Democrats & Liberals Archives

Small Businesses Still Struggling With Sales, Time To Pass American Jobs Act

For the 6th month in a row the Small Business Optimism Index declined. The largest problem with these businesses is still sales. You wouldn’t know that from listening to the GOP.

The fallout of the disastrous GOP debt ceiling hostage situation continues:

The results of this month's survey provide a window into how the debt ceiling debate impacted the outlook of the small-business community. The July survey interviews were taken as the issue was debated; and the Administration's debt ceiling deal was announced just as NFIB mailed its first wave of interviews for the August survey. The resulting Index was one of the largest declines in owner optimism posted in the last six months.

The GOP fought to cut debt and limit spending at a time when small businesses care little about that. If you watched to the debate last night you probably saw Cain and other GOP candidates once again citing uncertainty as the problem with our economy. They are not completely wrong but they're not telling the whole story.

Calling the problem uncertainty allows the GOP to directly blame Obama and other Democrats by railing against healthcare reform and other regulations, as well as attack any attempt by Democrats to raise taxes on the wealthy. It's all just an excuse not to address the real problems in our economy that call for solutions the TEA Party foams at the mouth over.

So what are the real sources of uncertainty in small businesses that are holding back hiring? If you dig into the September report you'll see the top three problems are:

  • 25%: Poor Sales
  • 19%: Govt. Reqs. & Red Tape
  • 18%: Taxes

Look closely. Two of the top three concerns are sales and taxes. Remember that when you see the GOP obstructing passage of or watering down Obama's American Jobs Act. The act directly applies to those two concerns:

  1. The act would provide more opportunity for consumer sales by putting more Americans back to work and providing more relief for those unemployed.
  2. Small businesses would see their taxes cut and would get incentives to hire.

Call the Congressional Switchboard right now at 202-224-3121 and ask for your representatives. Ask for their stance on the American Jobs Act. Tell them not to water it down. Tell them not to obstruct it's passage. Tell them to help pass it right away.

Posted by Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 10:35 AM
Comments
Comment #329149

I personelly would like to see the bill first and not just a fact sheet from the WH. To much of the Pelosi “WE NEED TO PASS THE BILL TO FIND OUT WHAT’s IN IT”. When someone says “WE NEED TO PASS THE BILL RIGHT AWAY” repeatedly, I’m leary of it.

Posted by: KAP at September 13, 2011 12:08 PM
Comment #329151

KAP: “I personally would like to see the bill first and not just a fact sheet from the WH.”

I agree. Obviously if the bill itself differs from the outline to a large degree then I would call on folks to oppose it.

KAP: “To much of the Pelosi ‘WE NEED TO PASS THE BILL TO FIND OUT WHAT’s IN IT’.”

That is a distorted statement by Pelosi of course. She was speaking directly to the fact that what was in the bill had been lied about by the right so much that the public would have to see the real thing after it passed to know the truth. The right loves to pretend Pelosi was up there like an elitist saying she knows what’s right for us and we don’t need to see the bill before it passes. We saw the bill. It existed for months in one form or another. I wish the right would stop spreading this myth.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 12:26 PM
Comment #329152

Adam, When Obama kept saying we NEDD TO PASS THE BILL RIGHT AWAY numerous times in his speechs is the reason for the Pelosi jab.

Posted by: KAP at September 13, 2011 12:35 PM
Comment #329158

AD

2 of 3 you talked about. But the “19%: Govt. Reqs. & Red Tape” you left out, yet there is significant numbers that feel it is a real concern. I agree.

The reason for poor sales are #2 and #3 amongst other reasons. Every time the small businessman turns around there are new regs and rules he has to abide by. And each of them have the potential to cost thousands of dollars.

It is time for government to get out of the way. Let the small businessman run his business as he knows how. WDC doesn’t know squat about running a business. That shows by the financial mess we are in. So how does anybody expect the small businessman to grow when government is in his place of business to dictate how he should run his business instead of buying some product?

Can see it now. A small line of customers waiting to be serviced. The one servicing the customers finishes a customer and says “next”. The response is “Hi I’m from the government and I am here to help you”. Ya, here to help him go broke!

Posted by: tom humes at September 13, 2011 12:58 PM
Comment #329160

Republicans and Teapublicans aren’t interested in whether or not Americans have jobs at all. They’re about making wealthy people wealthier. Period. It’s the same thing with health care. They clearly don’t care if poor or middle class people die, or have to suffer.
Let’s call what they’re doing exactly it what it is:
Naked Class Warfare

These Robber Barons are going to be selling their utterly discredited Trickle Down theory to the gullible and/or mentally challenged right up until the day the vast majority of our citizens find themselves brutally enslaved within an American Banana Republic.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 1:13 PM
Comment #329161

More proof of Naked Class Warfare: Senate Republicans block FEMA disaster relief funds

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 1:20 PM
Comment #329162

Tom Humes: “The reason for poor sales are #2 and #3 amongst other reasons.”

You’re making the same false leap that the GOP leadership is making. Explain how #2 and #3 cause consumers not to consume?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 1:25 PM
Comment #329166

19% cite government red tape?
I agree that is significant but I’m skeptical. Just what regulations and red tape? Or is this just the expected percentage of survey responders that watch Fox news and are using this as an excuse for slow demand?

