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History Doesn’t Happen in the Past August 2, 2013

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The parasite has out grown its host and it can’t live on its own.

We are witnessing the convergence of multiple mistake streams combining into one river of destruction. We have a ruling clique concerned only with maintaining its power supported by a dependent class that wants what it wants now not later. And they are employing public sector unions that want to negotiate feather-bed contracts with the same people they help elect. All empowered by a mass of low information voters who either don’t pay any attention to what is going on or accept anything they see, hear or absorb from the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media, late night talk shows or the Daily Show as real news.

America has been dumbed down so far it is acting stupid. We have been assaulted by so many outrageous actions we are becoming numb. Every day the drip, drip, drip of this Administration’s unconstitutional activities and the constant drumbeat of the media covering-up instead of exposing and advocating instead of investigating makes us so tired of the fight we want to just throw up our hands and retreat into our families and our personal lives. This is just what the Progressives have been working for the last one hundred years. They have educated generations who have educated generations until most people have no idea how things were let alone how things should be.

The loss of historical perspective forces people to live in the now, and the now can always be changed. The lack of intellectual understanding causes people to rely upon emotion, and emotions can always be swayed. When people listen with the intent to respond instead of to understand conversations become two-way monologues between self-absorbed cyphers incapable of joining together in any meaningful way. Our Progressive education has cultivated a nation of couch potatoes who aren’t aware that the Republic of their forefathers is being transformed before their eyes into a centrally-planned utopian experiment in social engineering.

Turn off the game, open a book, go online, and do something that will raise your awareness of what America is supposed to be. Look at our government and what they are doing and see what America is becoming. Think about it. Today in the name of security the government of the people, by the people and for the people is watching and listening to everything that is said and done while the one person who stands up and tells us they are doing it is a traitor, a felon, and must be stopped at all costs.

Yet with all this watching, all this listening even with warnings from multiple sources our vaunted security apparatus couldn’t stop the Boston bombers. Despite the constant surveillance we are told endlessly that there is no way to identify the millions of illegal aliens who are swamping our system. In the face of obvious signs and numerous warnings a Muslim fundamentalist can climb on a table shouting “Allah Akbar!” shoot dozens of people, and this isn’t terrorism while according to the news anchors of one network Senator Ted Cruz is a terrorist, and according to others so are the Americans involved in the Tea Party. Open your eyes and realize this country has been hijacked, the constitution is a dead letter, and if we don’t do something soon nothing will happen.

How long have we waited for someone to rise up and lead the cause of freedom, to call a spade a spade and point out the fact that the Progressives are leading us away from freedom and towards totalitarianism? How long have we waited for someone in Washington to speak plainly and to point out that the Emperor has no clothes?

Finally there are a few in the Senate and in the House willing to lay it all on the line to speak up and be counted. The Progressive Republicans are joining with their fellow travelers across the aisle to denounce them, malign their names and attempt to marginalize them. The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media are predictably showing praise on the RINOs for becoming statesmen for attacking the true conservatives while they pile on with vindictive abandon.

It is time to support the cause with our time, talent and treasure. Join with others and work, march, organize. Do whatever you can to accomplish all you can in the cause of freedom. Write, speak, share, and do everything you can to influence everyone you can that freedom isn’t free. It is worth saving, and it is time to stand up or be counted out. Give to those organizations and leaders who are in the forefront of the fight.

We will either rise to the occasion or we will sink beneath the waves of oppression as man’s greatest experiment in personal freedom, and individual liberty and economic opportunity descends back into the well of human suffering and statist control from which it emerged in 1776.

This is a call to action to be all that we can be now before we morph forever into what someone else has decided we should be. America, it’s time to be America again, or watch as our children and grandchildren find themselves in the USSA and never even know there was ever anything else. The flags will still wave, the names will remain the same, but this will no longer be the America we have known.

Keep the faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

“A nickel isn’t worth a dime today” May 16, 2013

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On Sept. 22, 2011 in a speech to business executives Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “Debt is the biggest threat to U.S. national security.”  When the leader of the people famous for $800 hammers and $640 toilet seats has to lecture business leaders about the perils of deficit spending we know capitalism in America has jumped the track.

After World War I the world’s monetary system was in disarray.  The victorious Allies sought to revive the gold standard.  However the structure which had been put in place after 1918 collapsed during the Great Depression. Some economists believe that the world’s attempt to remain on the gold standard prevented central banks from expanding the money supply enough to revive the world’s economies.

After World War II, representatives of the once again victorious allies met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to create a new international monetary system. At the time the United States accounted for more than 50% of the world’s manufacturing capacity and also held most of the world’s gold.  Since America was the uncontested economic Superpower these leaders decided to tie world currencies to the dollar.  The value of the dollar would in turn be controlled and supported by the fact that the dollar would be tied to gold at $35 per ounce.

While the Bretton Woods System was in force the central banks were given the task of maintaining fixed exchange rates. This was accomplished by massive and continuous intervention in foreign exchange markets. When a country’s currency became too expensive in relation to the dollar, that country’s central bank would sell its currency for dollars thus driving down the value of its currency.  And if the value of a country’s money became too low, that country would then aggressively buy its own currency to drive the price up.

This Bretton Woods System worked well until 1971.  By then, due to the “Guns and Butter” economic policies of the Johnson and Nixon administrations inflation in the United States and America’s rapidly expanding trade deficit undermined the value of the dollar. As a result America urged the now recovered and economically powerful Germany and Japan to increase the value of their currencies. Both nations did not want to do this. Raising the value of their currencies hurt their exports by increasing the prices for their goods in the United States which was their largest market.

When the pressure became unbearable, when too many nations were redeeming too many dollars against America’s dwindling gold supply the United States unilaterally abandoned the fixed gold value of the dollar allowing it to “float.”  Floating with relationship to money means it is allowed to fluctuate when compared to the currencies of other countries. Immediately the value of the dollar fell substantially when compared to other currencies, especially those of Germany and Japan.

This caused turbulence in the economies of nations and sent shockwaves through the political systems of the world.   In consequence the leaders of the major countries made an effort to revive the Bretton Woods system.  They came together in 1971, and reached the Smithsonian Agreement which for the first time allowed for the negotiation of fixed exchange rates.  However, this attempt soon failed.

