down    and only large numbers of Democrats are keeping him near the waterline. (26% of Democrats are definitely for his re-election; only 5-6% of non-Democrats) But 8% of Democrats are definitely NOT voting for him. Can Chris Dodd survive losing support from his Left? It's not like CT Democrats haven;t turned before on a long time Senator whom they decided had  sold them out?    (one CT blogger has even suggested Rep. Chris Murphy might find Dodd weak enough to challenge in a Democratic primary )

Now this all may be self-serving drivel from Moveon. org the ostensible "grassroots" organization heavily bankrolled by some of the prime suspects in creating the mortgage meltdown, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Sandler   And it's not like they haven't had an Orwellian conversion before about an anti-consumer, pro-Wall Street Democrat they once pilloried, and now champion . (Ironic that the press sees no irony in Obama appointed the "Senator from MBNA" as the "honcho' for the middle class ) . Like, "what the Auk?"

But we really ought to take this an run with this. Either we gain a powerful, albeit temporary ally in the latest battle for fiscal responsiblity...and that would be great..

or we expose Moveon.org as an unprincipled partisan fraud unwilling to challenge their own party. I can live with that, too.

Either way, we unite our present allies and divide our opponents. And all for a good cause, too.   

 

YOU CAN TURN RIGHT ON RED BUT DON'T TURN LEFT TO GET ELECTED

With the holidays upon us, family, friends, faith and other personal aspects in life come to the forefront, as they should. Although the world does not stop rotating, priorities do shift, at least for a few brief hours. Among one of the first fields of endeavor to experience a temporary cessation in hostilities is politics.

Considering the amount of headlines pointing out the treachery and lack of sincerity often associated with politics, a stop, even a brief stop, in the business of politics is warranted during this more spiritually sincere time of the year.

With the winding down of its activity, one becomes very reflective about politics. It makes you stop and think……what is it all for?

Is all the posturing, deal cutting, eloquent speeches and snappy catch phrases done for the betterment of the people? Or is it done for the personal advantage of the deal cutters, eloquent speakers and snappy phrase makers? Is it all done to achieve personal power or acclaim? Is all the demonstrated frustration and anger involved in the process caused because of the failure to pass a particular piece of legislation that benefit’s the people or is it arrived at more because of personal failure to be credited with passing a piece of legislation?

Politics, can be a wonderful arena of ideas for maintaining a prosperous and civilized civilization or it can be a cesspool of humanities worst motivations.

It is that way because politics is comprised of politicians and politicians are only human. Some are good while others are just inappropriate or downright bad. So it is only natural that as human beings, their policies are also a mix of good and bad.

Being human, politicians bring to the table all the human frailties that we as humans possess.antnoleftturnshtma2

The hope is that the best ideas and directions win the day due to there being a preponderance of humanities best people involved in the process. Unfortunately, I am afraid that many of today’s elected officials in the game are not humanities best, most sincere and altruistic people. I believe many of them simply want the power and perceived admiration of the masses. Many are in it simply for themselves. Take Illinois’ Governor Rod Blagojevich for instance.

So this leads us to wonder how we tell the difference between someone who wants to win for the sake of winning or to make a true change for the betterment of al the people.

The coming year will give New Jerseyans the chance to answer that question.

As the state gears up for a gubernatorial election, Republicans have to choose a nominee to run against liberal Jon Corzine.

Popular thinking would lead one to believe that, given the polls in New Jersey, a liberal approach would be the more expedient path to victory for Republicans in Jersey.

If any Republican runs for governor with that approach, than I will know one thing about them. I will know that they are not sincere.

The Republican who runs to the left in this election is the Republican who wants power for their own benefit and to win for the sake of winning, not for the sake of improving the lives of others.

The Republican who tries to avoid offending illegal immigrants by not demanding a strict enforcement of laws regarding their illegal presence and who avoids taking control away from the unions like the National Education Association and giving more power to parents is the candidate afraid of standing up to the influence that those who impede progress may wield in the election.