Posted by: Schwamp at September 13, 2011 3:20 PM
Comment #329167

Adam, just as obama has no new plan to bring back jobs, you swallow his dimwitted reintroduction of the same tired old mantra of more deficit spending and increasing taxes.

Republicans can only hope that he runs on spending more money and increasing taxes.

That poor sales are holding back hiring by small business is not a revelation for me as I guess it was for Adam. Good Grief…does one require a survey to discover that?

Was there a great leap in durable goods sales from past stimulus’s? How about an increase in the service industries? More vacations taken? Great leaps in auto and truck sales? The stimulus money did not create much new demand for goods and services and few permanent private industry jobs.

It’s the same tired old liberal spiel. We can spend our way to prosperity. When it doesn’t work, we get the same tired old response…we didn’t deficit spend enough.

I heard obama tell us in his speech that employers would be rewarded with some thousands of dollars in tax credits for hiring those who have been out of work for six months or more. Without seeing the details, there is an obvious flaw.

What is to prevent an employer from laying off their less valuable employees and hiring replacements and pocket the stimulus money with no net gain in employees?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2011 3:45 PM
Comment #329168

AD
From your link

“Most important to the decision process
is the sales forecast, but against expected sales over the life of an asset, the
owner must figure in labor costs, taxes, the cost of new regulations,
financing costs and the like to decide whether or not an “investment” will
pay off. This is one reason why “short term” stimuli don’t work. The
planning horizon for the private sector is longer than the time to the next
election!!! At this point, no one knows what their tax rate will be 6 months
from now; no one knows what the health care will do to labor costs. Higher
for sure, but by how much? Yes, the President suspended costly EPA rules
that were going into effect, but you know that they will be back after the
election if he wins
The NLRB is pushing the union agenda, card check, mandating owners to
post notices of the right to unionize, interfering with Boeing’s business
decision making (and the President’s Chief of Staff was on Boeing’s board
when the South Carolina project was approved). Supporters of the
Administration are pushing for another hike in the minimum wage and the
new CEA chairman favors and wants a national sales tax to be imposed. It
would take a book to itemize it all. Short-term fixes will not help, private
sector decision makers think longer term – they do and they don’t like
what they see, there is little clarity or certainty. Consumer spending is still
a key factor and 9 of 10 people who want a job still have a job and would
spend more if they were more confident about the future.”

Look at that last point. “Consumer spending is still
a key factor and 9 of 10 people who want a job still have a job and would
spend more if they were more confident about the future.”

Makes a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: tdobson at September 13, 2011 3:46 PM
Comment #329171

Thank you tdobson…rigth on the mark.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2011 3:56 PM
Comment #329172

Thank you tdobson…rigth on the mark.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2011 3:57 PM
Comment #329175

Royal Flush: “Adam, just as obama has no new plan to bring back jobs, you swallow his dimwitted reintroduction of the same tired old mantra of more deficit spending and increasing taxes.”

Why does he need a new plan? The old plan created or saved 2.5 million jobs. We just need millions more still. The American Jobs Act as it’s laid out will increase GDP and grow more jobs.

“What is to prevent an employer from laying off their less valuable employees and hiring replacements and pocket the stimulus money with no net gain in employees?”

I suppose that’s an option but generally small businesses don’t handle employees the same crappy way that big corporations do.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 4:37 PM
Comment #329178

same pig. new shade of lipstick.

Posted by: dbs at September 13, 2011 5:17 PM
Comment #329179

Why is the jobs bill so great? If it is so great why did it not get presented 1 year ago or 2 years ago?

Small business owners are fearful of the new regs and rules and what it might mean to their particular business. They are not going to expand into a snake pit full of vipers. The best thing the government could do is back off and give small business owners some time and space to expand and stop bringing more regs and rules down on the. The rules and regs that are being piled on them serve nobody any good purpose. They don’t involve safety, nor ecology, nor any of the other parts of the leftwing mantra. They do include an increase of power for the several regulatory agencies in WDC and in particular the EPA.

Posted by: tom humes at September 13, 2011 5:19 PM
Comment #329181

Tdobson: “Consumer spending is still a key factor and 9 of 10 people who want a job still have a job and would spend more if they were more confident about the future.”

The commentary in the survey is off topic and so has no evidence cited. I would be interested in seeing data on how uncertainty effects consumer spending and whether you’d be correct in saying red tape and taxes is preventing consumers from spending and therefore preventing small businesses from expanding.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 5:21 PM
Comment #329183

Tom Humes: “Why is the jobs bill so great? If it is so great why did it not get presented 1 year ago or 2 years ago?”

One and two years ago we still had stimulus money growing the economy so I’m not sure of your point. It wasn’t certain until now that the economy would stall to the degree it has. We knew from the beginning that the stimulus was not large enough but we weren’t certain we would need more to prevent a recession. Obviously Obama doesn’t want to present a plan to spend more unless he feels it necessary. Now we risk two more years of stall speeds and a constant threat of recession without something to boost economic activity. Contrary to right wing fairy tales, we are not going to grow the economy with austerity and belt tightening.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 5:27 PM
Comment #329184

AD,

“The commentary in the survey is off topic and so has no evidence cited.”

It’s YOUR link. Now you seem to be saying that only the part of the link that might support your view is revelent.
How very typical of the left….Here is my link to support what I say, but the commentary that goes with is doesn’t apply, It’s off topic.

