Third Party & Independents Archives

November 04, 2008

Obama wins America's Woes

At 8:48 P.M. it appears impossible for McCain to win. Which means Sen. Barack Obama, make that President Elect Obama, will inherit America’s longest wars in Iraq and deteriorating Afghanistan, and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Congratulations, President Elect Obama.

So, what's next? Well, Democrats will not acquire a filibuster proof Senate. Which means, remaining Republicans have no course of action but to filibuster, filibuster, filibuster anything and everything Democrats attempt to solve the nation's problems. That is their apparent ticket to regaining seats in 2010 and 2012. But, their perception may prove horribly wrong. Time will tell.

Obama also acquires the most expanded powers of the Executive Office in the history of our nation. These can be used to great advantage in resolving the Iraq war, and regaining the upper hand in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These expanded powers may also prove enormously helpful in negotiating a peaceful relationship with Iran going forward, using other nation's as agents to pressure Iran to accede to agreements the West and Russia can live with regarding their nuclear technology.

On the economic front, the path forward is dubious at best. I have no doubt however, that Obama in coming days, not months, will convene the likes of Paul Volker, former Fed Chief, Robert Rubin, David Walker, and others to begin defining the options and their limitations so that from Day 1, initiatives can be put in place to give direction and course to the economy over this next year of recession. There are no magic wands. This recession will play out at the very least through next Summer regardless of anything the Congress or the President does.

But, whether this recession drags on for another year or years after that, will depend very much on the actions the Congress and President Obama take in the first 6 months of 2009. There can be no addressing the national debt and deficits without an economy that is healthy and producing jobs, wage increases keeping pace with inflation, and sufficient consumer demand to keep businesses in business.

Taxes will have to increase. A great deal of spending will have to be halted or cut back. But, in this process of increasing taxes and cutting spending, the American consumers and small businesses cannot be abandoned or sacrificed. This balancing act will be like threading a needle one handed with only 2 fingers and one thumb on that hand. And whether our economy can get past the recession in short order or not, will also depend in part on the global economy.

But, the present cannot be forsaken in attempts to secure the future. That said, those living today will be asked to make some sacrifices in order to strengthen our future, and to the extent the American people are willing to sacrifice and save as needed, our future can and will brighten.

CNN has the latest stories regarding the election results.

Posted by David R. Remer at November 4, 2008 09:48 PM
Comments
Comment #269468

(Trying to sound hip) True Dat.

Posted by: googlumpugus at November 4, 2008 10:20 PM
Comment #269470

I wrote this below, but it is more appropriate here.
Looks like Obama will be our president. The popular vote will be fairly close, but the Electoral College will be decisive. This is how the system is supposed to work.

I wish the new president good luck and will do my best, in my small way, to make his policies a success for our country. Every new president represents a new beginning. I hope that our new leader will be able to help Americans build a better future. What is good for America is more important than what is good for any party.

Obama was not my choice; I voted for McCain and so did all the adult members of my family, but I have faith in the wisdom of my fellow Americans and the choice the majority of them made. I would like to congratulate my Democratic friends.

The only piece of schadenfreude I will allow myself is to remind you that it is usually easier and more fun to oppose than to actually run things. What will you do w/o Bush to kick around anymore? It will be hard to blame Republicans in 2010, since the Democratic president will enjoy larger majorities in the House and Senate than anything the Republicans have held since the 1920s.

But I truly wish the new president and the bigger majorities in Congress good luck. I hope they fulfill the hopes of their supporters and prove my fears unfounded. Their country is our country and we are all in the same boat with a new captain.

Posted by: Jack at November 4, 2008 10:43 PM
Comment #269473

Is this the a.k.a. Jack Broadnax?

There was no doubt in my mind that Obama would win.

The voters have spoken.

And so it is.

Personally, it’s probably better.
I’m not sure McCain is perceptive enough to really know what is going on. On many instances, it appeared that McCain was out-of-touch.

Obama has a difficult job ahead.

It won’t take but a few months into the next year to see if we’ve all beem bamboozled.

It isn’t like that hasn’t happened before.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

  • Posted by: d.a.n at November 4, 2008 11:08 PM
    Comment #269475

    You know, a lot of Republicans didn’t even vote.

    Why?

    Because McCain lost too many of his base voters.

    McCain looked like a psuedo Democrat running against a genuine Democrat.

    On illegal immigration, there was no difference.

    On trade, there was no difference.

    On many issues, McCain was aligned with Obama.

    But McCain appears false.

    And he is false.

    There are enough lies on BOTH sides, but McCain completely F****ed it up by alienating his base.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 4, 2008 11:17 PM
    Comment #269476

    The Most capable person won, congratulations president Elect Obama , Fine job David.

    Posted by: Rodney Brown at November 4, 2008 11:20 PM
    Comment #269479

    I wrote this article before the Concession and Acceptance speeches. McCain said the things that needed to be said, though some in his following were less than enthusiastic about his words. To John McCain, I say thank you for the right words in your concession speech, and Good Bye.

    Obama’s acceptance speech was anything but a victory speech. It brought my wife and I to tears. His invocation of the Martin Luther King’s words breathed life into them again. His reminding us of the fact that this election is not a victory for him or us, but, an opportunity, and that all we have done here is open the door to a difficult path toward a more promising future. He was absolutely right.

    Obama offered, that there will be false starts, and imperfections as we, the United States, find our way out of the challenges facing us. Yes, we can.

    But, only if we can keep our eye on the prize and our willingness to sacrifice and discipline ourselves to achieve that prize, a stronger, more peaceful, and more prosperous future than our current circumstances allude to.

    We do this together and succeed as a United States. Or, we don’t. It just doesn’t get more honest, more forthright, and more real than that. Americans do share the dream of liberty, peace, and prosperity. We have now perhaps, the leadership to travel that road, taking on the most challenging obstacles to our best future. But the real question is, do we have the following to carry its own weight on up that path?

    Voters must insist that their vote in 2010 and beyond be given only for positive results and direction. Voters must be willing to tighten their belts, do their share of the work, save their share of their own future, and embrace their the plight of their fellow Americans as their own, if we are to lift up the aspirations for our nation’s future.

    If we do these things, and reward politicians who improve our government with reelection, and withhold our vote for a challenger when government disappoints our nation’s future, then the Obama refrain, ‘Yes, We Can’, will take on a life and strength capable of realizing our shared American dream.

    Obama’s speech was inspirational. But, to paraphrase and misquote Thomas Edison:, “Success is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. We must as Americans do our part. One man, one Congress, one Supreme Court, cannot a great nation make. A great nation is great only by the determination and endeavor of its people to achieve greatness.

    After Pres. George W. Bush, who asked little to nothing of the American people but to stand out of his way, it is a tearfully welcome message from the incoming president to say, it is up to us all to make our future what we wish it to be.

    Our democratic republic has chosen its leaders, now it is up to us to give them the support and effort that is required of us to move toward our future with investment in it, with confidence in it, and with the discipline and exercise of difficult choices which will strengthen that future for ourselves, and those who follow us.

    This is not Obama’s country, it is not Democrat’s country, it is our country; and we will share in the fruits of our collective efforts or, our individual neglect, as a nation of Americans. The ball is now in our court.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2008 01:20 AM
    Comment #269485

    This is a defining time, hour, and moment in history not just because Barack Obama is black. He represents a fresh & new government that connects with “the people of this mighty nation”. One that isn’t willing to bow down to the vicissitudes of the monotonous “politics and business as usual”. Offering a new attitude on reforming broken policies, a new hope for the restoring the socio-economic status of our nation, a new energy and spirit for the spirations of many striving for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, a new plan or method for moving forward, a new hope and morale for those who feel like they have been blugened by a system offering what seems to be fueled by broking promises. He presents the demographic of “one for all”. We are spurned, ignited, and driven by a sincere pledge to restore, rebuild, and reshape, and revive the bureaucracies that have been cancerous to the loop holes of or system. We have stood, voted and the tally has been counted, and now is the time for everyone sattle up on the road toward change with the righteous winds blowing against our backs. Together we must change the way we think, talk, act, and walk. We must change how we view of fellow Americans. We must stand together, side by side, with a conscientously determined effort to move forward to learn from the past, change our present, and feed the mustard seeds of our future. We can not go back to an old character and mindset of “I have to do or make good for myself and my own”. We must work with “a unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” We must encourage our fellow American to do better and work harder: to not act on war, violence, ignorance, mis-education, and tolerance of the pillars that threaten the infrastructure of our nations foundation. We all have to do our part in sewing seeds of “hope, love, peace, brotherly kindness, self-control, and faith.” Let’s purge the dis-honest, get-over, back-bitting, back-stabbing, and dog-eat-dog bussiness that has been the mitochondrion of our economic system, judicial, and legislative system. Let’s stop cheating our selves and selling each other short as a justifiable means to an end. Let’s foster the betterment of education and the ability to attain it, let’s re-vamp of welfare to work programs with the end goal being “working to make a life, not making a living.” Let’s encourage those who are entraped to abusive habits, lifestyles, and ways that threaten or good name and credit. Let’s educate those who are ignorant and misunderstand the “roadmap to recovery and progress”. Let’s inspire, motivate, and foster the hopes and dreams of the children of our future. Let’s care for those who have blazed our trails, who have given there life to service and committed themselves to work with a nature for the “common good.” Let’s help those who want to move ahead but feel cornered with there backs against the walls because of foolish and mis-guided decisions in early or late stages of their lives. Let’s reward the hard work and efforts of those who strive to do good and do better. “Good, better, best never let us rest, until our good is our better, and our better is our best.”

    Posted by: Jerrell D. Bratcher at November 5, 2008 02:37 AM
    Comment #269497

    “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

    Posted by: Rodney Brown at November 5, 2008 08:46 AM
    Comment #269507

    Obama wants to turn this presidency into a unifying presidency…the MSM wants to turn it into a BLACK presidency…please let them know that we’d like them to be more unifying into the future, and to quit attempting to keep everything a controversy…

    Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2008 09:46 AM
    Comment #269510

    Observations

    It was good to see Senator McCain with courage and grace regain the honor most of us (including myself) rightfully accorded him.