In 1973, The United States and the other major economic powers agreed to a new system known as Managed Float.  This meant that central banks would still intervene with the buying and selling of their own currencies to eliminate any changes that might be perceived as too dramatic.

How long will this system of floating money, fiat currency, and systemic debt last?

Since I started with a quote from my favorite American philosopher, Yogi Berra I will frame my comments about the end result of America’s love affair with monopoly money and ever growing debt with another nugget from this source of double think profundity, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”

You know, I know and anyone who has enough economic awareness to realize you can’t spend more than you make forever knows that our present governmental financial framework is unsustainable.  Why?  Apparently our leaders believe you can spend more than you make forever.

If you have ever tried to manage your Visa payments by charging them to MasterCard you know the end of that game.  Our leaders have pawned our grandchildren’s future for the votes they buy with social programs, tax give-aways, and bail-outs.  However it is hard to lay all the blame on the shoulders of the perpetually re-elected.  The government is the people writ large.  Almost every household in America is in debt.  Almost every business in America is in debt.

Debt is not a bad thing in and of itself.  Actually it is one of the most liberating inventions in the world.  It allows economic activity to grow based upon future activity instead of just on current holdings.  This provides a multiplier effect that has given rise to the modern world.

However, when we spend more of the future than the present can service we have inverted the pyramid and are inviting a correction.  Even if the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media are blathering on about how good the stock market is doing, that the pretend unemployment rate is falling, that there is no inflation, and that the President says everything is getting better, the alternative media knows the present course is unsustainable.  Unsustainable. That word is spoken day after day on Fox and printed multiple times every day online from thousands of blogs, magazines, and newspapers.  All it means is it can’t last forever, or as an alarmist might say, “A crash is coming!”

Sure the stock market is flying high.  With the Fed pumping 85 billion a month into the banking system why wouldn’t it?  With that kind of money coming in why not play the Lotto?  Sure the unemployment rate is falling as long as you don’t count the people who have quit looking for a job.  Sure there’s no inflation as long as you don’t count energy or food.  And of course the President says everything is getting better all the time that is what his teleprompter tells him to say.

So, how long will this system of floating money, fiat currency, and systemic debt last?  None of us gets to live in the world we grew up in because the world moves too fast.  Things change. What was science fiction yesterday is your cell phone today.  One thing we can know for sure is that it isn’t over till it’s over.  Yet from a realistic evaluation of the deep hole we have spent ourselves into the future isn’t what it used to be and if the world were perfect it wouldn’t be.

Is there any way to stop this train wreck before we hit the wall?  Can we reign in Washington and stop the 6.85 million per minute that the best and the brightest are spending?  What do you think?  The great Tea Party victory of 2010 affirmed Boehner as the leader of the co-opted opposition, voted for multiple debt ceiling increases, and renewed the Patriot Act.  Do you think another Progressive Republican à la Romney has a chance to beat Hillary or would make any difference if they did?  I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering the question.  What do you think?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Is There Any Hope of Change September 7, 2012

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The two major political parties have a lock on power in the United States.  The election laws, the media and family voting patterns all collude to make the election of a third party candidate to the Presidency a near impossibility.  The closest in the lifetime of anyone reading this happened in 1992 when Ross Perot garnered 18.91% of the vote and not one electoral vote.  He has long been blamed for causing the defeat of Bush the Elder and the election of Clinton the Last.  Whether Mr. Perot did have such a dramatic effect on the presidential election is still debated.  Just as in most theological debates both sides offer well-constructed arguments supported by what they consider irrefutable scripture references or in this case, the life’s blood of political statements: statistics.

One certainty that cannot be debated is that Perot did not have an honest man’s chance in Washington to be elected.

Consequently either Barak Obama will continue as America’s president or he will be unseated and Mitt Romney will replace him.  There may be others running.  There may be better qualified people.  There may be someone who could inspire and lead us all into a second century of American ascendance; however, despite whomever else there may be it will be either the Democrat Obama or the Republican Romney.  Life may not be fair but it usually is predictable, and this is as predictable as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.  One of the two parties of power will win.

Given this preordained outcome is there really any hope of change?  Or will we continue to watch helplessly as the perpetually re-elected parties continue to spend us into oblivion?

With Mr. Obama’s second term there is no doubt that all we can expect is more of the same, on steroids.  Mr. Obama has said, “I think that after this election, we’ll be in a position to once again reach out to Republicans and say that the American people have rendered a judgment, and the positions we’re taking are well within what used to be considered bipartisan centrist approaches.”

A divided government, if the Republicans maintain control of the House, might slow things down, however Mr. Obama has shown he is ready, willing and with the silence of Congress able to rule by decree.  If Congress won’t pass the Dream Act he imposes it.  If Congress won’t pass Cap-N-Trade he regulates it into being.  So we know that if he wins a second term it will be his way or the highway.   His agenda will continue to be the national agenda and four more years might be enough to sink the ship of state in a Cloward–Piven Strategy overwhelming the system scenario.

Four more years of the Obama led Democrat Progressives and we may be fundamentally transformed beyond recognition.  The heritage of our Founding Fathers may become the lost cause of a failed experiment in individual liberty and economic freedom as America descends into the morass of a welfare state based on re-distribution and political correctness.  In other words, the dream of Obama’s father.

That is one side of the coin.  What about the other?

If we get Tweedledee instead of Tweedledum will it be morning in America again?  Will the ghost of the Gipper lead us from the government’s shovel-never-ready Great Recession into a new era where things are made in America again and everything’s coming up roses?

There is no way from where we are: 16 trillion in debt, a decimated industrial base and a large proportion of our population addicted to government handouts, back to being the largest creditor in the world, the largest manufacturer, a land of self-reliant patriots without major dislocations, and dare I say it, austerity.

Mr. Romney’s fifty nine point plan to save the economy is a well-crafted and well-presented plan to revitalize America’s economy through a pro-capitalist free market approach.   It is however not as easy to explain or present as tax the rich and give everyone else free stuff.  Since it is better known and has been more widely and perhaps more eloquently presented the Republicans appear to be fronting with Paul Ryan’s plan to save America.  Both the Romney and the Ryan plan are a clear step away from the plunder policies of Mr. Obama and his Progressive shock troops.