Posted by: tdobson at September 13, 2011 5:31 PM
Comment #329188

This is purely anecdotal but consistent with the survey cited. I have a very good conservative friend who is the owner of a number of small businesses. If there one thing that his is frightened of, it is lack of consumer demand. Sure, he is concerned about health care insurance requirements, taxes, etc. but the major issue is sales. The only issue that I have seen him deviate from standard conservative dogma in thirty years is on continued federal stimulus for the economy.

Posted by: Rich at September 13, 2011 5:57 PM
Comment #329191

Tdobson: “Now you seem to be saying that only the part of the link that might support your view is relevant.”

Yes, the link is a survey of small businesses not a survey of consumer sentiments. I don’t mean to say the subject is off topic for this post but rather off the topic of the survey so there is no evidence to support that claim in the survey itself.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 6:08 PM
Comment #329192

AD

And there is no evidence in the survey to support raising taxes either on the rich, middle class or poor.

Posted by: tdobson at September 13, 2011 6:15 PM
Comment #329193

Tdobson: “And there is no evidence in the survey to support raising taxes either on the rich, middle class or poor.”

I agree but I don’t see your point. Did I suggest it was evidence we should raise taxes like that? I think we should but that’s a different issue altogether.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 6:19 PM
Comment #329196

AD

I’m glad you agree. You seem to think there is evidence in the survey to support passing the jobs bill. As it is proposed, the way it will be paid for is by raising taxes on individuals making over 200K per year and couples making over 250K per year,

I would be happy to see the jobs bill passed and would probably support it fully if it was paid for without raising taxes.

Posted by: tdobson at September 13, 2011 6:28 PM
Comment #329197

What obama, and most of his top people, know about running a business was learned from reading books, not their own experience. I wouldn’t want a surgeon…trained by books only, performing my operation and this little weasel in the White House should get economic advise from others than his socialist friends and cronies.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2011 6:36 PM
Comment #329202

Tdobson: My point is simply that the survey indicates two of the top 3 problems preventing small businesses from hiring are exactly the problems the American Jobs Act seeks to tackle. The GOP has it wrong fighting for spending cuts and belt tightening. We can argue the bill won’t do what it claims it will but we know the ARRA had significant impact on GDP and job growth and it’s safe to say the latest proposals will as well.

There are a couple of proposed ideas on how to pay for the package. I think raising taxes on the 200k level is an excellent one. The job creators and consumers are in the middle class, not the top percentages. The super committee can adopt pieces of this legislation as means of reaching it’s goals. The CBO is already scoring it as a deficit reducer despite the short term increases.

Royal Flush: Actually, there is lots of private sector business experience in the Obama administration, despite the popular myth spread around by people like Representative Bachmann.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 13, 2011 7:06 PM
Comment #329214
no one knows what the health care will do to labor costs. Higher for sure, but by how much?

Health care premiums for business increase annually and have the past decade or more.

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Publications/Issue%20Brief/2010/Dec/1456_Schoen_state_trends_premiums_deductibles_20032009_ib_v2.pdf

Because they can the insurance companies are raising rates dramatically this year before scrutiny from the feds begins.

“insurance providers that raise premiums 10% or more each year will soon be required to provide state regulators with data to explain the reasons for the increase.”

“The provision is part of President Barack Obama’s March 2010 health-care law, which has supporters and detractors in the small-business community.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/in-charge/2011/05/20/scrutiny-ahead-for-small-business-health-care-premiums/

At some point in time even conservatives must recognize that their ideology is causing business’s both large and small to stress over these costs. How can they expand and hire with the fear of health care costs for their employees hanging around their necks like a noose. With the teabaggers in Congress constantly threatening to stop Obamacare, as they call it, these health insurance companies will continue to stop job growth in this country with their ever increasing rates. How can business leaders plan when the repubs are making conditions so uncertain for these employers?

The time for employer based health care has come and gone, how can the companies based in this country compete against those with single payer health care systems?

Posted by: j2t2 at September 13, 2011 8:46 PM
Comment #329224

If this bill works as well as the rest of Obama’s plans, it might not be a good idea to pass it right away.

IMO Obama doesn’t really believe he can create jobs. He just wants to have a bill to campaign on/

Posted by: C&J at September 14, 2011 12:38 AM
Comment #329225

C&J: “IMO Obama doesn’t really believe he can create jobs.”

Well, I’m sure he believes he can create jobs. He created over a half million once before already and saved another two million in the process. Why can’t he do it again unless the GOP prevents it?

I like that Obama has taken this message out 3 times now and hammered the GOP on it since he spoke in Congress. More please. Every day. The public will catch on that Obama has an actual plan backed by economists to create jobs and prevent the economy from sliding into another recession. They’ll start to notice the contrast between a job creation plan from Obama and the job killing spending cuts from the GOP.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 14, 2011 2:02 AM
Comment #329230

“The time for employer based health care has come and gone, how can the companies based in this country compete against those with single payer health care systems?”

j2t2,

If conservatives really were concerned about business growth, particularly small businesses, they would embrace this issue in a heartbeat. But, that would mean compromise. Conservatives would have to accept socialization of health care financing in exchange for creating a better business climate and more competitive corporations. Don’t hold your breath, though, conservatives are not about to compromise on anything.

Posted by: Rich at September 14, 2011 7:43 AM
Comment #329247

Ha…Ha…Ha, I just can’t stop laughing. I read this morning that since no democrat has submitted obama’s “American Jobs Act” for legislative consideration, you know the one…obama has been waving it all over the country, well, my Congressman Louie Gohmert, representing the 1st district in Texas, filed his own bill this morning with the same name.