    I’ve never liked Jesse Jackson much, but when I saw the tears streaming down his face, I could only wonder what was going through his heart and his mind, replaying a journey from where he stood on a motel balcony in Memphis on April 4th, 1968 to being part of nearly a quarter million people of every color laughing and crying in joy in Grant Park, Chicago.

    A national holiday has been declared in Kenya.

    My wife told my oldest son - he’s full-blood Filipino - that he, too, could be president.

    But best of all was the reaction of the world as a whole.

    It is truly a great day! Time to go buy some newspapers and wrap ‘em up in plastic for my garage-cum-time-capsule….

    Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at November 5, 2008 09:58 AM
    Comment #269513

    Marysdude, perhaps we are watching different programming. But, there is no escaping the historical significance of electing a non-white person to the office of president. It is a first in our entire nation’s history. I think it is important and natural that for a short while America revel in the significance and importance of turning this page in our history.

    Millions of Americans are still alive today who witnessed, as young persons, the acts of violence against a person of color seeking to ride in a seat of their choosing on a public bus. Here we have in their lifetimes, a person of color not only seeking, but, acquiring the office of President by both a popular majority vote of Americans of all races, and a landslide victory in the electoral college.

    We as a people must revel in the symbolism of the moment, in order to get on with the even more important business ahead of rescuing our nation from the disasters left, and still being created by the Bush administration.

    Are you aware that Bush is slashing and burning environmental policies in his remaining days making enormously difficult for the next administration to prevent the corporate world from returning to the days of pollution for profit.

    There is much work to be done, but, for the moment, Obama is only the president-elect, and for this brief period he has not the power to act officially. An appropriate time for Americans to celebrate this momentous occasion the race relations growth and development of our nation from enslavement of persons of color to electing a person of color President.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2008 10:00 AM
    Comment #269547
    We must as Americans do our part. One man, one Congress, one Supreme Court, cannot a great nation make. A great nation is great only by the determination and endeavor of its people to achieve greatness.
    That’s right.

    On the positive side of things, while we all know racism still exists, it appears that this election proves that most Americans are not racist.
    That’s good.
    That’s a very good thing.
    And even for many of the voters that did not vote for Barack Obama, it genuinely had nothing to do with race.
    Despite our numerous problems, it appears that Americans have grown more mature and fair with respect to race.

    Now, on the negative side of things, too many voters still failed to send a louder and clearer message to Congress, and the opportunity to do it will have to wait another 2-to-4-to-6 years. Many of those voters don’t know it yet, but their education is on the way … the hard way.

    Obviously, too many voters appear to pay less attention to the Congress in Presidential/VP election years.
    There will be painful consequences for that.
    We may see a repeat of year 1933, when unhappy voters waited several years into the Great Depression, before those unhappy voters finally ousted a whopping 206 members of Congress.

    With approval ratings for Congress as low as 9%-to-18% , one would think Congress’ re-election rates would have decreased this election.
    But that did not happen.
    The voters may have sabotaged their choice for President/VP, by saddling the President/VP with many of the same irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, and/or incompetent incumbent politicians in Congress.

    • NNNth Congress: Start-End: _ SENATE ________ HOUSE ___

    • —————————————- DEM. _ REP. ___ DEM. _ REP.

    • 109th Congress: 2005-2007: 049 __ 049 ____ 233 __ 202

    • 110th Congress: 2007-2009: 049 __ 049 ____ 233 __ 202

    • 111th Congress: 2009-2011: 056 __ 042 ____ 250 __ 181 (final results still missing for 6 offices)
    The “determination and endeavor of its people to achieve greatness” ain’t likely by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with higher re-election rates.

    Unfortunately, this 2008 election, more incumbent politicians were re-elected than in year 2006.
    Real change will be difficult (if not impossible) when no one is still able to name at least 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are responsible and/or incompetent enough to deserve re-election.

    However, unlike year 2006, when few (if any) Democrats running for office lost, there were a 4 incumbent Democrats voted out of office in the 2008 election.

    • In Florida (District 16), Tim Mahoney went down to defeat due to a zipper problem and some extramarital activities, along with his paying $121K in hush money to a former staff worker who was now threatening to sue him.

    • In Kansas(District 02), Nancy Boyda (D) was beaten by state treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R)

    • In Louisiana (06), Don Cazayoux (D) lost.

    • In Texas (22), Nick Lampson (D) lost in a district that is simply too Republican.

    But Democrats won more seats than they lost.

    Democrats gained about 24-to-30 seats in Congress (compared to 36 seats in year 2006), depending on the final outcome of 6 offices for Congress.

    However, it appears Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) will retain his seat, despite being convicted of (www.democracynow.org/2008/10/28/republican_senator_ted_stevens_indicted_on) 7 felonies.
    And then there’s Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA, District 2), who was also re-elected by a wide margin, despite the (www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/21/AR2006052100167.html) FBI saying Jefferson was filmed receiving $100K, of which $90K was later found hidden in Jefferson’s freezer wrapped in neat little $10K bundles wrapped in aluminum foil inside individual plastic containers.

    These crimes don’t seem to matter to many voters.

    Why do so many voters whine, and complain, and give Congress dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings, but then reward incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

    Why do so many voters then appear dumbfounded when Congress continues not only to ignore the voters, but exacerbate the nation’s serious problems growing in number and severity?

    Why shouldn’t incumbent politicians be irresponsible and corrupt when they are repeatedly rewarded for it?

    Any way …

    • Let’s see how long it takes to leave Iraq. After all, weren’t we promised that would be complete in about a year or two?.

    • Let’s see what happens with illegal immigration. Barack Obama said illegal employers should be stopped from employing illegal aliens. I’ll believe that when I see it. After all, Obama also wants to give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens. There’s little (if any) mystery what will happen with illegal immigration. Get ready for another shamnesty like the one in 1986 (which McCain voted for), which quadrupled the problem?

    • Let’s see if more Americans continue to be murdered by illegal aliens in the U.S. than U.S. Troops killed in Iraq (i.e. more Americans were murdered by illegal aliens in the U.S. in the last 3 years than U.S. Troops killed in Iraq in the last 5 years).

    • Let’s see if taxation is actually made less regressive than it already is now.

    • Let’s see if the Constitution continues to be trampled (One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstituitonalViolations1.htm).

    • Let’s see if the unnecessary middlemen (insurance companies) are eliminated from the health care system, and millions are still killed (such as the 1.5 million people killed between 1999 and 2007) by preventable medical mistakes (more than all the American soldiers killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!

    • Let’s see if the dishonest, usurious, predatory, inflationary practices of the federal government and Federal Reserve are addressed.

    • Let’s see if education is undermined, and government continues to lie to Americans about debt, inflation, unemployment, constitutional violations, etc.

    • Let’s see if the National Debt continues to balloon beyond already nightmarish proportions.

    • Let’s see if Social Security surpluses continue to be plundered.

    • Let’s see if the partisan squabbling declines, or gets worse.

    • Let’s see if American workers continue to be sold out by unfair trade deals.

    • Let’s see if the rampant pork-barrel, subsidies, corporate welfare, and welfare for the wealthy continues: farm.ewg.org/sites/farmbill2007/top_recips1614.php?fips=00000&progcode=farmprog&enttype=indv&enttype=entity

    • Let’s see if the promise to reduce the severely bloated (www.akdart.com/gov1.html) federal government actually happens.

    • Let’s see if we merely continue to hear “Yes we can”, instead of “There. It’s done”.
    Obama and Biden can’t do all of that by themselves.

    It is now going to be very difficult (if not impossible) to get only a portion of those things accomplished, since too many voters chose to sabotage their own choice for President/VP by rewarding too many of the same irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with re-election.

    Voters might be happy now, but let’s see how long that lasts.

    Get ready for the excuses. The absence of those accomplishments above will be blamed on the previous administration, without any consideration or realization that the major barrier to those accomplishments are the incumbent politicians that the majority of voters repeatedly reward for all of it with perpetual re-election.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).


  • Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2008 12:09 PM
    Comment #269573

    “now it is up to us to give them the support and effort that is required of us to move toward our future”

    Sorry David, but due to Obama’s inexperience and troubling track record, he is first going to have to earn the respect that is required to gain that support for us to move forward together, rather than divided. That will be a tremendous uphill battle for him too.
    The ball is in his court, and judging by how the left had already decided they hated Bush and all Republicans before he was even sworn in, I don’t hold much hope.

    Posted by: kctim at November 5, 2008 02:10 PM
    Comment #269578

    kctim -

    “how the left had already decided they hated Bush and all Republicans before he was even sworn in”

    We don’t ‘hate’ all Republicans. I voted for four Republicans in my state.

    We DO hate being lied into a war, our economy being trashed, our name being dragged through the mud for all the world to see…and then being told that liberals like Obama would make things even worse.

    Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at November 5, 2008 02:51 PM
    Comment #269590

    Willie -

    I would agree with you save on one point - the fact that we were lied into a war. Even Dick Armey - the #3 guy in the Bush admin after Bush and Cheney - only gave his support to the war after Cheney lied to him about Iraq’s and MWD and supposed ties to Al Qaeda.

    Read about it here.

    We - including Dick Armey, Colin Powell, and Hillary Clinton - were lied to concerning Iraq. We TRUSTED W. and Dick Cheney to do what was right with national security. Our trust was misplaced, and we - and the world - is paying a heavy price for it.

    Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at November 5, 2008 03:38 PM
    Comment #269598

    kctim said: “Sorry David, but due to Obama’s inexperience and troubling track record, he is first going to have to earn the respect that is required to gain that support for us to move forward together, rather than divided. That will be a tremendous uphill battle for him too.”

    You and I both know there are about 30% of the voters whose respect could not be earned even if Obama proved to be God incarnate bringing heaven to earth, due to his labels of black and Democrat.

    But, that minority’s cooperation and respect are not required for Obama and the nation to press ahead on resolving our nation’s problems present and future.

    I agree with you, words are cheap. Actions are required, voluntarily and through law. And there are many changes in law to come. Bush is trashing environmental protections by executive order as he prepares to leave office. Guess he wants to leave even more mess for Obama and Congress to deal with on the people’s behalf.

    His supporters are a big part of the 30% I mentioned above. But, yes, we can, and will clean up the messes left by Bush and Republicans, but it will take more than 4 years. It takes a year or more to construct a commercial building, only days to raze it.