However, neither Republican plans adequately addresses the entitlement time bomb.  Neither projects a balanced budget in any timely fashion and neither proposes any way to ensure that future Congresses live by any restraints imposed.  Both promise to preserve our imperial defense spending needed to support two wars and more than 100 foreign bases.  Both rattle sabers in the direction of Syria and Iran.  What we have is an effort to slow the growth of the debt by reducing the yearly deficits.

Slowing the growth is decidedly better than accelerating but the debt keeps growing and the abyss that looms ahead of us is the unsustainability of the debt.  A future rise in interest rates will sink the ship as the service on the debt wipes out the government’s ability to keep its promises or meet its obligations.  This is the very scenario the Progressives have been progressing towards.  The people who tell us never to let a crisis go to waste have long worked incrementally to lead us to the crisis at the end of the Constitution.  A final crisis when limited government will be completely unshackled and the central planners will triumph.

If Romney wins he and his administration may put a speed bump on the expressway to the poor house, but unless they are ready to shut down the gravy train and turn off the spigot of re-distribution we will merely postpone the day of reckoning.  Slower is better than faster when it comes to assuming room temperature; however, unless we turn this ship around we’re headed for the shoals of bankruptcy and the reefs of insolvency either way.

Even though Mr. Obama makes the Carter Administration look like the good old days don’t count out the machines ability to pull an election out of their hat.  From no voter IDs and Black Panthers patrolling the polls, from polling places in cemeteries, to every obstacle imaginable in the way of people in our armed forces voting this will be a no-holds-barred Chicago-style campaign by the Democrats.  The Progressives know this is the one they need.  This is the election that will seal the deal and finally transform America into a re-distribution center with them picking all the winners and losers.  They win…America loses.

As one example of how the institutions the Progressives have built over the years will line up to re-elect Barack Obama, look at the recent moves of the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve is moving to inject massive amounts of money into the economy, while keeping interest rates near zero, before the election in a clear move to help re-elect President Obama.  How are they going to do this?  Will they just print more money?  No, they wouldn’t do anything so crude or easy to see as that.  Instead, they will announce an open ended mandate to purchase Treasury Bonds and mortgage backed securities.  This is QE (Quantitative Easing) 3 in all but name.  In QE1 the Fed bought $2.3 trillion of securities and in QE2 $600 billion of Treasuries.  How big will this round of pump priming be?  According to San Francisco Fed President John Williams, since this is an open ended authorization it  could eventually be, “at least as large as QE2 or arguably even larger again.”  The casino stock market will soar, and the Fed, through its Chairman, will continue to assure us inflation is small, negligible, and nothing we won’t be able to handle.  Then again, what’s a little inflation if it helps re-elect a president whose goal is to swamp the system.

Expect an October surprise such as action against Iran or Syria.  Expect an encouraging jobs report right before the election that will be revised lower later.  Expect the Obama Administration to do whatever it takes to win.

Romney’s road may still lead to the poor house but Obama’s is a bullet train to nowhere.  Is there any hope for change?  Not with what we’ve heard so far.  Maybe there is a chance to switch from the certainty of near term collapse to the promise of at least a few more stations and a few more track changes before we hit the wall.  Who knows with enough time maybe enough people will get up off the couch, turn off the game, and pay attention to make a difference.  At least that would be a change we could all hope for.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

None Dare Call It….. March 1, 2012

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In 1777 the British thought they had finally hit upon a strategy to crush the rebellion.  They would divide the colonies.  General John Burgoyne had presented a bold plan to the government in London.  He proposed to invade New England from Canada marching down the Hudson River Valley.  There British troops moving up from New Jersey and New York under the command of General Howe would join Burgoyne and effectively cut the colonies in  two demoralizing the rebels and discouraging the French who were considering recognizing the independence of America.

In early summer Burgoyne set off with a professional army of over 7,000 men and many thousands of Indian allies.  In a declaration Burgoyne threatened to unleash his Indian allies to pillage the Americans.  When numerous atrocities were committed the vast majority of Americans in the path of the invading army resolved to join the rebellion thus swelling the troops and supplies of the Americans.

As the British proceeded south the resistance constantly stiffened and the swarm of snipers buzzed about the invaders like mosquitos snipping at their heels over and over.  Burgoyne ignored these attacks and continued his advance to the south in a grand style.  Meanwhile, miles to the south General Howe made a decision that would have a fateful consequence.   Instead of marching to meet Burgoyne as he was supposed to do he decided to attack Philadelphia, the Rebel capital.  Not aware of the change of plans Burgoyne continued to march south unconcerned that his supply lines were becoming longer and less secure since he thought he would receive everything he needed as soon as the reinforcements arrived.

Soon American ambushes began to defeat or capture any British forces sent out from the main body to forage or scout.  The Americans began to burn and destroy all supplies, crops, and pasture in front of the British.  Day by day General Burgoyne should have begun to realize he was marching into a trap.  Finally in the first week of October 1777 the American Continental Army confronted the British north of Albany near the town of Saratoga.  Ever the flamboyant firebrand Burgoyne though now surrounded and outnumbered trusted to his professional troops to overwhelm and defeat the citizen soldiers of the American Army.  Without hesitation Burgoyne took the offensive and was soon smashing his way through the poorly trained militias that made up a major portion of the American Army.  He seemed about to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when one of America’s greatest heroes intervened.

When the British were about to break through General Benedict Arnold rallied his troops and against the orders of his commanding officer led a valiant counterattack which changed the course of the day and set the stage for the eventual surrender of the entire British army.  This ultimately led to the recognition of America by France.  And this led to the French fleet and army being present at Yorktown for the final victory which won the war.

General Arnold was grievously wounded at the battle of Saratoga and would never completely recover his health.  In the reports of the battle the American commanding general Horatio Gates did not mention Arnold’s heroic deeds and took all the credit for the victory himself.

This slight festered in the heart of Arnold, and is believed to be the reason why he eventually betrayed the cause he had sworn to defend and earned a name forever synonymous with traitor in American History.

In 1777 a foreign army tried to divide America.  The assault was met by minute men rushing from all directions leaving the comfort of their homes to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to save their home land.  Today the forces of social welfare use class warfare to divide and conquer.  Now is the time for all good men to come to the aide of their country!  Now is the time for loyalty and patriotism not the time to be timid in the face of forces dedicated to the transformation of our Republic.