It is hilarious how inept and inexperienced this dim wit in the White House is. Just imagine, waving a bill that doesn’t exist, insisting that congress pass it, and now…..it is a Republican bill.

That’s just tooo funny.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2011 3:28 PM
Comment #329251


Rich, that didn’t take long. Obama has turned Gohmert, others will follow.

Posted by: jlw at September 14, 2011 3:50 PM
Comment #329255

Ha..Ha…Ha…Louie’s bill is two pages in length. It calls for elimination of the corporate tax. I believe that one change would bring back jobs to America’s shores more than any stimulus obama could ever conjure up in his cauldron of socialism and tyranny.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2011 4:09 PM
Comment #329286

jlw

Obama turned Gohmert??????? Oh, I get it you just had to say something, whatever, to to say something.

Posted by: tom humes at September 14, 2011 10:47 PM
Comment #329297
I would be happy to see the jobs bill passed and would probably support it fully if it was paid for without raising taxes.

Good point. We should borrow the money at a negative real interest rate instead. The fact that there are negative real interest rates on Treasuries is phenomenal. It means investors are willing to lend government money, but receives a rate of return less than inflation. In real terms, the investor loses money and the government gains it.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 15, 2011 7:33 AM
Comment #329307


Tom, just like you.

Posted by: jlw at September 15, 2011 1:49 PM
Comment #329352

How do the liberals, democrats, etc. expect to pass this latest SOBS?

Even the democrats can’t get going on it. Far too many are opposed to it.

And the president orders the congress to “Pass it Now!” and the bill had not even been written. That is the biggest bunch of non-leadership to come down the pike in a long time, well not a long time but it is this year’s entry into dumb and dumber lottery.

From the WAPO:

“A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program the the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs…”

So far they have gone thru half the allocated amount and created 3545 jobs. Here is the corruption. $17.2 billion divided by 3545 jobs equals $4,851,904 per job!!!! What kind of crap is that. Maybe Jeffery Immelt has something up his sleeve and all those jobs are CEO’s. A lot of CEO’s don’t even draw down that kind of money. And Obama demands another half trillion dollars to do what, heaves knows.

There is a disease caused by politicians called Electile Dysfunction:
The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for
President put forth by either party in the 2012 election year.

Posted by: tom humes at September 16, 2011 7:17 AM
Comment #329392

Tom Humes: “How do the liberals, democrats, etc. expect to pass this latest SOBS?”

We’re kind of hoping the GOP will do the right thing once in their childish, pathetic lives. If they don’t we’ll just keep reminding the public that they refuse to do the right thing.

“Even the democrats can’t get going on it. Far too many are opposed to it.”

A few. The number is exaggerated but there’s always a handful who oppose what the party in large is up to. We have a bigger tent than the GOP.

“So far they have gone thru half the allocated amount and created 3545 jobs.”

That measures permanent, direct jobs. The goal was to create or save jobs indirectly and directly totaling a lot larger amount. You can’t divide the way you’re doing to get the correct impact of the program.

“And Obama demands another half trillion dollars to do what, heaven knows.”

We have a chance to grow the economy and create a million more jobs and the price tag is not that high compared to the alternative. We’ll lose 3 or 4 times the cost of the American Jobs Act in economic output if we slip into a recession.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 16, 2011 9:12 PM
Comment #329400

AD

So just for the sake of your “reasoning” I will use the number of jobs affected a 17,200. That is four times the number of jobs involved. That is still $1,000,000 per job. Don’t know where you are comin’ from but ya better check your map. You are lost!!

Posted by: tom humes at September 17, 2011 12:35 PM
Comment #329406


Tom, great talking point, you have shown you can do some math, now how about providing the information, Where Did The Money Go? It’s obvious that the workers weren’t paid that amount, so what was it used for?

Was it spent on: government red tape? paid out in bribes? paid to contractors and other businesses? used to buy materials? all of the above? none of the above?

Electile Dysfunction? I know what you mean. According to the polls, the only person that would be a shoe in for president isn’t running, Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: jlw at September 17, 2011 3:30 PM
Comment #329409

jlw

If the money is being spent like that, it makes no difference where it goes, it is going to the wrong place.

Why does it take a million dollars to employ one worker?

There is no logical or reasonable answer.

Posted by: tom humes at September 17, 2011 4:17 PM
Comment #329415

Tom: “That is still $1,000,000 per job.”

No, this is similar to the way folks have divided the number of ARRA jobs by the cost to figure out some eye popping dollar value spent per job. First of all we won’t know the true cost of this program until we see how the loans are used. Some will get spent. Some won’t. Second, this is paying for more than simply the salaries of workers. It’s paying for research, technological advancement, and raw materials for instance. We used to value spending money on research and economic growth as a country but I guess that was a different time.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 17, 2011 7:23 PM
Comment #329421

This discussion is quite ironic. Conservatives complaining that government investments in the economy are nothing more than “trickle down” economics. Just yesterday, liberals were complaining that supply side tax cuts were nothing more than “trickle down” economics.

Eventually, somebody will wake up to the fact that an enormous amount of money isn’t finding its way down to the average Joe regardless of approach. So, where is it going? Has it been captured by the financial sector? How about bureaucracy?