    Bush and Republicans have had 8 years to raze the economy, our international standing, and Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the Constitution. It will take considerably longer to restore such damage and put America back on a path to greatness. That is the common sense that may well be employed to elect Obama for a second term in office.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2008 04:27 PM
    Comment #269600

    d.a.n thank you for those stats and astute observations.

    I would only add that we have now had two anti-incumbent leaning elections in a row, and there is no sign of the independent vote slowing in growth. 6% of the Independent gave Obama his victory. The independent voter is growing in clout and strength with each election. That is an incredibly positive sign. One the DNC and RNC can no longer ignore as they govern from majority and minority party positions.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2008 04:31 PM
    Comment #269606

    David
    I would mostly agree with you if Obama was not a liberal Democrat who’s party controls the House and Senate.
    I think this election proves that the US has not taken as hard of a turn to the left as many leftys want to believe, and they are going to really tick most of those 46+ million Americans off bad when they start pushing their agenda.

    There may not be any reason to believe that 30% would ever support Obama, but thats no reason to believe the remaining 70% are going to throw away all their beliefs just because Obama says its what he thinks is best for the country.

    If campaign Obama tries to handle our “woes,” we might have a slim chance of some unity. But, if the before campaign Obama tries to handle our “woes,” it will divide us more than ever.

    Just my opinion, but I don’t see the former being the route that is taken.

    Posted by: kctim at November 5, 2008 05:27 PM
    Comment #269650

    kctim, folks close to Obama’s career are revealing some hints that Obama chose the Democratic Party and the liberal left agenda out of necessity as the route to reaching a position of power in which he could make a real difference.

    Looked at in that light, there really was no other route for Obama to take to get to President. Which potentially means his campaign and acceptance speech words about being a pragmatist as opposed to a left liberal agent of the Dem’ Party, could well be the real deal. I believe it is. But, time will prove my belief well or ill placed. We shall see.

    I expect to see him negotiate with his own Party in order to get effective solutions, and the very first among these will be jobs, and lobbyist reforms, I suspect.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2008 11:50 PM
    Comment #269708
    David wrote: d.a.n thank you for those stats and astute observations. I would only add that we have now had two anti-incumbent leaning elections in a row, and there is no sign of the independent vote slowing in growth. 6% of the Independent gave Obama his victory.
    True, there were some incumbents ousted (24-to-30; even 4 Democrats), but that is not nearly enough (and fewer this 4-NOV-2008 than in year 7-NOV-2006) to send a loud and clear message to Congress, and doesn’t even come close to the empty rhetoric of too many voters’ who whine, complain, and give Congress dismal 8%-to-18% approval ratings, but then reward Congress with a 94%-to-95% re-election rate (for the 468 incumbents up for re-election on 4-NOV-2008, and depending on the final outcome of a few elections).

    The voters will have another chance in NOV-2010, but that may now be too late to avoid a lot of pain and misery that is already in the pipeline.
    Things are about to get much worse anyway, but things will get much worse if Congress continues to ignore the nation’s problems growing dangerously in number and severity, and continues to try to prop-up the debt pyramid with more debt, borrowing, creating money out of thin air, rampant pork-barrel, spending, and bailouts and welfare for banks, corporations, and Wall Street.

    The U.S. is headed for a financial apocalypse; a perfect storm of deteriorating economic conditions.
    It will become more obvious when the consumer spending (already deep in debt) can not pick up, and the U.S. is unable to merely pay the interest on its debt, much less repay its enormous mountain of debts ($67 Trillion nation-wide). When that happens, investors will most likely begin dumping U.S. Dollars, which will create a transfer to other currencies, gold, and other commodities, which will accelerate the collapse of U.S. asset prices. Some people say the U.S. Dollar is getting stronger, but how can that be when we have 5% inflation? When the U.S. Dollar collapse worsens, a large part of corporate America will become insolvent. $55 Trillion in Credit Default Sways will be worthless, and make many insurance companies insolvent. Automakers will become more bankrupt than the already are. Inflation and unemployment will climb to double digits. Companies who outsourced their manufacturing and whose primary market is the U.S. will face bankruptcy too. Corporations already deep in debt will, and also corporations that were flush with cash and used that money or borrowed money for stock buybacks will go bankrupt. Financial institutions will hurt worse than they already are. Wages, pensions, savings, and entitlements will become worth significantly less each day. With the falling U.S. dollar, oil and food prices will continue to increase despite slowing worldwide demand.

    This could happen anytime, but it will probably take a few years, while the federal government and the Federal Reserve try to solve the massive problem with more debt, borrowing, money printing, and rampant spending.
    We will probably have to go through a period of higher inflation (or hyperinflation) first.
    It’s not a matter of IF, but now a matter of WHEN.

    Did you notice how surprised Congress appeared to be by the credit-crunch?
    Congress has clearly demonstrated that it is severely incomptent (among other things that are too vulgar to list here).
    It didn’t take a genius to see the economic problems approaching.

    Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that the Congress has now reformed itself after 52 consecutive years of deficit spending and incessant positive inflation.
    Since too many voters decided to reward 94%-to-95% of incumbents in Congress with re-election, I do not even remotely share the optimism that the sort of change we need will happen soon enough to prevent the crash of the U.S. currency.
    I believe the U.S. is on the verge of a downward economic spiral that will rapidly transform into an economic collapse like no other in modern economic history.
    Therefore, I’d advise people to keep a close eye on long term U.S. Treasuries yields, and if the yield on the 10-year Treasure notes increases why while stocks continue to fall, it will be a sign that confidence in the U.S. Dollar is failing. It is amazing that foreign nations continue to loan the U.S. more money, and that actually only exacerbates the problem. Foreign nations loaning the U.S. more money is like giving alcohol to an alcoholic, not to mention running the risk of never having their loans repaid in full.

    David wrote: The independent voter is growing in clout and strength with each election. That is an incredibly positive sign. One the DNC and RNC can no longer ignore as they govern from majority and minority party positions.
    Yes, but not fast enough.

    There is little doubt that the anti-incumbent sentiments will continue to grow larger in the next 2-to-4+ years, as the painful consequences of too many voters’ bad voting habits becomes all too clear (but too late).

    There is little doubt at all in my mind that we will probably see a repeat of year 1933, when the majority of very unhappy voters ousted a whopping 206 members of Congress.

    Or worse perhaps?

    • ,-(1) Corruption, oppression, pain and misery,

    • | (2) courage, Responsibility, rebellion,

    • | (3) liberty, growth, abundance,

    • | (4) selfishness, complacency, fiscal irresponsibility,

    • | (5) apathy, dependency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy,

    • ` - - return to step (1)

    I was just listening to NPR a few moments ago, and some idiot was saying that the National Debt is not a problem, and we should continue to deficit spend to create jobs.
    He said the $429 Billion in interest ($1.2 Billion per day) is no big deal.
    A woman asked him “how will we ever pay off the national debt”.
    He said “we don’t need to”.
    It’s that sort of attitude why this nation has a serious debt problem.

    There may be a scientific explanation for all of this:

      • The Lawrence Livermore Laboratories believes it has discovered a new element.
        It would be the heaviest element yet known to science.

      • The element, GV (GoVernmentium), has an atomic weight of 312 (with 1 neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons).

      • The 312 neutrons are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

      • Since GV has no electrons, it is inert.
        However, it can be detected, because it impedes every action upon it.
        A tiny about of GV can slow reactions from 4 seconds to as long as 4 years to complete.

      • GV has a normal half-life of 2-to-6 years, but it never completely decays.
        Instead, it undergoes a reorganization in which some of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.
        GV also can actually increase in mass over time, by forming isodopes via each reorganization which causes more morons to become neutrons.

      • This mechanism of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that GV is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration, referred to as “critical morass”.

      • When GV is catalyzed with money, GV becomes AD (ADministratium), an isodope element that radiates just as much energy, since it has half as many peons, but twice as many morons.
    If true, this would explain a lot.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until the “critical morass” finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2008 01:44 PM
    Comment #269742

    I like Jesse Jackson a lot, and took his tears to be a sign of his age, realising that a lot of water has gone under the bridge in the last 40 years. People might not understand that for much of his career, he has been the alternative to the NOI, and that Farrakhan is the most predominant influence in the area where he lives and works.

    Posted by: ohrealy at November 6, 2008 05:22 PM
    Comment #269745

    David,

    I think this was an excellent post. You describe very crucial challenges ahead for this country. In doing so you caused me to examine the fact even from the pits of evil, goodness can rise. What is reprehensible in the grasp of George W. Bush, may very well serve the greater good in the hands of someone of character. Obama has the opportunity to be such a character and leader. It’s a waiting game.

    It is unrealistic to think that one person can completely turn around the last tragic 8 years, but let’s hope he will lead the way for continued progress for the good of all of our nation.

    Posted by: Kim-Sue at November 6, 2008 05:40 PM
    Comment #269804

    Kim-Sue, thanks for the comments, and I couldn’t agree with you more. All goal oriented activity begins with the faith that acting will result in a positive outcome. Americans need to make the self-fulfilling prophecy work for them in the election of Obama. To expect the worst without evidence is to help bring the worst about.

    Sadly, 1/3 of Americans will do what they can to sabotage the Obama presidency and nation’s progress for self-defeating reasons. Which means the other 2/3 need to make up the difference in positive action and attitude to compensate, so long as the Obama administration is clearly working in the nation’s best interests.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 7, 2008 12:06 AM
    Comment #269806

    d.a.n, the funny thing about reality is that it has its own pace. Our technology presents us with instant gratification, but, the parameters of sociology remain a natural force, not artificial which can be controlled like the assemblage of diodes and resistors in a new fangled I-Phone or time shifting retro-laser.

    You say it is not happening fast enough. I say, it is happening as fast as it can. If that proves to be too slow or not, is speculation and educated guesswork, which will be amended by the passing of actual historical events.

    To remain optimistic and hopeful improves the pace of change. To remain cynical and pessimistic is to retard progress at the individual level.

    I used to camp alternately in the desert and mountains, frequently. When I first began desert camping I often found myself thinking, I can’t wait for the Sun to set.