Any candidate who allows the fear of losing an election to take precedence over doing what is right, is not running for governor for the right reasons. They would be demonstrating that they are running for themselves, not for the people.

The Republican nominee for Governor must be willing to stand up to the power brokers who have held the state hostage through secretive union negotiations and outrageous pension plans.

The Republican nominee for Governor must be willing to address the fact that municipalities in New Jersey must begin to consolidate. Our nominee needs to demonstrate that fewer governments throughout the state means less burden on the taxpayer and less of an affordability problem for residents.

Of course no local municipal king wants to give up their kingdom, but the people must hear about the advantages of reducing the costly proliferation of governments. They must be made aware of the fact that government has become the problem and that fewer governments in the state will lead to less of those things we don’t need. Like less government corruption, fewer operating costs, fewer bureaucrats and bureaucratic entanglements .

We need a nominee who will challenge that which hinders progress, not a candidate who goes along to get along.

Some might say that that is no way to win an election. They would argue that by offending the hands that organize volunteers and pours the mothers milk of any political campaign, money, into an election, is a road map to defeat.

Conservative Ohio Congressman Joh Ashbrook

If that is true, than I suggest we go down in defeat.

I would rather see Republicans lose by standing up for what we believe in than win by offering the same policies that liberals have provided us with.

I believe, like former Congressman John Ashbrook, who when asked why he often stood against the popular tide, explained that by representing what he believes to be right, the only thing he could lose was his seat in Congress.

For Congressman Ashbrook ideals meant more than power or winning an election.

His strong, uncompromising defense of conservative ideals did not always make him a popular figure.

Elected to Congress from Ohio in 1960, he came to Washington just as liberalism and big government was about to sweep out from Washington and through the rest of the nation. Yet he consistently stood against the tide of the time and articulated a hard line against communism, big government, social engineering and discrimination.

By 1970 a poll considered Ashbrook one of the 5 most influential conservative leaders in the nation.

In Congress he consistently added amendments to legislation important to liberals and successfully blocked their most detrimental effects.

In 1972 Congressman Ashbrook found himself fed up with the leadership of his own party.

Richard Nixon was President and despite his campaigning as a conservative, Ashbrook saw Nixon governing more to the left than the right. So in typical fashion, John Ashbrook opposed accepted popular thinking of the time. He ran against Richard Nixon for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Many Republicans were outraged that he would dare challenge “our” sitting Republican President but Asbrook wanted Republicans to be true to our principles and he believed that along with neglecting to fulfill campaign promises, Nixon was weakening our already lagging military.

As we know, Nixon was re-nominated but John Ashbrook was content with his poor showing in the primaries. Of it he said “I spread my message. So I guess you don’t have to be on the winning side to be victorious.” From then on, not only did John Ashbrook continue to win the favor of the voters in his congressional district, he also continued to be the voice of the conservative cause.

By 1980 many in America realized that mediocrity was not what we needed in our leaders and along with John Ashbrook, people turned to Ronald Reagan for leadership. For almost two decades John Ashbrook swam against the tide. He never gave up or took the path of political expediency. Ashbrook stayed in the game for the long haul and helped to turn the conservative movement into a mainstream movement without compromising conservative principles.

In 1981 the Congressman decided to take his conservative leadership to the United States Senate. He began to campaign against then popular incumbent Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum. For Ashbrook the race was to be an historic battle pitting conservatism against liberalism. Unfortunately the hoped for clash of ideas never came to be. Congressman Ashbrook died in April of 1982.

With his passing, we lost a man less concerned with himself and motivated more by doing what was right than what was popular. We lost the type of leader that Republicans need today. Leaders who campaign on the issues that differentiate us from the liberal agendas of Democrats.

Yet despite the loss of Congressman Ashbrook’s physical presence, we are still blessed by his spirit of unwavering commitment and the lessons he taught us.