Whatever the actual explanation, it seems clear to me that the elites get first dibs on the money regardless of whether they are conservative or liberal policies. Look at how the mortgage crisis has been handled. All major banks and holders of mortgages and their derivatives have been made whole despite their junk status. On the other hand, how about those mortgagees and homeowners that have seen their equity wiped out? Less than a pittance to help the average Joe manage his mortgage crisis.

Posted by: Rich at September 17, 2011 10:09 PM
Comment #329429

Our biggest problem is NOT the debt ceiling.
That is just a ridiculous and desparate attempt to blame the OTHER party, and fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare.

The real problem is the massive debt itself (of nightmare proportions), which grew over several decades, but has increased drastically over the last decade.
There have been over 52 consecutive years of deficit spending and incessant inflation.

Not only $14.5 Trillion of federal debt, but $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt.

The problem is also global.

  • $60.0T |——————————————
  • $57.5T |—————————————-D (Debt=$57 Trillion
  • $55.0T |—————————————D- in 2011 dollars)
  • $52.5T |—————————————D-
  • $50.0T |—————————————D-
  • $47.5T |—————————————D-
  • $45.0T |—————————————D-
  • $42.5T |—————————————D-
  • $40.0T |————————————-D—
  • $37.5T |————————————D—-
  • $35.0T |———————————-D——
  • $32.5T |———————————-D——
  • $30.0T |———————————D——-
  • $27.5T |——————————-D———
  • $25.0T |——————————D———-
  • $22.5T |—————————-D————
  • $20.0T |—————————D————-
  • $17.5T |————————-D—————
  • $15.0T |————————D—————G (GDP=$15.1 Trillion
  • $12.5T |———————D—————G— in 2011 dollars)
  • $10.0T |—————-D—————G——-
  • $07.5T |———-D————G—————-
  • $05.0T |-D——-G——————————
  • $02.5T |-G—————————————
  • $00.0T |——————————————
  • _______(1956)__________________(2011)YEAR

Notice that the total nation-wide debt has jumped from double GDP in 1956 to almost 4 times GDP today!!!
The U.S. population in 1956 was 170 Million, and it is 312 Million today in year 2011.
  • The total nation-wide debt per person (in 2011 inflation adjusted dollars) has increased from about $29,400 per person in year 1956 to $182,700 per person today (6.2 times higher)!
  • As of JULY-2011, the federal National Debt per-person is $46,474, which is about 2.1 times more than the previous record-high (which was $22,099 in year 1945, after World War II, in 2011 inflation adjusted U.S. dollars).
  • As of JULY-2011, the federal National Debt per-person is $46,474, which is about 8.4 times more than the it was near the end of the Great Depression (which was $5,674 in year 1941 in 2011 inflation adjusted U.S. dollars).

How did that happen?

It all started about 80 years ago, when all nations went to fiat money systems and started creating too much money out of thin air.
And this pyramid scheme may now be in the end-stages of collapse.
More and more money is needed to simply keep up with paying the interest on the principal debt.

The root of our problems is actually too many people (i.e. the majority) of people in this nation. who are quite simply guilty of too much short-term, short-sighted selfishness, greed, and laziness, and not enough virtue, transparency, accountability, and education.

We have too many people of one extreme, who want regressive and unfair taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in almost every manifestation of unchecked greed.

And we have too many people of another extreme, who want a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; tries to disguise envy and jealousy as demands for equality; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

Debt of nightmare proportions is actually a symptom of the root cause of our problems (above).
TOO much debt, too much inflation, and incessant inflation year-after-year, has resulted in:

  • A 2001 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 78 cents (or less).
  • A 1990 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 58 cents.
  • A 1970 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 17 cents.
  • A 1950 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 11 cents.
  • A 1913 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 04 cents.

As a result of decades of fiscal and moral bankruptcy, and these 10 major abuses, over 40% of all weatlh in U.S. is owned by a tiny 1% of wealthiest of 312 Million U.S. Population:
  • 045.0% +—————————————-
  • 042.5% +—o————————————
  • 040.0% +-o-o—————————-o-o- (over 40% owned by 1% of wealthiest)
  • 037.5% +o—-o————————o——-
  • 035.0% +——-o———————o———
  • 032.5% +———o——o—o——-o———
  • 030.0% +———-o—o——o—-o———-
  • 027.5% +————o———o—-o———-
  • 025.0% +————————o—o———-
  • 022.5% +————————o-o————
  • 020.0% +————————-o————-
  • 017.5% +—————————————-
  • 015.0% +—————————————-
  • ————1—1—1—1—1—1—1—1—2—2
  • ————9—9—9—9—9—9—9—9—0—0
  • ————2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9—0—1
  • ————0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0 YEAR

Mortgage rates are low, but who can afford more debt?

90% (or more) of all U.S. Dollars in existence in the U.S. already exists as debt, because new money is created as debt at a 9-to-1 ratio of debt-to-reserves.

And today, a LOT of new money is being created without any reserves (to prop up bad banks).
Eventually, the percentage of money that exists as debt will become near 100%, at which time the Federal Reserve and federal government may need to start giving away money.
At the moment, they are giving many trillions to banks and corporations at near zero interest.
But eventually, they’ll realize that they have to give money to consumers too, since the economy is a 70% domestic consumer driven economy.
However, that will most likely cause another economic terror: hyperinflation
The amount of new money required to service so much nation-wide debt, and keep a 70% domestic consumer driven economy from collapsing will result in the collapse of the pyramid scheme.
You may need a wheel barrow full of U.S. currency to merely buy a loaf of bread.
It has happened in dozens of other nations and it appears it will happen again in the next few years.
With so much debt, and incessant inflation, a collapse of the money system is not at all far fetched.