    Later I realized it was not the sun that was slow in setting that was causing my frustration and discomfort. It was my attitude toward the heat and preparations to effectively and enjoyably accept it that was the problem.

    Perseverance paid off. I learned to not drink alcohol when desert camping, to drink inordinate amounts of water, and pack high water content foods, wear long sleeves and hat and neck kerchief and pace my activities. I learned to enjoy desert camping immensely, and it became my preferred geography for camping.

    It was never nature that was the problem. It was my approach and perception of it, that was the problem, preventing my enjoyment of it. The same analogy holds for sociological change. It has a natural pace all its own, and that must be accepted and worked with, not against, in order to facilitate the outcome desired.

    That is, of course my philosophical approach to such things. It is not the right philosophy or wrong philosophy. It is simply one that fits my experience, education and awareness of my world.

    But, to borrow a line from the movie, The Edge: “What one man can do, another can do”. It is the core philosophical premise of positive sociological change.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 7, 2008 12:27 AM
    Comment #269891
    David wrote: But, to borrow a line from the movie, The Edge: “What one man can do, another can do”. It is the core philosophical premise of positive sociological change.
    Good movie. I’ve seen it a few times, and remeber that line well.

    And that is the rationale for persistence, research, analysis, communications, etc.

    David wrote: You say it is not happening fast enough.
    True.
    David wrote: I say, it is happening as fast as it can.
    HHHMMmmmmmmmmmmm … I’m not certain that’s true.

    I think it can happen faster, if we all try harder and choose to make it happen faster.
    That belief is not pessimism.

    In fact, lots of things will change faster than many people could have ever dreamed, when the failure to change sooner becomes too painful.
    Optimism is the belief that we can avoid bringing more pain onto ourselves by acting sooner than later.

    That’s why we need more people sounding the warnings, studying, analyzing, and proposing solutions.
    However, part of the solution to many of our problems is Congress.
    Why were there not more economists waving the warning signs like former U.S. Comptroller, David Walker?
    Why was Congress caught off-guard by this economic melt-down?
    Obviously, not only is Congress corrupt, but Congress is severely incompetent too.
    That goes for the Federal Reserve too.
    Yet, many treat Bernanke, Greenspan, and the Federal Reserve like gods.
    Yet, voters, despite dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress, just rewarded incumbents in Congress with about 90% re-election rates (again).
    Therefore, the voters only have themselves to thank for the painful consequences now on the way (despite some who don’t even believe it’s coming).

    David wrote: If that proves to be too slow or not, is speculation and educated guesswork, which will be amended by the passing of actual historical events.
    OK. But speculation and educated guesswork is a good thing.

    That’s why we should have listened more closely to David Walker (former U.S. Comptroller).

    History will prove that we were far, far too slow to act on what many could see coming for many years.

    History will also prove that we have a bad habit of often having to re-learn the same painful lessons.

    History will prove again that progress is slow; 2 steps forward and 1.99 steps backward.

    David wrote: To remain optimistic and hopeful improves the pace of change. To remain cynical and pessimistic is to retard progress at the individual level.
    True. And I am optimistic, or I wouldn’t try at all.

    However, what is perceived as pessimism and cynicism really isn’t.

    I agree that baseless doom-and-gloom, characterizations, and predictions that are not substantiated by any facts, data, or historical precedents, and also offer no solutions is not much help. However, many more people need to take the position, however unpopular, that voters are culpable too. Information and/or existing conditions that people are either unaware of, or don’t believe, is critical to bringing about change. Discussion and debate is a way to do that. That’s why many of us are here. Predictions and warnings of eminent pain and misery are useful if highly probable. That’s not pessimism.

    But it is interesting that many people, whenever they read or hear predictions they don’t want to hear, will disregard it as speculation and guessing, and David Walker would probably strongly agree.
    The fact is, if I didn’t think change was possible sooner than later, I would not even bother trying.

    After the last election, there appeared to be a lot of hope that the Democrats swept into office would get a lot accomplished.
    However, that did not happen did it, and that may be why Democrats did not win as many seats on 4-NOV-2008 as on 7-NOV-2006.
    Again, there appears to be a lot of hope and enthusiasm, and once again, it is very likely it will prove to be delusional optimism, because it’s still the same Congress, and Obama/Biden can’t do it all by themselves. It’s very likely Congress will still prove that it is still to corrupt and incompetent.

    Perhaps you perceive my lack of optimism that this last election improved the federal government much (if any), as pessimism. While I don’t think the federal government will improve much (if any), that is not necessarily pessimism. I seriously doubt that re-electing 90% of the 468 incumbents up for re-election produced a federal government that will start the long and hard work to solve many (if any) serious problems growing dangerously in number and severity, and Congress may actually make things much worse (via more fiscal irresponsibilty), and that speculation is not even remotely far fetched based on track records. Therefore, I wouldn’t call that pessimism. I’d call it realism. That doesn’t mean vast improvements are impossible; merely unlikely. In fact, I believe that those that believe Congress has suddenly turned over a new leaf are delusionally optimitic.

    I was a bit disappointed by this election. Based on such low approval ratings (9%-to-18%) for Congress, I was expecting the numbers of re-elected incumbents to fall from 85% in the last election to about 82%. Instead, the re-election rate rose from about 85% to 90%. It was surprising to see more incumbents re-elected this 4-NOV-2008 than 7-NOV-2006. That’s unfortunate. Obviously, most voters were focused more (if not completely) only on the Presidential/VP office. Too few voters understand that Congress is the much bigger problem, and it looks increasingly likely that voters will now have to learn it the hard and painful way.

    Especially since economic problems, which were not hard to see coming, and despite what some think (after the bailouts), are not even remotely close to being over. Not for many years.

    What’s truly disturbing now is the seemingly popular idea that the solution to the nation’s massive debt problems is more borrowing, creating new money out of thin air, more bail-outs for banks, corporations, and Wall Street, and more deficit spending for many years, which will most likely turn a very bad situation into a much worse situation.

    And as you probably already know, the federal government is not reporting true inflation rates.
    Inflation is really higher than what the BLS is reporting.
    The inflation measurement methods were tinkered with such that more weighting was given to items falling in price than items rising in price, resulting in about a 2.7% error, which is compounded each year. Each time the inflation measurement method was changed, it decreased the inflation by about 4.7%. Inflation today is really about 14.4% based on the pre-1983 measurement method, and about 9.0% based on the pre-1989 inflation measurement method (instead of the currently reported value of 4.94% for OCT-2008).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2008 03:21 PM
    Comment #269903

    d.a.n
    Thats funny.

    we have just got to figure out a way to get isodopes to quit forming morons so we don’t hit that critical morass although it seems we may be to late unless that new Obamatron works.

    Posted by: j2t2 at November 7, 2008 04:54 PM
    Comment #269905

    “That’s unfortunate. Obviously, most voters were focused more (if not completely) only on the Presidential/VP office. Too few voters understand that Congress is the much bigger problem, and it looks increasingly likely that voters will now have to learn it the hard and painful way.”

    Well my district has a new representative in the USHOR and the incumbent is looking for work. I don’t think it will do much good however as the stranglehold of the corporations on the Congress will be almost as strong as it was in the past. It will be up to we the people to stop the lobbyist as the Congress cannot do it on it’s own. Perhaps it is time to get the Governors of the 50 states to look at getting involved.

    In Colorado I voted on 8 different amendments to the state constitution and 3 changes to the laws of the state due to citizen initiatives. Perhaps it is time on the federal level to do the same thing. Until we free the Congress from the money of the lobbyist we can’t expect much change.

    Posted by: j2t2 at November 7, 2008 05:04 PM
    Comment #269914
    j2t2 wrote: d.a.n, Thats funny.
    Thanks. What you wrote is funnier.
    j2t2 wrote: We have just got to figure out a way to get isodopes to quit forming morons so we don’t hit that “critical morass” although it seems we may be too late, unless that new Obamatron works.
    Yeah!

    I see the massive DEBT growing from nightmare proportions to delusional proportions.

    • d.a.n wrote:
    That’s unfortunate. Obviously, most voters were focused more (if not completely) only on the Presidential/VP office. Too few voters understand that Congress is the much bigger problem, and it looks increasingly likely that voters will now have to learn it the hard and painful way.
    Well my district has a new representative in the USHOR and the incumbent is looking for work. I don’t think it will do much good however as the stranglehold of the corporations on the Congress will be almost as strong as it was in the past. It will be up to we the people to stop the lobbyist as the Congress cannot do it on it’s own. Perhaps it is time to get the Governors of the 50 states to look at getting involved. Congress is FOR-SALE. Obviously, that should be illegal. But it isn’t.
    j2t2 wrote: In Colorado I voted on 8 different amendments to the state constitution and 3 changes to the laws of the state due to citizen initiatives. Perhaps it is time on the federal level to do the same thing. Until we free the Congress from the money of the lobbyist we can’t expect much change.
    No doubt about it.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    P.S. I haven’t forgot the bad Walmart link. Remember that?

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2008 07:26 PM
    Comment #269952

    d.a.n, like you, I am very disappointed by the Congressional races.

    I am disappointed by the lack of inclusion of the other 3rd party candidates for president.

    I am disappointed by the lack of outreach and growth of the Independent Parties.

    I am disappointed by the low turnover rate in incumbents in the Congress.

    Still, it is encouraging to watch the growth of registered independent voters, split ticket voting, the growth in 3rd party candidates on the ballots for state race positions, and most encouraging is the shift in policy focus and agenda taking place in the Democratic Party and the forcing of the GOP to re-examine its constructs and agendas going forward.

    These are most encouraging because they represent the duopoly parties yielding to the voters on some fundamental issues and agendas.

    You and I both know that the duopoly parties, while trying to accommodate the independent voters, are not going to be able to depart substantially from their ideology, and that means there will be more growth in the rejection of these two parties going forward, and further growth in the organization of Independent registered voters, and the anti-incumbent movement.

    And that is sound reason for hope and continuing the efforts by 3rd parties, anti-incumbent groups, and anti-duopoly party initiatives.


    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2008 07:25 AM
    Comment #269963
    d.a.n, like you, I am very disappointed by the Congressional races.
    I was surprised to see re-election rates increase, instead of decrease, after seeing so many voters whine and complain for years about the corruption and incompetence of Congress, give Congress dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings, and then reward about 92% (about 430 of the 468 of the 535 up for re-election in Congress) incumbent politicians with re-election!