Exactly what is treason?  It is the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance: the betrayal of a trust.

Benedict Arnold did that by trying to surrender his command: the fortress at West Point.  He betrayed his trust and sought to bring about the defeat of his nation.

What should we call leaders who act against the interest of the nation?  Who fight endless wars for peace that do not enhance our security or protect our interest?  What should we call leaders who sacrifice our energy independence to a false religion of manmade global warming and squander our treasure pouring it into ideologically driven fringe technologies that fail time and time again?  What should we call leaders who embrace our enemies and offend our friends?  What should we call leaders who have cast off all fiscal restraint and are spending us and our great grandchildren into oblivion?  What do we call leaders who ignore the limitations of the Constitution, expand the police and detention powers of the military, and actively work to put law abiding citizens under constant surveillance?

Historians always say that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back we can see that General Arnold believed he had a reason or at least an excuse for his treason.

Seeing as clearly in the present is always a more challenging assignment; however, it is our responsibility to act as the stewards of the heritage we have received.  And as the current stewards of America’s precious heritage of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom it is our duty to evaluate those who are sailing the ship of state over Niagara without even a barrel and ask ourselves why are they doing this?  Why are those sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States doing everything conceivable to undermine the Republic and institute a centrally-planned collectivist democracy in its place?

The hidden secrets of the heart are impossible to discern.  None of us can ever truly know the unspoken motives of another.  Therefore we must base our interpretations of motive upon actions.  We watch the bravest of the brave fight and die in wars already surrendered.   We watch endless talk about the debt as the debt is constantly increased.  We watch as thousands of new regulations are added every day binding the free citizens of America in a totalitarian nightmare of control.  Though none dare call it by its real name, none dare point the finger of accusation for fear of being called a bigot, a racist, or intolerant, is it time to use the word none dare speak: treason?

As Thomas Paine once said, “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

The Coming Contraction October 14, 2011

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The party’s over and it’s time to pay the bill.  Our government has been on a spending binge for as long as I can remember.  With Clinton and Newt’s slight-of-hand accounting back in the late 90s notwithstanding, which wouldn’t withstand the level of scrutiny we give a tab at our local burger joint, there have been yearly deficits every year since I was born back in the 40s. The debt piled up to a record amount under Bush the Younger, and under Obama it has sky rocketed to the point where people have actually begun to notice that the emperor has no clothes.

It isn’t that our nation is broke since our assets still outweigh our debt, but who wants to sell Yellowstone to satisfy the Chinese?  It isn’t just our government who has buried us buying $640 toilet seats, $436 hammers, or a $797,400 outhouse.  All of us have had an apple out of that sack.  We have pushed our personal credit to the max, our plastic to the limit, and our “Gotta have it now” culture to the breaking point.  It isn’t just the 51% who pay no federal taxes but seem to have an insatiable appetite for federal services that are to blame.  Those of us who make enough to merit a tax target on our backs have also drunk deep from the government trough.  Social Security, Medicare, disaster relief, and student loans have added billions if not trillions to the national debt transferring money to the middle class.

All of us have contributed to this problem.  If not by accepting the money or services ourselves than by voting for people who’ve made careers doling out the plunder, robbing Peter to pay Paul, buying votes, and corrupting the system.  The entire edifice of Western Civilization teeters on the brink of financial collapse due to the last three generations squandering the as yet unearned income of the next three.  We invested the great grand kid’s future in Ponzi schemes so that we could play today and they could pay tomorrow.  This is the national version of “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

Our lack of interest allowed politicians to run amuck.  Our personal greed and lack of restraint have all of us living in houses made of plastic cards.  We look at Greece and ask for whom the bell tolls ignoring the answer that it tolls for thee.

The enemies of capitalism learned the wisdom of Alinsky that “Change comes from power and power comes from organization.”  They followed gurus such as Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven two Columbia professors who advocated overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands.  They followed leaders such as Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd who have pushed legislation that created the bubbles and then strangled the recovery.  Now these well organized and well financed Progressives have come to the end game.  In the great tradition of all socialist power grabs now that the crisis has arrived they have taken to the streets.

The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media are falling all over themselves trying to equate the current Occupy Everywhere movement with the Tea party.  I’ve known the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a friend of mine, and this is no Tea Party.  I have attended many Tea Party Events and they were all peaceful.  They all respected the police, and stayed within the limits of lawful protest.  When the events were over they left the areas cleaner than when they arrived.  The only people arrested at Tea Party events have been Progressive street thugs who have attempted to disrupt a peaceful protest. The liberal version is trashing every place they lay their head and threatening violence.  In all the Tea Party events over the last few years not one persona has been arrested.  In the Occupy Movement in just a few weeks hundreds have had to be hauled away.

I personally know a professional agitator who glories in the title of the Rude Guy.  He has made a lifestyle out of pushing for the socialist agenda he imbibed as a youth in public school.  He has spent decades moving from protest to protest advocating an end to capitalism while supporting himself through the sale of his books and paintings.  This Rude Guy has moved from the implosion of Europe to what some enemies of our nation are calling the American Spring seeking free room and board in New York to continue his work.  Given the fact that Van Jones has spent years, George Soros has spent millions through his front groups, and that professional organizers are flocking in from around the world it is hard to buy the Corporate Media line that this Occupy Everywhere movement is spontaneous.

However, there are the Howard Beale types who want to scream “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  And there are also the young party people who are looking for an opportunity to have an experience, to recreate the golden years of the 60s when they fantasize the Summer of Love produced something of value besides a generational overdose and a rise in STDs.  These naive sheep will be driven before the organizers into the police truncheons.  It is these unengaged warm bodies being interviewed nightly.  These are the ones who come across as unfocused, confused, and almost comical.  They do not represent the well-oiled machinery behind the curtain.

The list of millionaire entertainers who stop by to step out of their air-conditioned limousine to shout, “Power to the people” as they shake their bejeweled fist grows every day.  The union bosses express solidarity and send in their shock troops.  Leading Democrats praise the movement.  The Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has said the Occupy Everywhere Movement is more in the mainstream than the current crop of Republican candidates for president.  This movement is not spontaneous, and it is not going to end well.  In some places the leaders of this leaderless movement are calling for violence and socialism.  In other places they are leaving the public square to march on private residences to intimidate and threaten.  Is this organized anarchism or militant apathy?