There is no painless way out of this mess now.
Like the Titanic, we can’t turn on a dime.
There is already a lot of pain and misery in the pipe-line.
And you don’t have to be clairvoyant to have seen this coming for a long time.
But solutions and mitigating damages won’t come about by ignoring the debt, blaming debt ceilings, and fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular partisan warfare.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 18, 2011 3:18 PM
Comment #329430

The first stimulus was a joke.
What makes anyone think the 2nd round will be any better?
And where is the money going to come from?
More debt?
More borrowing?
More creating money out of thin air?
Or more of the same (i.e. all three)?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress for these abuses with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 18, 2011 3:21 PM
Comment #329432

d.a.n.

One of the unfortunate things in today’s society is that people will not investigate the candidates and they are slow learners. Money is not a hard issue to understand and it is not a hard issue to use properly. When it is not used properly then we have what we have.

Thanks for your latest item.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at September 18, 2011 4:35 PM
Comment #329448

D.a.n: “The first stimulus was a joke. What makes anyone think the 2nd round will be any better?”

Specifically, in what ways was it a joke?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 18, 2011 9:41 PM
Comment #329515
Adam Ducker wrote: Specifically, in what ways was it [$860+ Billion stimulus BILL] a joke?
Good question, which I am delighted to provide an answer to:
  • (01) $1.5 million in “free” stimulus money for a new wastewater treatment plant results in higher utility costs for residents of Perkins, Okla. Another is $1.15 million for installation of a new guardrail for the non-existent Optima Lake in Oklahoma. There is no lake - it’s a dry hole.
  • (02) $1 billion for FutureGen in Mattoon, Illinois is the “biggest earmark of all time” for a power plant that may never work.
  • (03) $15 million for “shovel-ready” repairs to little-used bridges in rural Wisconsin are given priority over widely used bridges that are structurally deficient.
  • (04) $800,000 for little-used John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania airport to repave a back-up runway; the “airport for nobody” has already received tens of millions in taxpayer dollars.
  • (05) $3.4 million for a wildlife “eco-passage” in Florida to take animals safely under a busy roadway.
  • (06) A Nevada non-profit gets a $2 million weatherization contract after recently being fired for same type of work.
  • (07) Nearly $10 million to renovate an abandoned train station that hasn’t been used in 30 years.
  • (08) Ten thousand dead people will get stimulus checks, but the Social Security Administration blames a tough deadline.
  • (09) Town of Union, New York, encouraged to spend a $578,000 grant it did not request for a homelessness problem it claims it does not have.
  • (10) An Illinois county will spend $173,824 from a weatherization grant on eight pickup trucks
  • (11) A Wisconsin nursing home receives $2.8 million in stimulus money it didn’t need or request.
  • (12) Road signs costing $300 each are being placed at construction sites to alert motorists that the project is being paid for by stimulus money. In Illinois alone, the signs are expected to cost $150,000, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
  • (13) In Macomb, Illinois, $643, 945 was spent on a Prairieview public housing parking lot that no one wants.
  • (14) Illinois will spend $350,000 to build a four-person bunkhouse at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. The median price for a home in Marion, Illinois, the site of the park, is currently $71,000.
  • (15) Akron, Ohio will use up to $1.5 million to erect a suicide-prevention fence to keep people from jumping off the All-American Bridge despite concerns such a project would be wasteful, ineffective and ugly.
  • (16) Rather than help welfare recipients obtain jobs and escape poverty, $1 million will be used to study whether 300 people in Chicago are healthier when living in “green” public housing facilities.
  • (17) The National Institute of Health gave an Indiana University professor $356,000 to study how kids perceive foreign accents.
  • (18) The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve’s new visitor’s center and a pedestrian and bike project over U.S. Highway 75 in Kansas were some of the first projects approved for stimulus funds in the state. Failing to cite an economic benefit from the projects, officials noted that they chose “projects that strengthen the cultural, aesthetic or environmental value of our transportation system.”
  • (19) A National Forest in Missouri will receive $462,000 to replace toilets.
  • (20) A National Forest in Missouri will receive $462,000 to replace toilets.
  • (21) Stimulus money will pay for housing used by Soyono the Sumatran tiger and Luke the Lion at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Despite federal law that prohibits spending federal funds on local zoos, money will go to the National Zoo. The Smithsonian, which runs the zoo, is spending $11.4 of its $25 million in stimulus funds on the National Zoo and its Zoo research center in Virginia.
  • (22) Washington, North Carolina is using stimulus funds to pay for “project-funding manager” whose job it is to secure even more stimulus funds.
  • (23) Lexington, Kentucky, plans to spend $4.7 million on a trail connecting downtown with a horse farm.
  • (24) Virginia will spend $340,000 on a rural bridge that carries only 20 cars a day.
  • (25) The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will spend $1.7 million to grow oysters.
  • (26) Washington State University (Vancouver) is receiving $148, 438 to analyze “the use of marijuana in conjunction with medications like morphine.” According to local reports, “this is the first ARRA funding received by WSU. The project is uniquely qualified to receive these funds because of its potential to stimulate the economy and create or retain jobs within the community.”
  • (27) “Microsoft Bridge” in Seattle will receive $11 million in stimulus funds. Despite having nearly $20 billion in cash reserves, Microsoft will be the prime beneficiary of $11 million for construction of a bridge to connect the two campuses of its headquarters.
  • (28) Oregon will spend $4.2 million to raise railroad track 18 inches. In Scappoose, Oregon (pop. 6,200), drivers are tired of taking a detour to get past railroad tracks that are not level with the main road.
  • (29) Portland, Oregon, will spend $1 million in stimulus funds for bike lockers.
  • (30) Tualatin, Oregon, plans to spend $2.5 million on a “train-horn-free” zone.
  • (31) A Utah sheriff’s office is plans to purchase a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
  • (32) Montana’s state-run liquor warehouse will receive $2.2 million in stimulus cash to install skylights.
  • (33) A California skate park will get a $620,000 “facelift.”
  • (34) The Bureau of Land Management is using stimulus funds to study the impact wind farms have on the sage grouse population in Oregon.
  • (35) Pawtucket, Rhode Island is spending $550,000 on a skateboard park.
  • (36) Yale and the University of Connecticut are receiving $850,000 in stimulus for research “to study how paying attention improves performance of difficult tasks.”
  • (37) Maine to spend over $1.3 million on “government arts jobs,” including $30,000 for basket makers, $20,000 for story telling, and $12,500 for a music festival.
  • (38) The National Institutes of Health is giving Yale University $680,100 in stimulus funds to study the effectiveness of diet and exercise at reducing obesity.
  • (39) Altoona, Pennsylvania is getting $819,000 for a homelessness prevention program despite local reports that the town may not have enough of a homeless problem to use it.
  • (40) Nantucket, Massachusetts, will spend $5.6 million in stimulus cash to resurface 6.4 miles of road and bike path, or roughly $875,000 a mile.

