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America A Greek Tragedy June 17, 2011

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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After years of policies expanding the national government until it employed 1/3 of the workforce and expanding their social welfare net into a hammock for those who chose not to work the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded that Greece impose a budget that the unions saw as austere.  For weeks riots raged, buildings burned and people died.  Greece having cast their freedom into the wind is reaping the whirlwind.  By seeking to make everyone equal and to ensure that no one failed they have placed their entire nation in risk of failing.

After massive bailouts from their EU partners and the United States the Greek problem seemed to go away.  Now it’s back and our generous President has offered to borrow money from China to bail-out Greece once again.  As all the Progressive Internationalists scurry to keep Greece from swirling down the drain we shouldn’t fall for the illusion. Systems like this don’t work no matter how hard people try to keep the house of cards from collapsing.

Our turn is coming soon.

Even though we are the largest single contributor to the IMF they have recently issued a stern rebuke to The United States.  This rebuke stated that in order to meet goals previously promised we would have to implement austerity measures that would be tougher than any since records began in 1960.  Yet instead of austerity or even fiscal sanity our leaders, the same ones who have led us into not only mortgaging the farm but mortgaging the kids and the grandkids are acting as the cheerleaders and hand-wringers for the ritualistic rise in the debt limit.

In the last round of the serial continuing resolutions, the one that ended in the Republican House surrendering to the White House and passing the bloated 2011 budget we were told there would be massive cuts.  This would be truly historic, 38 billion dollars in cuts. This was so substantial it would only leave a record yearly deficit of 1.6 trillion.   There was joy in the House as they took a victory lap beating their chests for holding out for the BIG money.

Then we learn the president and his staff of Chicago trained slight-of-hand bean counters had cooked the books, took credit for laying off people who were already laid off and presto-change-o the massive 38 billion was actually 352 million.  This is still a massive amount of money but in the rarified air our high flying government budget it doesn’t quite qualify as chump change.  This isn’t the change anyone was hoping for when we changed the chumps back in November of 2010.

This breath-taking cut still left the spending for 2011 more than 773 Billion above 2008 levels and thus President Obama was forced to agree to stealth stimulus almost as big as the one in 2009 that put America back to work, at least in Democrat campaign commercials.  And while every one of the serial continuing resolutions was reported with great fanfare as cutting the budget according to the Treasury the 2011 budget deficit actually increased by 15.7% in the first six months of fiscal 2011.  In other words the more these leaders who are so concerned about cutting the deficit cut the bigger the deficit grows.

All of this looting of the American economy has a tremendously high price.  While no one will ever know what didn’t happen because of the government crowding private capital out and soaking up all the time and energy required to make it through their red-tape bureaucratic maze we see the crippling effects every day.

Although the officials in charge of the silly statistics department tell us there is no inflation even though they are printing money 24/7 as fast as the presses can go inflation is actually nearing 10%, which anyone who lives in the real world and has to buy food or gas knows.  And our once free economy is now in the hands of a Federal Government that has no limits and a gaggle of mega-banks that for all intents and purposes should be re-classified as government-backed.

Now the drums are beating for the Progressive Federal Government to bail out the Progressives who have destroyed our once great cities.  As Detroit begins to revitalize by surrendering entire communities to the gangs and bull-doze abandoned buildings the same thinking that picked America’s pocket to bail-out the crony capitalists is gearing up to prop up the culture of decline on the local level so the local level will deliver the votes in 2012.  This is nothing more than vote buying and money laundering on a grand scale.

This gamesmanship has done nothing to reign in the uncontrolled spending of our unlimited Federal Behemoth.  Even the politically blind are beginning to see that this profligate spending is unsustainable.  Unless we embrace the austerity needed to right our ship of state we will flounder on the shoals of self-indulgence which have been the death-bed of empires since Nimord tried to build a tower.  And if we continue to mortgage the lives of those who have not yet been born we will end up losing the deeds to the lives we think we own.

So, no matter what the teleprompter readers tell us at the end of the day the Republican majority in the House will go along with their Progressive pals and raise the debt limit.  And no matter what they say about trillions of dollars of cuts, off in the future and over the rainbow, the deficits will continue and the debt will grow.

Come on Charlie Brown kick the football Lucy promised she won’t move it this time.

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

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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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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