Some of the issues their signs rail against: bank bailouts, corporate welfare, and other aspects of crony capitalism are issues they do share with the Tea Party.  However, the Tea Party Movement has directed their anger at government which is the culprit as far as wasting our national treasure to support their donors.  The Occupy Movement is focused on attacking the donors who have received the payouts.  The people who invested with Bernie Madoff thought they had found the goose that laid golden eggs, and yes they did receive unrealistic and what are now called unearned payouts, but at the end of the day it wasn’t the investors who were arrested it was Madoff.  The Tea Party offers concrete proposals: end the over spending, cut taxes and regulations, and free the economy to free the people.  The Occupy Movement offers no solution besides more of the same government intervention that caused the problems to begin with.

As stated at the beginning, we have all had a hand in leading our great nation to the edge of the abyss.  And it seems as if our inability to agree upon who the culprits are or what the answers are may push us over the edge.  A great contraction in our economy and in our life styles is coming.  We must choose.  Are we willing to make the changes that will right the ship of state and begin to bail out the rushing tide of debt that threatens to capsize us?  Or, will we continue to argue ourselves into paralysis until our creditors demand the austerity we dread?

The one thing worse than being poor is being poor again.  Most of us individually and all of us as a nation have been living far beyond our means charging extravagance to a credit card that has reached its limit.  We can either send back the steak and have a hamburger on our own now or eventually sit powerless as our card is cut up by the foreign maître.  We can either change our menu from caviar to corn flakes now or end up eating rubber biscuits as we wash dishes in the back room.

One thing is for sure the contraction is coming, how do you want to deal with it?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Where Did This Debt Come From Anyhow? September 23, 2011

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Have you ever wondered where the National Debt came from?  Do you wonder who started it?  Do you ask yourself is the National Debt constitutional? I believe that a lack of Historical knowledge and context is a major contributing factor in our current state of political deterioration.  Unless we know where we came from we cannot truly appreciate where we are and we have no point of reference to guide us to where we want to go.

The National Debt didn’t start under Barak Obama or George Bush.  It didn’t start under FDR or Wilson or Lincoln.  So where did it come from and when did it start?

The National Debt and the economic outlook inherent in its creation have not only been with us since the beginning it was one of the most powerful arguments for the ratification of the Constitution.  I may have just lost many of the recently awakened.  I most assuredly lost those who worship the Constitution as American Scripture and the Framers as demigods who brought the tablets down from on high.

Don’t misunderstand the intent of the following article.  It is not to malign the Constitution.  I believe it is the greatest political document to come from the hand of man.  I have spent a life time testifying to its importance and working to educate people as to its continued relevance.  However I also believe we need to know the History of its development, ratification and the continuing saga of its effectiveness.  If we don’t learn from History we will be forced to learn from our own mistakes.  It’s always less painful to learn from the mistakes of others.

At the turn of the twentieth century Historian Charles Beard published An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States and set off a debate that still rages around the idea that the Constitution was a the product of a conflict between competing economic interests.  The argument goes like this: the Founders, who supported a strong, centralized government and favored the Constitution during its drafting and ratification, were men whose primary economic interests were marked by extensive personal property. They consisted primarily of people involved in commerce such as merchants, shippers, bankers, speculators, private and public securities holders, southern planters and all they could influence. Those who opposed the ratification of the Constitution were supporters of a decentralized government such as already existed under the Articles of Confederation.  These were people whose economic interests were connected to real estate.  They consisted primarily of isolated, subsistence non-commercial farmers and laborers, people who were often also debtors, and the people they could influence.  This article fits into that debate.

Building within the above outlined framework, although James Madison is generally called the Father of the Constitution when it comes to economic concerns I believe the title should belong to Alexander Hamilton.

When the Annapolis Convention which was called in September, 1786  to deal with economic concerns failed to attract enough state delegations for a quorum Hamilton requested permission from the Congress of the Confederation to call another convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation.  Once they closed the doors though they had no authority. The delegates from the twelve states attending wrote a new constitution. Then ignoring the provision of the Articles which required unanimous consent to alter the nature of the American government the Framers sent the Constitution out to be ratified by special ratification conventions by-passing the State legislatures.

Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies.  By the time he was fifteen his father was bankrupt.  At sixteen he moved to New York and went to work in an accountant’s office.  He was a self-made man who put himself through Columbia University and personally raised artillery regiments for the Revolution.  He spent most of the war as Washington’s top aide.  Hamilton had a desire to create a central government both politically and financially strong.

Once the Constitution was ratified and Washington elected as the first president he chose Hamilton as his Secretary of the Treasury.  Hamilton hit the ground running.  He soon submitted three ground-breaking reports to Congress, one of which impacts the present discussion.

His Report on Public Credit caused controversy because of its social and financial implications.  During the Revolution the Confederation and the individual States had run up large debts to both foreign and domestic individuals.  Hamilton proposed that the Federal Government assume all the war debt of the states which helped the measure gain approval in Congress.  These debts had devalued in worth due to the inflation.  As the debts lost their value they were bought up by speculators at a fraction of their face value.  Hamilton proposed to redeem them at their original value giving tremendous profits to the speculators, many of whom were prominent in Congress and State governments.  The new national government was short on cash, so Hamilton proposed to pay the war debt by issuing interest-bearing bonds, and thus the national debt was born at the dawn of the Republic.  It has existed ever since.  It has never been paid down to zero and it never will be.

Is the national debt constitutional?  Yes, in two ways.  Article VI among other things states, “All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.”  And because the 14th Amendment states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”  So the Constitution both in its original form and as amended both validates the debt and takes the question of its legality off the table.

Over the hundreds of years since its inception our nation has continuously had a National Debt.  Every President has faced it when they took office and every president has left it for their successor.  Some have reduced it, most have increased it.  At times it has contributed to our strength and stability.  At first by helping to establish the credit of the United States and then by proving the trustworthiness of our government, no one ever doubted redemption.  Today the National Debt soars beyond the perceived ability to redeem.  It races ahead at an average rate of $3.93 billion per day which is $163,750,000 dollars per hour, $2,729,166,666 per minute and, $45,486 per second.  We all know from our personal finances debt in and of itself isn’t a bad thing.  We also know unsustainable debt is.  No one can afford to spend more than they make forever.  Unless of course they have their own printing press then they can do it until no one will accept the paper any more.  Then they will do something else.