    The voters’ rhetoric certainly doesn’t match their bad voting habits.
    It appears that voters aren’t yet feeling enough pain yet, but their bad voting habits will change that.
    However, it is unlikely that it will be the change the majority of voters had in mind.

    And that is sound reason for hope and continuing the efforts by 3rd parties, anti-incumbent groups, and anti-duopoly party initiatives.
    True. Giving up won’t accomplish anything.

    However, most voters, apparently, not only like crappin’ in their own nest, but must also like being crapped on too?
    Whatever the reason(s), it can’t be much more flattering; the results are still the same.
    Maybe enough voters will stop it when the stink is too unbearable?
    However, if one didn’t know better, they’d think most voters have completely lost their sense of smell?

    OK, ok. I’ve been told that dissin’ the voters is not advisable.
    However, maybe that’s what is needed?
    After all, do most voters really want to explore the painful alternative?
    Especially since no one (for years) has been able to name merely 50, 100, 200, or 268 (half of the 535) in Congress that aren’t FOR-SALE, corrupt, irresponsible, and/or incompetent?

    If some voters now believe that THEIR incumbent politicians will now suddenly stop crappin’ on the voters, stop being corrupt and incompetent, and start solving serious problems which have been growing worse for many years and decades, the voters will soon be disappointed again, the same way they were after the previous election of 7-NOV-2006, in which things continued to get worse instead.

    And now, time is running out to avoid much more unnecessary long-term pain and misery.
    And Obama and Congress are already talking about another stimulus packages of $150 Billion (or more?).
    When in American history did the federal governent and Federal Reserve mail stimulus checks to people?
    What is this telling us?
    It is telling us:

    • that the U.S. has very irresponsibly gotten itself into a financial pickle, spent much of its time trying to make money by playing with money, instead of producing real value.

    • too many Americans have become too dependent on government.

    • now, most (if not everyone) wants a bail-out.

    • now, too many Americans have fallen for the myth that we can all somehow live at the expense of everyone else.
    Bail-outs won’t work.

    We can’t all ride in the wagon.
    Someone has to push the wagon.
    Bail-outs won’t work now because:

    • there is too much national debt ($10.6 Trillion) and too much nation-wide debt ($67 Trillion).

    • There was a time when bail-outs might have worked, such as the Chrysler bail-out in year 1979, when GDP was 3 times larger than the National Debt. Now the National Debt is 77% of GDP.
      • DATE ____ NATIONAL DEBT ____ GDP

      • NOV-2008 __ $10.6 Trillion __ $13.8 Trillion (Debt/GDP=77%)

      • SEP-1990 __ $3.23 Trillion __ $5.80 Trillion (Debt/GDP=56%)

      • SEP-1980 __ $0.93 Trillion __ $2.89 Trillion (Debt/GDP=32%)
    • there isn’t enough money already in existence, and creating more money out of thin air won’t work.

    • the national debt and nation-wide debt wasn’t remotely as bad as it is today ($67 Trillion).

    • a large number of things weren’t remotely as bad then as they are today (One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm).

    • the socialization of so much debt ($67 Trillion nation-wide) through more borrowing and creating new money out of thin air will make a bad situation much worse, by destroying the savings, pensions, investments, wages, and entitlement benefits of most working Americans who do not own a lot of land, gold, natural resources, and property. It will destroy the currency by incessant inflation that is already bad, and already being dishonestly understated (One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Measurement).

    OK. If we have another $150 Billion stimulus program, then what?

    What good did the last $150 Billion stimulus program do?
    Since when did the solution to massive debt problems become more massive debt, borrowing, and creating new money out of thin air?
    What is truly scary is that many economists are saying that another economic stimulus is what is needed?
    However, the amount of new money that would have to be created out of thin air to even put a dent in the problem is so large, the inflation it creates will crash the U.S. Dollar (www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n3g5lUgkWk&feature=related).

    What is truly dangerous about the massive debt problem is that some people don’t care if that happens, which is because:

    • their wealth is not dependent on wages, savings, pensions, or a monthly Social Security check.

    • their wealth is in land, property, natural resources, oil, gold, and foreign property.

    • the incumbent politicians can continue to give themselves a raise (like they did 9 times between 1997 and 2007), perk$, superior health care, and cu$hy benefits.

    • the incumbent politicians know most voters will still reward most incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election. Even in year 1933, 61% of the incumbent politicians were still re-elected.

    • there are still millions of people employed by the severely bloated federal government and state governments.

    • there are still hundreds of thousands of people employed by the do-nothing Congress.

    • there is no shared sacrifice.
    And it will remain that way as long as too many voters reward the corrupt and incompetent with re-election, and their cu$hy, coveted seats of power.

    Another $150 Billion economic stimulus won’t even pay the health insurance and/or electricity bill for one or two months for many tens of millions of Americans already having trouble doing that.
    After the $500 (roughly, per person) runs out, what has been accomplished to solve the long term problems?
    If the government is going to create money out of thin air, why not (at the very least) create some infrastructure/energy-independence goal-oriented jobs at the same time?
    There are lots of other things that could be done, such as eliminating these 10 abuses.
    But what are the chances even a mere 2 of those 10 abuses will be adequately resolved?
    And what are the chances that some of those 10 abuses will be made worse?
    And what will be the impact on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, education systems, health care systems, illegal immigration, job displacement, border security, national debt, nation-wide debt, and the political landscape, when 12-to-20 Million illegal aliens are given another amnesty (like the shamnesty of 1986, which increased illegal immigration over by 400%)?

    The big question is, when and how bad does the economy and abuses have to get before enough voters finally decide that they are tired of rewarding THEIR incumbent politicians for crapping on them?

    If we look to history for an answer, we have to go back to year 1933, when voters must have been very unhappy, when they voted out a whopping 206 members of Congress.
    Compare that 206 in year 1933 to the miniscule 24-to-30 (out of 468 up for re-election) incumbent politicians ousted from office on 4-NOV-2008, and the 36 ousted on 7-NOV-2006.

    Based on history, it appears as though the answer to the question is:

      • when the decades of abuses and deteriorating economic conditions have finally made enough voters (and their families) jobless , homeless , and hungry;

      • when enough voters finally understand it is up to them, and that repeatedly rewarding corruption and incompetence only creates more of the same.

      • when the majority of voters finally decide that repeatedly rewarding THEIR irresponsible and incompetent incumbent politicians has finally become too painful;
    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 8, 2008 02:00 PM
    Comment #270010

    d.a.n, commented: “And Obama and Congress are already talking about another stimulus packages of $150 Billion (or more?).”

    As well they should be. Think about this logically. The only revenues the government receives to deal with the deficits and debt comes from taxes. The only way to increase tax revenues in a recession is to stimulate spending and jobs creation.

    There are two schools of thought out there on this. The conservative school says, let the whole damn economy tank, and after a year or so of deleveraging, high unemployment, bankrupt small businesses and families in the 10’s of millions, stabilization will occur. And after the stabilization period of another year or several, the economy will begin to grow again.

    The liberal school of thought is that government was part of the problems being heaped upon citizens and businesses, and therefore, the government has a responsibility to mitigate the harm as best it can while making every effort to restore economic growth as fast as possible, even at the cost of very large deficits.

    The major problem with the conservative school of thought is that there is no fail safe or stop loss against deep recession becoming a decade long Depression or more.

    The major problem with the liberal school is that hope and trust that future administrations and Congress’ will diligently work to control spending and elevate taxes in the economic growth periods to relieve tax payers from the mountain of debt racked up and the service costs, to mitigate the damage and harm, may not be warranted.

    So far, I side with the liberal school of though on both ethical and economic modeling, despite the inherent problem with that approach. But, ONLY because there are signs that the Obama administration is going to approach this in a very pragmatic, hard numbers, non-ideological way, that has a real chance of stemming a protracted recession and preventing any near term depression.

    There are very wrong ways to implement the liberal approach, and so far, Obama intimates he won’t be following those. For example, his approach to government assistance directly to homeowners filing bankruptcy and being foreclosed upon to remain in their residences, will put a floor under falling neighborhood and regional home prices, which in turn will halt the degradation of financial institution’s balance sheets, and shorten the credit crunch period. This is a very smart approach.

    If he takes a similar approach to the auto industry, i.e., not bailing out the stock holders or executives, but, using federal dollars to make takeover and buyout options of these manufactures by others who know how to serve market need and demand and anticipate future market needs, it will be a vastly smarter approach to saving those jobs and the industry and tax payers, as opposed to the old liberal approach of bailing out Chrysler which the Democratic congress did under Reagan, if I recall correctly, even though the tax payers got their money back from Chrysler on that deal with Lee Iacoca.

    Obama has also announced that he will address the wealth disparity gap through tax policy initially, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in put in their place, a larger cut for the middle class (Bush cuts plus for the middle class) while increasing taxes on the very wealthy.

    He also does not appear to be buying the GOP Kool Aid that raising capital gains taxes now will cause job losses. That is plain nuts and illogical. Those employers are laying off for lack of consumer demand, not lack of profits and cash, and liquidity to expand their operations. Hence, higher capital gains taxes will not affect the already absent spending on business expansion. It will only result in lower shareholder profits and lower executive pay levels.

    Down the road, after consumer demand shows signs of outpacing capital growth and expansion of supply, capital gains tax cuts will again, make sense, freeing up capital and investment dollars for business expansion when consumer demand warrants such expansion. This is the kind of pragmatic non-ideological approach that is absolutely essential to preventing this recession from spiraling out control.

    I have a lot of hope for this administration, but, a lot of ‘Show Me’ skepticism, as well. If we don’t hope for the best, we won’t act accordingly. So, I will keep this hope alive until it is demonstrated to be misplaced.

    I don’t have as much confidence in the Congress acting in support of such an approach come the end of 2009 when they begin to consider how they are going to buy the votes of their constituents. But, let’s get through 2009 and build a brighter economic outlook for 2010 before we tackle that horrendous failing in our political system.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2008 09:49 AM
    Comment #270121

    Well, you have more optimism than I do.

    I don’t see much reason to see things changing much any time soon (for many years).