Bumper Sticker From Ashbrook's 1972 Presidential Campaign

He taught us that no one and no political party should establish or compromise their beliefs based on popular misconceptions of the time

Ashbrook’s leadership proved that when one is right, others will eventually come to that realization. But if one fears to give the right answer because everyone else is offering the wrong answer, than no one will ever know what the right answer is.

Unfortunately, Republicans have been unwillingly to be honest about the answers we need to hear. Instead they run campaigns that duplicate the answers being offered by liberals and it obviously isn’t working.

Republicans are losing and rightfully so. Many candidates are not embracing the conservative principles that have led to our past successes. They have been more concerned with personal success at the voting booth than they have been with making life better for the voters.

During this holiday where the spirit of giving and goodwill dominates the season’s atmosphere, I can only hope that Republicans in New Jersey can find a candidate who is willing to carry that sense of sincere goodwill and giving into the political atmosphere. I hope we can nominate a person who is willing to provide us with solutions to our problems rather than rhetoric that they think will deliver them a shallow victory at the polls.

John Asbrook campaigned for President on the slogan “no left turns”. At the time he ran Americans were comfortable with the status quo. A few short years later, Americans were running away from the status quo that they once wanted. Instead they turned to the conservative principles that brought us out of the problems that the left and left leaning decisions created.

With the perceived popularity of President-elect Barack Obama some in New Jersey may feel that campaigning to the left is the politically expedient way to win an election but is it political expediency good public policy?

In the words of Congressman Ashbrook “the difference between the conservative and the liberal is that the conservative worries about the future while the liberal worries about the next election.”

That being said, I want a Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey who worries about tomorrow, not the next election. I want a nominee who is more concerned with doing what is right for the people not what the left wants to hear.

If Republicans want to achieve a victory in November that means something, they need to make sure that they take “no left turns.”.

punchline-politics21

Coast Guard Christmas
 
Twas the night before Christmas and all through each state,
Coast Guard families were starting to celebrate.
Just then from the white House came an urgent call,
A crisis had arisen that would affect one and all.
In fact the U.S. State Department was frantic,
For Santa Claus had just landed in the Atlantic!
It Was foggy as ever; Rudolph had made a blunder.
Santa, sleigh, and eight reindeer were going under.
Though the stockings were hung by the chimneys with care.
Poor Santa gurgled, "I'll never get there."
When what to his wondering eye should appear;
But some coast guard cutters with their rescue gear!
The officers and crew were so lively and quick;
Sure was a lucky break for good ole Saint Nick.
With a nod from the captain. they went right to work.
Rudolph was embarrassed, he felt like a jerk.
Poor Santa was soggy, but as anyone could see,
He was very grateful to the U.S.C.G!
And we heard him exclaim as they towed him from sight,
"If it weren't for age and weight, I'd enlist Tonight!"
 
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ASK NOT WHAT YOU CAN SPEND FOR YOUR COUNTRY

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I am no economist but in reviewing the assessments and suggestions of those who are major economists, there seem to be some very valid suggestions, at least from what a layman like me can understand.

Despite my own lackof economic expertise, I do know the basic fundamentals of the economy and I believe my understanding of those fundamentals is what can sometimes create some confusion when reviewing the advice of so called financial experts and leading economic government officials.

All the suggestions offered by them are based on spending.

Spending is what grows our economy. The more we consume and spend, the more that is produced. The more that is produced increases the need to employ more people to meet those production needs. By employing more people we are empowering others to spend more and from there the cycle continues in an ever growing circumference of increased wealth.

Sounds pretty simple.

Yet other factors help to complicate things and break the seemingly simple and free flow of this cycle. Things such as unexpected shortages of materials, import and export troubles, natural disasters which influence the chain of events, and many more all factor in the process.

While understanding this, what is responsible for the current economic crisis? Has there been some sort of natural disaster that has depleted a particular basic and essential resource that our economic cycle relies on? Has there been a total collapse of certain industries which have thrown the cycle off with an inordinate amount of unemployment and consumption which further deteriorates the supply and demand cycle.?