Stand by for something else.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

 

A Declaration of Independence August 5, 2011

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It has happened just as foretold.  The Progressive Republicans have joined with their Democrat fellow-travelers and once again sold our inheritance for a bowl of promises.  We voted for an end to the out of control spending and what did we get?  3.5 trillion steps closer to the abyss.   It’s time to admit that when you fall off a cliff it doesn’t matter much if you were pushed or if you walked.  The fall might not be so bad but that sudden stop at the end isn’t so good.

Maybe it’s just me but I’m tired of the same old same old in our politics.  The big-box monopoly parties have morphed into two sides of the same coin.  Today we choose between the Conservative Progressives’ policies of tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource our sovereignty or the Liberal Progressives’ policies of tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource our sovereignty.  We’ve been caught on the horns of a dilemma trying to choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and since we don’t want to throw our vote away we must vote for one of the big boys after which the campaign promises dissolve and we’re hung out to dry.

As a voter I’ve had my Damascus Road Experience.  The scales have fallen from my eyes.  I’ve reached the point where I would rather vote for someone who might actually try finding another way to operate our government besides taxing like the Sun King and spending like a drunken sailor whose credit card limit is constantly raised and who can print his own money.

It’s time to stop talking.  It’s time to take action.  The Founders of our nation dedicated their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to birth our state and this noble experiment.  It’s time for us to do the same. This nation was conceived as a representative republic designed to operate on democratic principles.  For over 100 years the Progressives have worked to transform the land of the free and the home of the brave into a People’s Democratic Republic.  What’s the difference?  The difference between a Democracy and a People’s Democracy is “the difference between a jacket and a straight jacket.”

How did we arrive at the current situation?

James Madison our fourth president and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution said, “There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”  We didn’t get here all in one jump.  First the camel said, “Can I just stick my nose in your tent to stay warm?” and finally the generous man found himself out in the cold as the camel settled down for a nice warm nap, one inch at a time.

The compassion of our people built a safety net for those who needed help and the greed of the lazy turned it into a hammock.  America, the Land of the Free is being transformed into an America that is dedicated to the unsustainable achievement of, from each according to their abilities to each according to their need.  When you rob Peter to pay Paul eventually Peter changes his name to Paul and the house of cards  tumbles down.

The willingness to share our heritage led America to welcome more immigrants each year than the rest of the world combined, and the abuse of our generosity turned into a migration invasion that threatens to overwhelm us and destroy the future of our children.  Taxes imposed to meet the ever-swelling demands of government have turned into a blatant, wealth re-distribution program that makes most pyramid schemes look fair.  It’s as if our predatory government looks at a productive citizen as merely a source of residual income.  Or as the ads promise, our Progressive leaders lay on the beach of self-importance and our checks just keep pouring in.  We’re no longer respected as Citizens.  Instead, we’re coveted as consumers or human capital.

It’s time for action.

We as citizens who love our country must to break the logjam caused by an imperial presidency, an abdicating legislature, an activist court, a suffocating bureaucracy, and the strangulation of regulation.  The constant growth of government destroys freedom for “as government expands liberty contracts.”

It’s time to actively work for America’s acceptance of a different way.

And what might this Different way be?

Something radical, something that almost strains the bounds of the imagination, something that would immediately unleash the bent-up energy of a free people: a return to constitutionally limited government!

But how do we get there from here?  We need to build a new party to win the reins of government from the two-headed bird of prey which has assumed perpetual power through perpetual re-election.  What we need now are citizens willing to sacrifice their repose and enter the arena.  We need non-professionals to clean up the mess and right the ship of state.

What we don’t need is one more election where the Conservative Progressives replace the Liberal Conservatives because as Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We need a new party.  We must work to unite the Tea Party Movement with the many splinter parties which hold the same basic values.  We must reclaim our liberty from the professional politicians and professional radicals who have manipulated the system to achieve unlimited power which they use to spend us into insolvency, tax us into poverty, and regulate us into serfdom.

This new party must siphon off all the conservatives who are members of the twin party out of habit or family tradition.  This new party must rise fast and work hard.  It must capture the center and the right declaring boldly that it will defend what America stands for but not necessarily all that stands for America.  The time has come to fight for the right before we are swallowed by the wrong.

Winston Churchill said, “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

We can’t let divisions divide us or they will bury us.  United we stand, divided we fall.  None of us can do this alone but together we can.  Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8

© 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

 

The Corrupt Bargain July 29, 2011

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In American History slogans, catch phrases, and grand titles have often come to serve as signposts marking out eras and pointing the way to popular notions of what passes for an understanding of the national mood or circumstance in a particular period of time.  Examples include: “Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute!” a slogan which spurred us on to our first undeclared war against the Barbary Pirates.  “Remember the Maine!” a slogan used by the newspapers at the end of the nineteenth century to gin up support for a war against Spain, and a war which launched the United States as a colonial power.  “The Square Deal,” the “New Deal,” the “Fair Deal,” and the “Great Society” all designate government programs aimed at the redistribution of wealth, and of course “Camelot” immediately brings forth visions of the youthful, inspiring, inept, and immoral Kennedy years.

In an effort to advance the cause of verbal economy by recycling a catch phrase from the past, I propose that we label House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed plan for raising the debt limit as “The Corrupt Bargain.”

Looking back the original Corrupt Bargain refers to the compromise which defeated a hero, elected a president, and ultimately led to that president’s defeat.

In 1824, as today, America’s political system was under unbearable stress.  There were two major political parties; the Federalists who were the political descendants of Hamilton and the centralized government party and the Democratic-Republicans who were the political heirs of Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists.

During the election of 1824 the Federalists collapsed as a party while there were five major candidates and scores of minor ones running as Democratic-Republicans.  The candidate officially backed by the Democratic-Republican Party was William H. Crawford, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Monroe.  He had been chosen by the Democratic-Republican Caucus in Congress and had little popular support.

