Archive | October, 2013

Stimulus Fail: How The U.S. Spent Its Way Into Disaster

30 Oct

A good, short, and graphic piece on the negative effect of the stimulus and the potentially positive impact of the Tea Party.

Stimulus Fail: How The U.S. Spent Its Way Into Disaster.

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Just for Reference — Quote from Mr. Debt Control

29 Oct

I know all of you have read this a dozen times (at least), but I thought I would just post it for my own archives.  This one quote from Obama states what he said he believed about debt, leadership, and responsibility.  Funny that in practice he regularly violates all of these principles.  His practice seems to be playing “duck the buck”, or “dodge the buck”.  These are such odd words, given that by the time Obama leaves office, he will have added more debt to our nation than all of the presidents combined accumulated before him.

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising  America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US  Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing  financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless  fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and  internationally. Leadership means that, ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead,  Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our  children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of  leadership. Americans deserve better.” 

 ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March  2006 

When Does the Process of “Breaking the Bank” Actually Break It?

27 Oct

Notes from a recent John Stossel column about reckless and dangerous government spending [“Broke U.S. Resumes Spending”].  It speaks for itself.

Begin Excerpt:  [Bolding and italics are mine]

.  .  .  .  [W]hen Congress and President Obama agreed on a deal last week to raise the debt ceiling and resume government spending, people reacted as if a disaster was averted — instead of reacting as if a disaster had resumed. It has.  .  .  .   

For most of the history of America, federal spending never took up more than 5 percent of the economy. . . .

Then came Presidents Johnson and Nixon and the “great society.” . . . Now, if you include local government, government spending makes up more than 40 percent of the economy.  .  .  .

[W]hen Obama campaigned for the presidency, he was very upset about his predecessor’s deficits.

Sen. Obama complained, “The way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the bank of China. … We now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. … That is irresponsible.”

I agree! $9 trillion in debt is totally irresponsible. That makes it all the more remarkable that just a few years later, under President Obama, debt increased to $17 trillion. But now, suddenly, this vast debt is no longer irresponsible. Today the president says what is irresponsible is for Congress not to constantly raise the debt ceiling .

.  .  .  .  I showed people on the street a chart that documented America’s unsustainable spending. People were horrified and said government “should make cuts.” But when I asked, “What programs would you cut?” most could not name a single significant program.

So let me make some suggestions: Eliminate NPR and PBS funding. Cut foreign aid. End the war on drugs. Kill Fannie and Freddie, which .  .  .  helped cause the financial crisis. Eliminate cabinet departments like Commerce, Energy, Agriculture and Education .  .  .  . (Education is a local function, and the department spending $100 billion a year hasn’t raised test scores one bit.)

Shrink the military by reducing our overseas commitments. Reform Social Security by raising the retirement age. And instead of increasing government involvement in health care, turn Medicare into a self-sustaining insurance program.

But to save America from bankruptcy, we don’t even need to make all those cuts. We could grow our way out of debt if Congress simply froze spending. They won’t do that either, but if they limited spending growth to 2 percent per year, we could balance the budget in just three years.

Limiting government growth is politically difficult, but if we don’t do it, America is doomed.

[End Excerpt]

Is This Any Way to Report a War?

20 Oct

I find one of the most striking aspects of the reporting on the war on the Taliban in Afghanistan to be the almost complete absence of Taliban casualty counts.  As much as I hate war, one of the few sources of satisfaction to be derived from an assertive war effort is the ability to inflict higher casualties upon your enemy than they inflict upon you.

Yet our seemingly absent media/journalists focus almost entirely upon single events and American casualties tied to those events – showing how horrible it all is for America.  We get little feeling at all about how our guys are doing in actual combat.  Following the media reports, one could easily infer that the Taliban is beating us up pretty badly.

I don’t recall any war, including the hated Vietnam War, being reported in this manner.  Seems to me we always got a report of casualties on both sides.

To me, the reporting on Afghanistan is irresponsible, and somewhat demoralizing.  It is reporting with an agenda – and that agenda is to play up how horrible this war is for the Americans – to allow an over-politicization of the war to force an early pull-out.

Now – again – I’m no war-monger, and I don’t like us being there.

BUT – and this is a BIG but – though I had to dig a little to find numbers, it appears that we are beating the crap out of the Taliban in Afghanistan.  And not just with drones.