Is all that (above) what the federal government is supposed to be doing?
What part (of any significance) of that is not a joke?

Anyone who does see what is wrong with this picture definitely belongs to one of these two extremes (most likely #2):

  • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed (which we have seen plenty of lately).
  • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

And here are some more examples of severe bloat, waste, and corruption:


  • Solyndra filed bankruptcy after receiving over half a billion in stimulus funds;
  • $20 Billion more in similar risky gambles and irresponsible use of tax-payers’ hard earned money;
  • Replacing Windows in a Closed Visitor Center (Amboy, Wash.)
    COST: $554,763 ; THE REPORT SAYS: “Despite having no plans to reopen a shuttered visitor center at Mount St. Helens in Washington state, the U.S. Forest Service is spending more than $554,000 to replace its windows.” THE DEFENSE: While the visitor center has indeed been closed since 2007, the Forest Service says it is repurposing the facility as it explores proposed partnerships with private companies. Some of the ideas being considered include turning the site into a “science facility, education camp, or an overnight lodge.” A government official quoted in the report compares the upkeep to “keeping a vacant house in good repair.” WHAT WE THINK: Pursuing a public-private partnership certainly seems preferable to allowing the building to deteriorate—and if it wants to attract an ideal partner, the Forest Service will have to do some basic maintenance.
  • Interactive Dance Software Development (Charlotte, N.C.); COST: $762,372 ; THE REPORT SAYS: “The University of North Carolina at Charlotte received more than $750,000 in stimulus funds to help develop a computerized choreography program that its creators believe could lead to a YouTube-like ‘Dance Tube’ online application … Administrative expenses are unusually high for the project, however. The project’s lead researcher noted that the university is taking a 44 percent cut to cover ‘overhead expenses.’ ”
    THE DEFENSE: UNC-Charlotte says the grant money is flowing “directly into the economy in many ways” by financing equipment and travel costs. The funds have also paid summer salaries for three professors, provided part-time jobs to three student employees, and gone toward dancer stipends and a handful of contracts with researchers and “costumers.” (Watch this video, and you’ll see why “costumers” are a necessary part of the operation.)
    WHAT WE THINK: The administrative expenses seem pretty steep. Only about half the total funding is used for the purposes above. The other 44 percent of the grant—a whopping $335,000—is going toward “overhead costs,” which, according to university administrator Stephen Moiser, cover “accounting, personnel, research facilities depreciation, utilities, library use … to name a few.” If you think the federal government is bad with money, academia doesn’t look much better.
  • North Shore Connector to Professional Sports Stadiums, Casino (Pittsburgh)
    COST: $62.5 million ; THE REPORT SAYS: “With an infusion of more than $62 million in stimulus money, the project [extending the city’s light rail to a growing commercial area] was taken off life support. But whether it will provide a true benefit to the city is also a matter of controversy, given that it will primarily serve to bring commuters to sporting events and a casino.”
    THE DEFENSE: Jim Ritchie, a spokesman for the city’s Port Authority, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the light-rail connector will do much more than improve the commute for gamblers and sports fans. The area in question, he says, “has become one of the booming areas of the Pittsburgh region,” and the new connector will serve a community college, a science center, a museum, several hotels and restaurants, and two corporate centers with more than 1,000 employees combined.
    He also rebutted the report’s charge that the project has been “blowing through cost projections at alarming rates,” blaming the budget difficulties not on inefficiency, but rather the skyrocketing price of construction materials.
    WHAT WE THINK: Even the senators’ report concedes that if not for the extra stimulus money, the project might have been scrapped. And given the influx of consumers it’s likely to bring to a developing commercial area (not to mention the fact that the federal government has already poured $350 million into the project), finishing the job hardly seems irresponsible.
  • FEMA Delay on Texas Fire Stations (San Antonio)
    COST: $7.3 million ; THE REPORT SAYS: “FEMA awarded $7.3 million to the city for construction of fire stations #50 and #51, but the projects have become so mired in red tape it is not clear when they will be built. “Before the stimulus award, San Antonio was set to fully fund the two new stations with its own money, having even gone so far as to hire a private contracting firm, Bartlett Cocke, to begin work. After the stimulus, however, the city found itself unexpectedly navigating complicated and expensive federal regulations, requiring environmental and historical considerations—all delaying the project significantly. The result was an estimated $2.2 million overall increase in the cost of the two stations, and Bartlett Cocke losing its contract, which in turn had to lay off employees.”
    THE DEFENSE: FEMA says the report exaggerates how long it will take to get the stations built. According to a statement from the agency, “one of the San Antonio fire stations has already completed the environmental and historic review process and the city has been given permission to start construction, and the other station has completed the public notice process and construction is expected to start shortly.”