The confusing outcome of this election showed the growing power of an electorate fast outgrowing the original restrictive voting practices of the Federalist era and beginning to display the impact of mass appeal campaigning.  Andrew Jackson, the hero of the battle of New Orleans came out on top with Ninety-nine electoral votes and 43% of the popular vote.  John Quincy Adams, the son of the second president and Monroe’ secretary of state, won eighty-four electoral votes and 30% of the popular vote.  Crawford won forty-one electoral votes.  Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House came in fourth with thirty seven electoral votes.  Since no one had enough electoral votes to win, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives.  They had to choose between the top three candidates, which immediately disqualified Clay, and since Crawford had very little popular support it was immediately seen as a contest between Jackson and Adams.

In this situation Clay, as Speaker of the House, held the commanding position.  He held similar views in most areas to Adams and had actually split that wing of the party siphoning off enough votes to deny Adams a win.  However, Clay was an outspoken opponent of Jackson ,and after more than a month of bargaining he threw his support behind Adams securing his election as the sixth president.  Adams then appointed Clay as his Secretary of State a post that had been the stepping-stone to office for the four previous presidents.

While this politically expedient arrangement worked well for the election it did not work out so well for the administration or for the future of either Adams or Clay.  The supporters of Jackson branded it as the “Corrupt Bargain” and used it to immediately launch the bitter 1828 presidential campaign.  The Jackson Democrats pointed to the Adams-Clay bargain as the symbol of a corrupt system wherein Washington elites disregarded the will and interests of the people to pursue their own ends.

All of which brings us to Speaker Boehner and his various plans, trial balloons, and phone interviews he is presenting to the nation as a means of raising the debt limit.  And make no mistake about it that is his goal.  He is a career politician and a quintessential Washington insider.  He and the other leaders of the Republican Congressional Caucus are as attuned to the voice of their constituents as the Democratic-Republican Caucus was in 1824.  The grassroots Tea Party which swept the 2010 elections and which made him Speaker clearly want an end to yearly deficits and to an ever-increasing debt.  Yet every plan the perpetually-re-elected Republicans present including Paul Ryan’s, merely cuts the present deficit and slows the growth of the debt, but they do not end the deficit spending or reduce the debt.  In other words they propose to drive us to the poor-house a little slower than their Democrat opponents.

These same neo-conservative progressives caved during the lame duck session after the paradigm shifting election of 2010 breathing life into the freshly hobbled Obama Administration by agreeing to a stealth stimulus in return for an extension of all the Bush tax cuts.  They caved during the series of continuing resolution battles allowing more spending in exchange for cuts in discontinued programs and layoffs of none-existent federal workers.  They have either colluded or have been out-maneuvered by an administration determined to fundamentally transform America.

Now they stand with the strongest card conservatives have held since the Clinton impeachment debacle.  A card dealt by the hard work and strategies of the Tea Party.  This card is the ability of the House to just say no to any more deficit spending.  By refusing to pass a bill to raise the debt limit the House can stop our slide into the financial abyss.  When a shopaholic has maxed out all their credit cards and reached the limit of their available lines of credit the answer is not to give them a higher limit or new cards.

Yes, the alternative will be tough but we have spent our way into this corner and we have to work and save our way out.  Since neither party seems willing to drain the swamp it is time to flood the swamp with calls, letters, and visits.  Demand that our representatives represent us and not themselves or their fellow insiders.  Stop the deficits!  Pay down the debt! And don’t make a Corrupt Bargain that will lead us and our posterity further down the road to serfdom.  Don’t sacrifice the future for the expediency of the present.  Don’t mortgage the innocent lives of the unborn for the fleeting luxury of a self-indulgent present or we will all endure a shabby future in a second-rate Chinese financial dependency that was once the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

 

Truth Justice and the American Way April 22, 2011

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Who in their wildest dreams ever thought we would see a headline that says, “China Urges U.S. to Protect Creditors”?  For those of us who grew up in an America that was the undisputed leader of the free world locked in the Herculean task of containing the godless hordes of the Communist East, an America that was the largest manufacturer, largest creditor, and the economic engine that drove the world’s economy until recently it was unimaginable.  We watched as America fought wars around the edges of the creeping red menace.  We worked to elect the leaders and pay the taxes that built a 600 ship navy, the best equipped armies in history, and the Space Based Initiative all of which eventually convinced even the Soviets that their centrally-planned monstrosity couldn’t compete as it collapsed of its own weight.

Yes, except for the pages of MAD magazine, Cracked, or Rolling Stone until recently such a headline would have been unimaginable.  Today, after 23 years of Progressive leadership it has become the truth. Communist China is warning us to make provisions to pay our creditors in the face of a declining credit rating and an ever growing debt.  Have they ever heard of the GM bond holders?

If you’ve ever been to a TEA Party rally or if you grew up in America before it became politically incorrect to love our country you will remember these words, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  This is our hallowed Pledge of Allegiance.  It ends by announcing to the world our dedication to Justice.

In a world still run by kings, empires, and tyrannical despots as America rose to become a capitalist colossus of opportunity, we proclaimed that instead of the whims of the privileged riding rough shod over the rights of man we as a nation believed in an objective justice that wasn’t swayed by birth or purchased by fraud.  For more than two hundred years this honorable standard was our goal.  It wasn’t always perfectly applied, and it was sometimes cruelly circumvented by prejudice and avarice, but at least it was our goal.  The statue of Lady Justice wears a blindfold so that she is not influenced by what can be seen and she holds the scales which weigh the truth.

Martin Luther King called us to be more than we had been and all that we can be when he said, our children “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  That this call was not for something new but instead a fulfillment of our original design is shown in Dr. King’s plea that America, “live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”  This was ever the goal: blind justice. This was ever the light which shone from the beacon in the hand of Lady Liberty: freedom to rise above our birth, liberty to rise to the level of our efforts, and justice for all.

Today the Progressives have shackled us to a creed of political correctness which for the first time in our history makes Americans fearful of the penalties for what they say, write, and think.  The Progressive ideology of from each according to their abilities to each according to their need, their dedication to the end of American Exceptionalism through globalization, and their worship of the myth of man-made global warming has created a toxic atmosphere where justice has no blindfold and her scales are tipped by the corruption of political power, crony capitalism, and interest groups on steroids.