    In fact, I’m hearing a lot of very disturbing things that will grow the massive debt very quickly (by trillions) per year.

    That’s a very bad idea.

    What we need now is fiscal responsibility, and that doesn’t appear to be likely any time soon.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 10, 2008 08:44 PM
    Comment #270158
    David wrote:
    • d.a.n, commented: “And Obama and Congress are already talking about another stimulus packages of $150 Billion (or more?).”
    As well they should be.
    “Should be” ?

    HMMmmmmmmm … I think are many other things to do than another round of stimulus checks and the current methods of the bail-outs to date.

    David wrote: Think about this logically. …
    I have and am still trying, but it still appears to me that the government buying up only half of all toxic debt will risk crashing the currency, because there’s simply too much toxic debt, derivatives, and complexity.

    The total toxic debt losses as of 27-OCT-2008 was estimated to be $1.6 Trillion, The federal government and the Federal Reserve have pumped $2 Trillion into the banks and corporations, and are planning more. And it isn’t even close to being over yet, even if foreclosures peaked in AUG-2008 at 10,000 foreclosures per day. That means there are millions of more potential foreclosures, and possibly another $2 Trillion of losses. There is also a potential multi-million dollar Credit Default Swap (CDS) disaster ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_default_swap ) in which American banks, hedge funds, insurers, and other players have gambled at about $15.5 Trillion (in the U.S. as of 31-AUG-2008) on the fate of a wide range of debt instruments and derivatives, and 35% ($5.43 Trillion) of those are sub-prime asset CDSs.

    David wrote: The only revenues the government receives to deal with the deficits and debt comes from taxes
    David, the federal government also:
    • (1) borrows a lot of money,
    • (2) and, along with the Federal Reserve, also creates a lot of new money out of thin air (many hundreds of billions, perhaps now over $1 Trillion per year).
    A large percentage of all federal revenues is money that is coming from more borrowing and creation of new money out of thin air.

    That is why inflation is now so high and rising for several consecutive years:

    • ____INFLATION RATE 5% by today’s measurement method, as of 30-SEP-2008____

    • 6.00%|——————————-

    • 5.50%|—————————-x-

    • 5.00%|—————————x-x- 5% (SEP-2008)

    • 4.50%|————————-x—-

    • 4.00%|———————xxx——

    • 3.50%|——————-x———-

    • 3.00%|——-x———x———-S

    • 2.50%|—x-x-xxxx x————E

    • 2.00%|-x-x———x————-P

    • 1.50%|x—————————-T

    • 1.00%|——————————-

    • 0.50%|——————————-

    • 0.00%|_____________________YEAR

    • _____2___2___2___2___2___2

    • _____0___0___0___0___0___0

    • _____0___0___0___0___0___0

    • _____6___7___7___8___8___9

    • ____SEP_JAN_JUN_JAN__JUL
    The U.S. federal government and Federal Reserve are:
      (1) borrowing ,
    • (2) and creating record levels of new money out of thin air.

    Inflation, which is currently stated to be 5%, is most likely already being understated.
    It is more likely actually over 14% by the pre-1983 inflation measurement method ( www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data ), or 9% by the pre-1998 inflation measurement method.

    Here’s another thing to think about.
    Home prices are falling.
    Oil and gasoling prices have fallen drastically.
    But despite some deflation in some things, overall inflation is STILL reported at 5% !
    Look at the chart above.
    How could inflation be rising so fast with so much deflation of home prices and oil and gasoline prices?
    The situation is worse than many think, because we have BOTH deflation in some things (homes, fuel, tight credit and money supply), and inflation in most other things (food, energy, etc.).
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses about 10,000 items to calculate inflation, but it weights some items more heavily that are falling in price, and some items less heavily that are rising in price.
    Therefore, that has caused a year-after-year error in the reported inflation.

    David wrote: The only way to increase tax revenues in a recession is to stimulate spending and jobs creation.
    There are other ways to increase tax revenues, but there are also many ways to use the existing $2.5 Trillion in federal tax revenues more efficiently:
    • (01) Leave Iraq now. That will probably take 1 year to accomplish if we start now.
    • (02) Cut ALL unnecessary spending. And there’s a LOT that is unnecessary. That could net severeal hundreds of billions of the $2.5 Trillion in current total federal tax revenues. We do not need all of this.
    • (03) Stop borrowing and stop growing the $10.7 Trillion National Debt, before the rampant borrowing and money-printing to merely pay the annual $429 Billion in interest alone crashes the currency ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n3g5lUgkWk&feature=related ).
    • (04) Eliminate regressive taxation now ( One-Simple-Idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Taxes ). Also, stop all exemptions (e.g. Social Security cap), and stop taxing certain types of income differently (especially lower tax rates for the types of income that mostly benefit the wealthy). Eliminate all tax loop holes and deductions. Most Americans polled believe a flat percentage on all types of income is the most fair method ( for example: One-Simple-Idea.com/TaxSystemReform.htm )
    • (05) Stop free-money bailing outs. Some loans may be OK, but no free money for anyone, and only for banks and corporations that are not too risky or too far gone. AIG got $85 Billion, then another $38 Billion, and now another $27 Billion. That’s $150 Billion for one corporation, and it still isn’t working is it?. This process should also have complete transparency. Currently, the Federal Reserve is concealing the flow of the money. As far as we know, the fleecing of America could have just shifted into over-drive. Also, tax payers money should not be going to make good on any Credit Default Swaps, exotic investment vehicles, excessive executive salaries and bonuses, parties, soirees, and other abuses (many of which have already occurred).
    • (06) Instead of bail-outs, (a) set limits on usurious interest rates that are pushing home-owners into bankruptcy. Also, (b) if tax payers are to buy toxic loans from the banks and corporations, it should only be a safe fraction of the market value of the property, since the value won’t be easy to determine, and market values are still falling and 18.6 Million vacant housing units (nation-wide). Tax payers should drive a hard bargain, and this process should also have complete transparency. Otherwise, banks are going to get another foreclosure to deal with, and more losses, which isn’t good when the banks can’t easily sell the foreclosed property when there are now approximately 18.6 Million vacant housing units (nation-wide), as of 31-MAR-2008 there were 129.4 Million housing units in the U.S., but only 110.8 million were occupied (75.1 Million by owners and 35.7 Million by renters), and record-level foreclosures today of 10,000 per day (303,000 in AUG-2008). The point is, tax payers should not be bailing out There is some legal precedent for setting limits on interest rates. In many civil small claims courts, anything above 10% is considered usurious. What does that say about 33% credit cards? What does this entire economic disaster say about the Federal Reserve, member banks, U.S. Treasury, mortgage corporations, and Congress? As for people who are upside-down (or underwater) on their mortgages, they (nor the banks) should receive tax payer money to make up the difference of the original loan and the current market value. That banks and/or homeowners will have to eat those losses, because there simply isn’t enough money to make up the trillions already lost and have yet to be lost, and it will simply take time for severely over-priced home values to stabilize. However, some homes were so over-priced and some buyers were so irresponsible or ignorant to that fact, it will be a very long time (if ever) before some homes will be worth the original price. Still, that’s not the majority of tax-payers fault. Those bad loans should be pushed back to the irresponsible lenders and borrowers. Also, bail-outs still will not solve the numerous instances in which the borrowers were way-in over their head even before their Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) rates were jacked up. That is, there are still a LOT of loans that were bad from the start and will still be bad in the end.
    • (07) Create a national non-profit health insurance system with adequate oversight. Other than that, stop creating more cradle-to-grave programs, and perpetuating the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else; we can’t all ride in the wagon; someone has to push the wagon too.
    • (08) Stop giving away economic stimulus checks. Instead, reduce unemployment by creating jobs to:
      • create and implement alternative energy solutions to reduce the nation’s serious energy vulnerabilities, and also reduce the dangers of global warming. It may also create new foreign markets for the U.S. to sell to.
      • and to rebuild and repair America’s infrastructure,
      • and set compensation limits for management of any participating corporations that want to bid on such contracts.
    • (09) Stop illegal employers costing Americans an estimated $70-to-$327 Billion in annual net losses, millions of displaced jobs, and thousands of Americans murdered year year by illegal aliens (more in the last 3 years than all U.S. troops killed in Iraq in the last 5 years).
    • (10) Do not pass another shamnesty BILL. The 1986 shamnesty caused the illegal immigration problem to grow by 400%-to-700% (from about 3 million to 12-to-20 Million illegal aliens). Stop pandering to the illegal aliens; of which an estimated 3% of votes are by illegal aliens: www.youtube.com/watch?v=On4jctZLlc8
    • (11) Reduce (and ideally, eventually eliminate) inflation, which increases economic instability. Do you really believe current inflation is only 5% ? The real inflation becomes more obvious when you compare the U.S. Dollar to other currencies, which also have inflation of their own, or when you look at falling GDP since year 2006 when viewed in any other previous years’ inflation adjusted dollar. For example: One-Simple-Idea.com/GDPAdjustedForInflation2005and1950Dollars.gif Inflation is a serious threat, because it is already worse than people think it is, because inflation is being understated (see: www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data ). If we aren’t very careful, history can repeat itself, and a bad situation could become much worse if the currency crashes, which has happened before in the following countries in the last 150 years:
      • Weimar Republic of Germany 1920 – 1923 (1/466 billionth of starting value),
      • Zimbabwe 2003 - present (6 quadrillionth of the starting value and continuing to fall),
      • Former Soviet Union 1993 – 2002 (1/14th of starting value),
      • Argentina 1975 – 1983 (1/1,000th of starting value),
      • Austria 1921 – 1923 (about 1/4 of starting value),
      • Bolivia 1984 - 1986 (1/1,000 of starting value);
      • Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992 – 1993 (1/100,000th of starting value),
      • Brazil 1960 – 1994 (1 trillionth of starting value), Chile 1971 – 1973 (1/3rd of starting value),
      • China 1947 – 1955 (1/10,000th of starting value),
      • Greece 1943 – 1953 (1/50 trillionth of starting value),
      • Hungary 1945 – 1946 (100 quintillionth of the starting value),
      • Hungary 1922 – 1923 (1/4 of starting value),
      • Israel 1976 – 1986 (1/16th of starting value),
      • Japan 1934 – 1951 (1/362nd of starting value),
      • Poland 1990 – 94 (1/10,000th of starting value),
      • U.S.A. (Confederate States of America) 1861 – 1865 (1/90th of starting value, and then, by the end of the Civil War, the Confederate Dollar depreciated to zero).
      • It also happened in the ancient Roman Empire, when the silver and gold coinage of that day was progressively debased with base metals, in order to fund wars, giveaways to the Plebeians, and various other adventures. There are many additional examples that I have not bothered to cover here.
    • (12) Stop undermining education. We need more doctors, engineers, scientists, and skilled workers. Also, insufficient Education also leads to the failure to recognize the importance of Education itself, Transparency, and Accountability, which results in Corruption:
      • Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability
      • Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability
    • (13) Obey the Constitution (38 different states have submitted over 630 Article V applications, of which 81 were requesting a Balanced Budget amendment), which is already being violated in several ways: One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm
    • (14) Stop unfair trade practices. Stop rewarding corporations for selling out Americans. Stop H-1B abuses. Stop other abuses manifested by unchecked greed of illegal employers or despicable politicians that pit Americans and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits disguised as compassion.
    • (15) Congressional Term-Limits.
    • (16) Judicial Term-Limits.
    • (17) Stop the lying and misreporting of economic statistics (e.g. inflation, GDP, unemployment, etc.).
    • (18) Stop government FOR-SALE. Pass much-needed, common-sense campaign Finance reform. 99.7% of all voters 200 million eligible voters are currently vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.3% of the weatlhiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more. As a result, 90% of elections are won by the candidates that spend the most money (usually the incumbent, who has many unfair advantages: One-Simple-Idea.com/FAQ.htm#UnfairAdvantages )
    • (19) Election reform. Stop Gerrymandering. Barriers to non-main-party candidates getting on ballots should be eliminated. Non-citizens should not be voting in our elections, yet an estimated 3% of votes are by illegal aliens: www.youtube.com/watch?v=On4jctZLlc8
    • (20) Stop plundering Social Security surpluses, and other forms of legal plunder (e.g. eminent domain abuse). Also, stop Medicare and Social Security fraud.
    • (21) Stop pork-barrel, corporate welfare, and waste (which is rampant): www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg1840.cfm
    • (22) One-Purpose-Per-BILL (line item veto won’t work): One-Simple-Idea.com/OnePurposePerBILL.htm
    • (23) Stop starting unnecessary wars. Also, something has to be done so that all Americans share in the sacrifice of war; otherwise, the wealthy and elites will always evade the risks others must bear, will continue to start unnecessary wars, and will continue to sabotage the military’s goal to win with the least cost to life and limb. Also, we should take much better care of our veterans. The treatment (or lack of) some are getting is truly shameful.
    • (24) Focus on sustainability and stability, instead of unsustainable growth, expansion, and over-population ( One-Simple-Idea.com/Environment1.htm ).
    • (25) Stop these 10 abuses, or little (if anything) will get better.
    • (26) Stop the rampant playing with money to create money (manifestations of unchecked greed), and enforce existing laws and create new regulations to reduce manipulation of markets, prices, monopolies, banks, etc.). Stop the banks and corporations from gambling with depositors’ money (e.g. Credit Default Swaps, etc.).
    • (27) Something has to be done about the Federal Reserve, which is partly responsible (along with the U.S. Treasury) responsible for inflation, and partly the cause of serial economic bubbles, and economic instability, and the massive economic problem we have today, in which money (and debt) is created at a huge 9-to-1 ratio.
    • (28) Hold criminals accountable for rampant levels of usury, predatory loan practices, fraud, and gambling with depositors’ money.
    • (29) Forfeit Congress person’s pension if convicted of a felony. Also, set limits on Congress’ ability to give itself cu$hy perk$, health insurance, and cu$hy benefits that most Americans can afford for themselves, and Congressional raises (e.g. such as the 9 raises between 1997 and 2007 while U.S. troops go without armor, adequate medical care, and promised benefits).
    • (30) And in every election, voters need to stop rewarding bad politicians with re-election, or voters will suffer the consequences, and voters will get what they deserve.
    More willy-nilly, scatter-brain, random and abritrary bail-outs, and so little transparency will not work.