    WHAT WE THINK: There is little question whether fire stations are a worthy source of funding, especially in a fast-growing city like San Antonio, where FEMA says emergency responders are in heightened demand. But you’ve got to wonder why the federal government is paying for a project that was already funded on a local level.
  • Abandoned Train Station Converted Into Museum (Glassboro, N.J.)
    COST: $1.2 million ; THE REPORT SAYS: “Taxpayers may not be happy to learn that they are paying for one broken down train station twice. The Glassboro train station was built in 1860 and closed in 1971. Unused for nearly 40 years, it now sits boarded up and riddled with graffiti. In 2002, the Borough of Glassboro, New Jersey, received nearly a quarter of a million dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase the train station … to incorporate [it] into the regional NJ Transit system …
    “After eight years of failure … local officials lobbied hard for additional stimulus money. They are hoping to spend the more than $1 million for the project ‘interpreting local history in its proper setting and make it a museum, public meeting space and welcome center.’ ”
    THE DEFENSE: Glassboro borough official Randi Woerner contends that the restoration will stimulate the economy by providing jobs for local contractors and increasing the value of the houses in town. (The train station has become an eyesore, and resides literally in someone’s backyard.) She also takes issue with the implication that taxpayers are “paying twice” for the project because of the city’s inefficiency. In fact, Woerner explains, the city used its first grant to buy the property and get the proposed renovations approved, while the second grant will pay for the actual restoration of the historical site.
    WHAT WE THINK: To be sure, the red tape surrounding historical sites has frustrated many a city planner, but Woerner is right that the project will create jobs.
  • The U.S. Forest Service is spending more than $554,000 to replace the windows in a visitors center at Mount St. Helens in Washington state. The senators’ report says the Forest Service closed the center in 2007 and has no plans to reopen it.
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSGpbO75
  • The University of North Carolina in Charlotte received $760,000 in stimulus funds to help develop a computerized choreography program. The report says the program will assist in the “design and roduction of interactive dance performances with real-time audience interaction.”
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSGw9epn
  • $62.5 million for a project to extend the Pittsburgh light rail system under the Allegheny River to the new Rivers Casino and two professional sports arenas. The senators said the project has been plagued with problems and federal officials seem to be “throwing good money after bad.”
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSH19smj
  • $62.5 million for a project to extend the Pittsburgh light rail system under the Allegheny River to the new Rivers Casino and two professional sports arenas. The senators said the project has been plagued with problems and federal officials seem to be “throwing good money after bad.”
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSHCk7oT
  • $1.2 million to convert an abandoned train station in Glassboro, New Jersey, into a museum.
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSHJcHSF
  • $1.2 million to convert an abandoned train station in Glassboro, New Jersey, into a museum.
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSHJcHSF
  • $1.8 million for an Ohio road project the senators say threatens two dozens homes next to it.
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSHRQ9fY
  • $357,710 to repair the stonework and structure of the Fitchburg Furnace in Kentucky. The furnace was in service for five years and sat unused for 140 years. The federal government provided $661,00 to restore the furnace in 2004 but much of it was lost due to bad stewardship of the money, the senators say, citing the current treasurer of Friends of Fitchburg.
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSHWiXdR
  • $308 million to help fund a plant that would generate more environmentally friendly electricity by capturing carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. The project by Hydrogen Energy California, largely owned by BP, will not begin construction until December 2011, the senators said.
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSHdXvgs
  • $89,298 for a quarter-mile stretch of sidewalk in Boynton, Oklahoma. The senators say the sidewalk fronts no homes or businesses and leads directly to a ditch. It will replace a sidewalk built just five years ago. At the same time, the town’s school system is struggling to scrape together $9,300 to pay its gas and electric bills, they said.
    Read more: www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/03/factbox-senators-target-wasteful-stimulus-spending/#ixzz1YSHiv5X7

Want to see more?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 19, 2011 10:22 PM
Comment #329516

CORRECTION: Anyone who does not see what is wrong with this picture …

Posted by: d.a.n at September 19, 2011 10:25 PM
Comment #329520

d.a.n.

I’m sure the tip of the iceberg has hardly been touched. Maybe the GW crowd will explain something here.
Thanks for the list.

Maranatha

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Comment #330868

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