In the face of these assaults on who we are and what we can do the American people refuse to give up!  In the face of the best government money can buy taxing us to penury and spending us to poverty the American people continue to produce, to work, and to hope.  In a world where our Progressive leaders have raised stealing from Peter to pay Paul into a national policy the American people have refused to go quietly into that dark night.  On the day taxes were due thousands upon thousands of dedicated Americans gathered in city parks, town squares, and fields to proclaim America is still the home of the brave and the land of the free.

This is the American way.  We have faced adversity many times.  We have stood up to be counted when kings and emperors sought to squash the freedom of man under the weight of their divine right pride.  We have shouldered the burden when dictators sought to clamp their totalitarian yoke upon the neck of the world and we will stand before these self-inflated ideologues who seek to smother freedom under a centrally-planned economy and a regimented society.  Other countries have shown that when you rob Peter to pay Paul eventually Peter changes his name to Paul and that in the face of a stacked deck they will pretend to work as the government pretends to pay.  In America today millions are rising up and saying, we will not have a nation drowning in debt and limited in power!  We will not leave a broken dream to our children!  We will work tirelessly to preserve truth, justice, and the American way.  Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Uncle Sam Plays You Pay April 15, 2011

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America is careening towards a financial Armageddon.  The president proposed a budget for 2012 that projected a deficit of 1.6 Trillion dollars.  That is trillion with a “T.”  Gone are the innocent days when one of the perpetually re-elected could quip, “A billion here and a billion there and soon we’re talking about real money.”  Now billions disappear into the federal sinkhole at the rate of 4.08 billion per day.  What does a trillion look like? If you went into business the day Jesus was born, and you lost a million dollars a day, 365 days a year, it would take you until October 2737 to lose a trillion dollars.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the budget deficit just for February 2011 hit $223 billion, which means more debt was added in just that one month than was added in all of 2007.  The personal share of the federal debt borne by every tax-paying citizen is now increasing at the rate of $50 per day seven days a week, 364 days a year.  That is an increase of $1,500 per month and $18,250 per year per tax payer.

That sounds serious.  However, it doesn’t appear as if our elected officials take it seriously at all.  The Republicans propelled into the majority by the grassroots activism, high energy and victories of the Tea Party Movement promised to cut 100 billion from the 2011 budget.  President Obama submitted that budget which spends 3.7 trillion with a deficit of 1.6 trillion dollars in 2010.  It was never passed even though the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House.  This left the door open for the Republicans to use the continuing resolutions necessary to keep the government operating as vehicles to wring spending cuts from the Democrats.  After theatrical bi-weekly dramas these cuts were in the range of ten to twelve billion dollars.

Then finally, with the Democrats imposing an artificial deadline for the passage of a budget that was almost half expended and which they had failed to pass when they had undisputed control, the two parties of power struck what they hailed as a “Historic” compromise.  They first told us they slashed thirty eight billion from the budget.  The actual number, according to the Congressional Budget Office has since dwindled down and down until today it is estimated to be less than a billion.  The Federal Government will still increase the national debt by several trillion dollars this year and our leaders expect us to celebrate their conversion to fiscal sanity.  Isn’t the definition of insanity to continue doing the same thing and expect different results?  Just because they’re crazy doesn’t mean we have to cheerfully put on an economic straight-jacket and walk voluntarily into a padded cell at the poor house.

Representative Paul Ryan (R. WI) introduced a budget which he says takes on the sacred cows and gores the sacred bulls by cutting six trillion from the projected budgets of the next ten years.  The Democrats immediately assaulted this plan as cruel, heartless, and inadequate.  The President announces his latest plan which he assures us he meant to introduce all along once someone else had opened the debate.  In His plan Mr. Obama plans to cut the projected deficit by stopping waste and abuse in government programs and by taxing the rich.

There are two problems with this approach: if we had all the money politicians have promised to save by stopping waste and abuse we would have a surplus, and the rich don’t have enough money.  It has been estimated that if you confiscated every dime every person who makes over one million dollars per year makes it would only generate enough money to run our debt addicted government for less than one year.  What would we do for the next year?  And the fact of the matter is that the tax increases the President wants are not confined to the rich. They would target everyone with a combined gross income above 250,000.  That group includes most small business people.  This approach will take money out of the pockets of the greatest creators of jobs: small business people.  And it still won’t generate enough money to stop the red ink.

Now the battle looms to raise the debt limit.  This is an inside-the-belt-way shell game wherein the parties of power each beat their chests and growl at each other about who is the most responsible before they both vote to increase the limit on their collective credit card.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just raise the limit on our credit cards indefinitely?  And now with the Federal Reserve buying our own debt to finance the repayment maybe we could increase the limits on all our cards so that we can pay our Visa with our MasterCard and our MasterCard with our Discover and our Discover with our Visa.  How could that ever go wrong?

The storyline we are supposed to believe now is that in exchange for raising the debt limit there must be meaningful movement towards a balanced budget amendment.  That sounds so encouraging.  If we just had a balanced budget amendment the problem will be solved.  As always there are several spare balanced budget amendments lying around in Congress waiting for enough votes or at least an opportunity to get to the floor for a debate before they are stuffed back in a committee until the next time the shopaholics on the Potomac need to convince the great unwashed in fly-over country that this time they are serious about curbing their over-spending.

Even if they were passed what good would they do?  The President and the Democrats have already shown that they think the way to solve the deficit problem is to raise taxes.  The Republicans have a plan that appears very dramatic but at the end of a decade still has not ended the deficit spending, which means the debt is still growing.

The International Monetary Fund has looked at these plans and says it appears America is not serious about dealing with its addiction to debt.  If we don’t do something soon our creditors are going to stage an intervention, and they will dictate how we must restructure our lives and our nation if we want any more credit. And we are addicted to credit.

A balanced budget amendment merely requires a balanced budget, and budgets can be balanced by increasing taxes instead of decreasing spending.  What we need instead is a spending amendment which would limit federal expenditures to a reasonable percentage of the nation’s income.  If we can’t stop the spending we will eventually destroy our credit, collapse our economy, and curtail our liberty. In other words, no matter what we the people want Uncle Sam will continue to spend, spend, spend as long as we pay, pay, pay.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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