    Not with so much pre-existing debt and pre-existing liabilities.
    Not with interest on the $10.7 Trillion National Debt costing over $429 Billion per year ($1.2 Billion per day!).
    Not when were are borrowing and creating money out of thin air to merely pay the interest alone on the $10.7 Trillion National Debt.
    $2 Trillion has already been pumped into banks, corporations, and Wall Street.
    Is it working?
    Can it work?
    What are the risks?
    General Moters, California, and other corporations and states now want bail-outs too.
    DHL just closed all domestic services and laid of 9,500 employees, and 5,000 previous.
    Who really believes the tax payers will ever see a return on those loans?
    Many of these banks and corporations are going to fail anyway, because we have an excess of those services and products.
    The perpetual growth of the bubbles we see over and over are not sustainable.

    If we continue to grow the debt, borrowing, money-printing, and spending much longer, a depression or a long and deep recession is not far fetched.
    A depression can be either inflationary, deflationary, a combination of both, and/or stagflationary.
    Currently, inflation is already bad at 5%, but it could very easily get much worse (especially since inflation is already being understated), with so much pressure now to borrow, create money out of thin air, and spend.

    David wrote: There are two schools of thought out there on this.
    • (1) The conservative school says, let the whole damn economy tank, and after a year or so of deleveraging, high unemployment, bankrupt small businesses and families in the 10’s of millions, stabilization will occur. And after the stabilization period of another year or several, the economy will begin to grow again.
    • (2) The liberal school of thought is that government was part of the problems being heaped upon citizens and businesses, and therefore, the government has a responsibility to mitigate the harm as best it can while making every effort to restore economic growth as fast as possible, even at the cost of very large deficits.
    Both of those two options would probably fail miserably.

    There’s a better option, which is the list of 30 things above.

    David wrote: The major problem with the conservative school of thought is that there is no fail safe or stop loss against deep recession becoming a decade long Depression or more.
    Option (3) would mitigate problems, but regardless, there will be increased unemployment, pain, and misery. Also, a lot of greed caused this, and we all need to own up to it, and understand that some pain and misery is unavoidable (as it should be). We brought this on ourselves, and no one but ourselves can save us now, and that ain’t gonna happen by trying to sovle a massive debt problem with more massive debt, borrowing, creating money put of thin air, rampant bail-outs, spending, pork-barrel, and insufficient federal spending cuts. That won’t work.

    However, the government is not even remotely coming close to doing the correct type of government spending and spending cuts.
    And it is very unlikely that it will, because 92% of the same irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress were re-elected.

    The total federal debt is also larger than the stated $10.7 Trillion, and the total nation-wide debt is as high as $67 Trillion (depending on whether you include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with an approaching 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching).

    David wrote: The major problem with the liberal school is that hope and trust that future administrations and Congress’ will diligently work to control spending and elevate taxes in the economic growth periods to relieve tax payers from the mountain of debt racked up and the service costs, to mitigate the damage and harm, may not be warranted.
    And that is exactly why it is flawed, not to mention the fact that the money is not merely currently coming from tax revenues alone, but also coming from borrowing and creating money out of thin air.

    I just don’t get this optimism by so many people when 92% of the same irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress were re-elected.

    The federal government and the Federal Reserve have been creating many hundreds of billions of new money out of thin air for years.
    The proof of it is that the M3 Money Supply ( inflationdata.com/inflation/Inflation_Articles/M3_Money_supply_2.asp ) increased by 7520% from $135 Billion (in year 1950) to $10.15 Trillion (in year 2005).

    Also, there an NO Social Security surpluses ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Trust_Fund ). The surpluses are not existing cash.

    David wrote: So far, I side with the liberal school of thought on both ethical and economic modeling, despite the inherent problem with that approach. But, ONLY because there are signs that the Obama administration is going to approach this in a very pragmatic, hard numbers, non-ideological way, that has a real chance of stemming a protracted recession and preventing any near term depression.
    I seriously believe more debt, borrowing, money printing, bail-outs, and spending will make things worse, because the spending will be done so irresponsibly, without major reforms and federal spending cuts.
    David wrote: There are very wrong ways to implement the liberal approach, and so far, Obama intimates he won’t be following those.
    Obama already mentioned raising corporate taxes.

    That will make things worse, because those taxes simply get passed along to consumers as a regressive sales tax, and also motivate corporations to move operations off shore.

    David wrote: For example, his approach to government assistance directly to homeowners filing bankruptcy and being foreclosed upon to remain in their residences, will put a floor under falling neighborhood and regional home prices, which in turn will halt the degradation of financial institution’s balance sheets, and shorten the credit crunch period. This is a very smart approach.
    That depends on how it is done.

    If it is done by reducing usurious interest rates, that’s a good idea.

    If it is done by giving money to homeowners and/or banks, and/or buying those toxic debts with tax payers money, that’s a very bad idea, and it won’t work, because there’s not even remotely enough money to do that (without borrowing massive sums and creating so much money out of thin air that it creates hyperinflation and crashes the U.S. Dollar), and it would not allow a natural price adjustment for homes that were already severely over-priced from the beginning. Those loses have to be realized by someone, and that debt (or loss) should not be socialized.

    If the federal government tries to buy all of the toxic debt at the original values, or try to keep borrowers in homes that they couldn’t really afford from the beginning, the bail-outs will fail miserably, and it is also not fair to bail out people who made bad loans, and punish everyone else who was responsible, are paying their loans, or completely paid off their mortgages.
    If we start bailing out both banks and home-owners, we will have truly descended into a pathetic cradle-to-grave, nanny state.

    Again, there’s not enough money to buy even half of all the bad debt ($54-to-$67 Trillion nation-wide).
    $2 Trillion have already been borrowed and created out of thin air to merely add some liquidity to frozen credit markets.
    It would require many trillions more to merely cover all of the millions of bad loans (10,000 foreclosures per day) by the amount that each loan is underwater.
    Also, such a process would be so severely gamed and abused, it will cost trillions more, and miss many of the intended targets.