The best numbers I can come up with indicate that we have lost about 2000 soldiers (maybe twice that across all Coalition forces) to hostilities in Afghanistan.  Granted, many consider 2000 to be 2000 too many.  But as bad as that might be (considering that we lost 56,000 men in fewer years in Vietnam), what I am seeing is that the coalition forces have probably inflicted 80-120,000 casualties (30,000 killed) on the Taliban.

Now – as war goes, this is a pretty darn good ratio!

I hope all our soldiers are able to leave Afghanistan soon.  But meanwhile, KEEP UP THE AWESOME WORK!  Americans can be proud of our servicemen not just for their sacrifice in protecting America, but for their overwhelming effectiveness when meeting the enemy.

Next problem in Afghanistan – the bloodletting that will follow the withdrawal of Coalition forces, when the Taliban declare victory over the once-mighty United States and its western allies.  There have probably been as many civilian casualties in this war (inflicted by BOTH sides) as there have been combatant casualties.  Anyone think this will go down with the Coalition’s withdrawal and the Taliban’s declaration of victory?

Can It Get Any Worse in Washington?

18 Oct

I’m not sure that I could be any more disgusted with, and embarrassed by, our boys and girls in Washington.  But, you know, just when I think that, I remember the virtually unlimited ability these guys have to exceed our expectations regarding “dumbicity”.  And bad enough that they cause REAL loss of income across the country with their failure to negotiate, that they LOOK for ways to inflict inconvenience and disappointment upon the American people with how they executed the 16% shutdown, but then they then make sure that their own are protected by voting full back pay to furloughed (spelled v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n-e-d) federal employees.

This is sickening – and scary.

But I have to admit that through all this, I have developed an increasing respect for the wiliness of Democrats and their ability to control the message to the public.  The biggest weapon Democrats wield in their battle to denigrate conservatives and Republicans all over the country is the mainstream media (MSM).  Our journalists, who we once counted on to police our politicians, are overwhelmingly in the Democrats’ camp now.  Even the MSM national news broadcasters blatantly announce as fact that the Republicans carry full responsibility for the “government shutdown”.  [The claim that a 16% shutdown constitutes a government shutdown is itself so farcical as to be worthy of ridicule, were it not such an effective weapon in distributing misleading information to the public – but even Fox News persisted in using the term “government shutdown”, rather than ridiculing the notion.]

And when I think about blame for the 16% shutdown, I am amazed at how the Democrats escape unscathed.  Both the Democrats and Republicans flatly refused to compromise/negotiate in an area that has always been a battle ground for negotiation (contrary to the lies that came forth from Obama, asserting that the American people were being held hostage by a new and terrifying prospect for “shutdown”,  a practice that actually has at least a decades-long history in American politics).

But in spite of neither side wanting to negotiate, in spite of Reid and Boehner BOTH boldly blocking votes in their respective houses of Congress (which Reid did respecting at least thirty economic- and job-related bills during Obama’s first term), in spite of clear lies and vitriol coming out of the Administration – the Republicans alone catch the blame.

Even with allowing for the dominance of a liberal media, the supposed watchdog over improper governing, I am still amazed at the result.

I still think that the only answer to this lack of effectiveness in government is for the American people to “t’row da bums out”.  And to assume that they are ALL bums.

Unfortunately, I think this is about as likely as the total defunding of Obamacare.

Problem is, these elected officials are really all smart people, as individuals.  When they are alone, they talk a good story – they seem dedicated to the principles that made this country great.  And they make their constituents believe that were it not for their wisdom in electing him/her to government office, things would be much more of a mess than they are now.

Then, when these elected/re-elected officials get into a group, the IQ of the collective sinks to below-idiot status.

The American people need to just not listen to any incumbent in the next couple of elections.  The American people need to send a much stronger message to Washington than they did in 2010 – they need to replace ALL incumbents up for re-election in the House and the Senate.  There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure that all incumbents are challenged and beaten in their state primaries.

But this will never happen.

And on we roll toward growing debt, further dumbed down education standards, more government intrusion and control, greatly expanding welfare rolls, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid systems tumbling toward bankruptcy, a grossly expensive new government program called Obamacare, etc., etc. — and a dysfunctional Congress  It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that this can’t go on indefinitely.

I literally FEAR for our future and the future of our children.