To a certain, small extent events like that have taken place but not in some kind of all consuming way. There have been droughts effecting crops and downturns in some markets that have produced layoffs. But none have been to the extent which has, for example made wheat crops extinct or stopped cars from being made. So what’s the problem?

Well in my unprofessional economic opinion the problem is rooted in something that government financial experts are not discussing. In fact, in my opinion, most solutions being initiated by government officials, past, present and future, are the problem. They are trying to put icing on a cake before they baked it. They all promote spending. In tune with the laws of supply and demand, spending is good. However; the focus on spending has been accentuated and promoted so much and for so long that it has brought about a couple of misguided generations that have taken that advice too far. As a society we have become accustomed to spending more than we have and responsibly should.

The predatory promotional practices that financial markets undertake ,in an attempt to make more money of their own, is a big part of the current economic crisis. It is a crisis brought about by the chickens coming home to roost and the bill coming forward to be paid. We have taken the advice of Republican and democrat leaders and we have spent. The government has even taken their own advice and spends.

The government has even spent money in order to give us money to spend with. They call it an economic stimulus. The problem though is that The government doesn’t really have enough money to do that.

1.-They have their own, our own, deficit, and…….

2.- The money they gave us back in this so called stimulus package was ours, so maybe they should have taken less from us in the first place.

Those two points alone raise doubts about the soundness of the “spending solution” given to all of our problems. Yet, those in charge still offer it as the most sound solution to our problems. They even go a step further and ask people not save any of the monies given out in stimulus packages. Although I do not have a problem with spending ........ll you have to do is tag along with me at clothing or shoe store to realize that......., I do have problem with spending money that we don’t have. And there in lies the problem. The promoting of spending practices has created generations of spenders.

These spenders don’t even use real money. They use plastic. We all use plastic. In some instances you can’t even pay for a good or service without credit. This has led to our getting accustomed with living on borrowed money,……. plastic,……..fake money.

For decades now, the government has encouraged this practice. Government policies have encouraged borrowers and lenders to enter into deals that neither really caould afford. The greatest example of this was the Homeownership Initiative that was created under the Clinton administration. It forced lenders to make a significant number of loans available to unqualified borrowers, borrowers who could not pay these loans back. The practice was so popular that it helped to create the banking crisis that ushered in the current crisis.

The promoted “spending” solutions that have dominated our problem solving efforts with the economy are in and of itself part of the problem. Americans need to get back to an economy that is based on sound fiscal policies. That statement brings into play many suggested economic theories and actions but when I write “sound fiscal policies” I am not making reference to some deep epistemology of mankind or the ontology of finances. Nor am I debating the importance of the Keynesian school of thought. I am simply saying that society…..our citizens need to begin living within their means.

If one is not sure if they have enough money to put food on their plate, they should not be buying cell phones and using it to send out text messages asking if they can borrow money for dinner. I mean I am sure AT&T or T-Mobile appreciate the fee that your purchase and contracts will cost you but you will they be pleased with the bill collector that they have to employ to get their money.

My point is, we have gotten away from living within our means. We have become accustomed with living life on borrowed money. This practice has brought us to where we are today. And truth be told, there is no end in site. I believe that we are about to enter a very tough transitional time that will last for many years. It is a time that will have us getting familiar with living within our means.

Doing so will mean less spending. Less spending will lead to less employment, and so on and so on. But this does not mean that the sky will fall and the economy will ultimately implode. It means that we will endure a difficult adjustment period but once we have become reacquainted with real money, sound personal financial habits and living within our means, the economy will eventually stabilize and growth will again be seen.

I am not alone in this thinking.

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has recently made a video addressing this same issue. In it, he takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to our current “spending solutions”.

Take a moment to view it. You’ll get a kick out of it. It left me wondering where the Fred Thompson, that we see in this video, was when he ran for the G.O.P.’s presidential nomination?

 

 

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Post Election Toast

The Election Is Over, The Results Are Known.

The Will of the People Has Been Clearly Shown.

So Let All Get Together And Let Bitterness Pass

I'll Hug Your Elephant, And You Kiss My Ass.

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