    David wrote: If he takes a similar approach to the auto industry, i.e., not bailing out the stock holders or executives, but, using federal dollars to make takeover and buyout options of these manufactures by others who know how to serve market need and demand and anticipate future market needs, it will be a vastly smarter approach to saving those jobs and the industry and tax payers, as opposed to the old liberal approach of bailing out Chrysler which the Democratic congress did under Reagan, if I recall correctly, even though the tax payers got their money back from Chrysler on that deal with Lee Iacoca.
    That was only a $1 Billion loan to Chrysler and it was at a time when the National Debt was much smaller than today:
    • there is too much national debt ($10.6 Trillion) and too much nation-wide debt ($54-to-$67 Trillion).
    • There’s not enough money to bail-out everyone, and GM may never become profitable again. GM has become less profitable year after year for many years. Unless there are major managment changes, GM will continue to be unprofitable and continue to build gas guzzlers when they should have been building hybrids and inventing more fuel efficient vehicles. If we bail-out GM, will we have to bail-out Ford, and all of the other auto manufacturers? Perhaps letting the weakest corporation fail will help the other more profitable corporations do better? Isn’t that the way it is supposed to work? Would you like it if the government keeps bailing out your competitors? There was a time when some bail-outs might have worked, such as the Chrysler bail-out in year 1979, when GDP was 3 times larger than the National Debt. Now the $10.6 Trillion National Debt is 77% of GDP, and the $67 Trillion nation-wide debt is 485% of GDP !
      • DATE ____ NATIONAL DEBT ____ GDP
      • NOV-2008 __ $10.6 Trillion __ $13.8 Trillion (Debt/GDP=77%)
      • SEP-1990 __ $3.23 Trillion __ $5.80 Trillion (Debt/GDP=56%)
      • SEP-1980 __ $0.93 Trillion __ $2.89 Trillion (Debt/GDP=32%)
    • there isn’t enough money already in existence to even put a dent into the debt, and creating more money out of thin air will make the situation worse.
    • a large number of things weren’t remotely as bad then as they are today (One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm).
    • the socialization of so much debt ($67 Trillion nation-wide) through more borrowing and creating new money out of thin air will make a bad situation much worse, by destroying the savings, pensions, investments, wages, and entitlement benefits of most working Americans who do not own a lot of land, gold, natural resources, and property. It will destroy the currency by incessant inflation that is already bad, and already being dishonestly understated (One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Measurement).
    David wrote: Obama has also announced that he will address the wealth disparity gap through tax policy initially, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in put in their place, a larger cut for the middle class (Bush cuts plus for the middle class) while increasing taxes on the very wealthy.
    The current tax system is regressive and unfair.

    Obama should seriously reconsider raising corporate taxes, and think about who really pays those taxes (i.e. they actually get passed along to consumers).

    Eliminating the cap on Social Security, and setting a flat income tax rate for everyone would be more fair and raise more revenues.
    Anyway, Obama’s overall tax plan, if actually implemented, is less screwed up than McCain’s (which was severely messed up, regressive, and unfair).

    David wrote: He also does not appear to be buying the GOP Kool Aid that raising capital gains taxes now will cause job losses. That is plain nuts and illogical.
    Hopefully.

    We should all pay the same percentage on all types of income, and there should be no exemptions or caps for certain types of income.
    Especially the types that favor the wealthy (i.e. Social Security cap, and lower (e.g. 5%-to-15%) on capital gains, while most workers average over 21% for total federal taxes).
    The tax system we have now is most certainly unfair, in which someone making $60K pays 30% in total federal taxes while someone else making $46 Million pays 17% in total Federal taxes ( e.g. One-Simple-Idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#WarrenBuffet ).

    David wrote: Those employers are laying off for lack of consumer demand, not lack of profits and cash, and liquidity to expand their operations. Hence, higher capital gains taxes will not affect the already absent spending on business expansion. It will only result in lower shareholder profits and lower executive pay levels.
    It varies, depending on the corporations. However, there’s no doubt that greed is a huge part of the problem. Just think how many engineers and scientists could be employed by the tens of millions some greedy CEO’s and executives make. Of course, such greed isn’t illegal, but only because it isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it isn’t greedy. And this very situation is why no executives should continue to receive exorbitant compensation if their company is being propped up by tax payers.
    David wrote: Down the road, after consumer demand shows signs of outpacing capital growth and expansion of supply, capital gains tax cuts will again, make sense, freeing up capital and investment dollars for business expansion when consumer demand warrants such expansion. This is the kind of pragmatic non-ideological approach that is absolutely essential to preventing this recession from spiraling out control.
    Any tax cut percentage for capital gains should also be made to all other types of income. Lower tax rates for the types of income that the wealthy have much more of isn’t fair. Warren Buffet’s employee shouldn’t be paying 30% in total federal taxes on $60K while Warren Buffet pays 17% in total federal taxes on $46 Million due to lower tax rates, exemptions, and tax loop holes that mostly benefit the wealthy.
    David wrote: I have a lot of hope for this administration, but, a lot of ‘Show Me’ skepticism, as well.
    I have hope, but realistically believe that hope will soon disappear, since 92% of the same irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress were re-elected.

    I’m also not going to be happy about later being proven correct.

    David wrote: If we don’t hope for the best, we won’t act accordingly.
    Well, I’m not sure about that a lack of hope by voters will affect actions of the elected.
    David wrote: So, I will keep this hope alive until it is demonstrated to be misplaced.
    Me too, but I’m already hearing things that are disturbing, or were already disturbing from the start.

    Good things Obama will likely do is:

    • [1] make income taxes less regressive.

    • [2] get us out of Iraq (he’d better, or he can kiss re-election good-bye).
      [3] improve foreign relationships.
      [4] improve the direction toward alternative energies.
      [5] increase availability to health care insurance? (he’d better, or he can kiss re-election good-bye).
      [6] improve access to education?

    Bad things Obama will likely do is:

    • [01] increase the National Debt.

    • [02] pass another shamnesty BILL like the shamnesty of 1986 which caused the illegal immigration problem to grow by 400%-to-700% (from about 3 million to 12-to-20 Million illegal aliens).
      [03] despicably pit Americans and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits while disguising it as compassion.
      [04] give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens.
      [05] increase H-1B visa limits and abuses: www.youtube.com/programmersguild
      [06] make economic conditions worse by continued fiscal irresponsibility and a corrupt Congress.
      [07] make economic conditions worse by increasing net annual losses of an estimated $70-to-$327 Billion in net losses due to burdens on tax payers due to illegal immigration.
      [08] increase inflation.
      [09] send more economic stimulus checks to tax payers, which will increase inflation.
      [10] raise taxes on corporations (which will get passed along to tax payers and motivate corporations to move out of the U.S.).
      [11] fail to reduce federal spending and the severely bloated size of the federal government.
      [12] fail to uphold the Constitution (e.g. Article 4, Section 4, Article 5, etc.: One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm ) despite teaching Constitutional Law.
      [13] fail to reduce H-1B visa abuses.
      [14] fail to reduce pork-barrel
      [15] fail to make federal taxation fair.
      [16] fail to eliminate subsidies and corporate welfare.
      [17] fail to address the Federal Reserve’s and member banks’ dishonest, usurious, predatory pyramid scheme.
      [18] fail to pass adequate campaign finance reforms.
      [19] fail to pass adequate election reforms.
      [20] fail to lower health care costs, by not eliminating unnecessary middlemen (i.e. insurance corporations).

    Perhaps that is too much to ask?

    Perhaps expecting the U.S. Constitution be obeyed, existing laws against hiring illegal aliens, fair taxation, and fiscal responsibility is too much to ask?

    David wrote: I don’t have as much confidence in the Congress acting in support of such an approach come the end of 2009 when they begin to consider how they are going to buy the votes of their constituents. But, let’s get through 2009 and build a brighter economic outlook for 2010 before we tackle that horrendous failing in our political system.
    I’m not sure the economic conditions can improve much (if any) while the political system and federal government continues to be fiscally and morally bankrupt.

    Government won’t get better until voters demand it, and rewarding incumbent politicians with re-election just locked in another 2 years with 92%-to-95% of the same incumbent politicians in Congress (depending on the final outcome of some undecided elections).

    It seems highly likely that Democrats will do what all IN-PARTY’s do, and start abusing their power immediately.
    Also, what Democrats did between 7-NOV-2006 and today was not at all encouraging.
    So, it’s difficult to see many solid reasons for much optimism.

    Also, even if we get through this current credit crunch problem, there will be long-term consequences for decades to come, and the debt will be even larger than before, and we will be facing an economic depression (or worse) if the federal government doesn’t starting dealing with the massive debt problem now, which will take many years of fiscal discipline to merely stop it from growing larger, much less keeping it from growing ever larger. The $10.6 Trillion debt can not grow much bigger without risking the inability to pay the interest (currently $429 Billion per year = $1.2 Billion per day = 16% of $2.7 Trillion in federal tax revenues).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , and deserve, at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 11, 2008 03:11 PM
    Comment #270232

    Check this out: http://www.one-simple-idea.com/main/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=8

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 12, 2008 06:56 PM
    Comment #270234

    d.a.n, it is entirely unreasonable and impossible for one administration in one 4 year term to address all your concerns effectively and simultaneously.

    With your expectations for turning this country around on a dime, I don’t see how you can possibly help but be disappointed by your expectations.

    With 72% of the public saying they don’t mind if deficits increase as long as the economic recovery is brought about, that is a mandate for a prioritization that you don’t agree with. Obama can’t possibly, even with a totally responsible and cooperative congress, achieve BOTH zeroing out the deficit and recovering the economy in 4 years. The numbers just won’t add up that way.

    My hope is that Obama will get the economy back on an unemployment reduction trend, put a floor under the sliding home values, tax the wealthy while their money is not needed for investment economic expansion, and make some pretty concrete political reforms. If the economy is growing again by the end of his first term, I would then expect him to make deficit and debt reduction including Medicare reform left undone in the first term, his highest domestic policy priorities.

    This ship of state can’t turn from decades of going in the wrong direction, in 4 years. Substantial progress in turning this ship is the best any of us can realistically expect given the lack of accountability by the voters over their representatives.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 12, 2008 07:23 PM
    Comment #270348

    Maybe. But we need responsibility now.

    While I think we can do much better, I don’t think it will happen.

    I’m a realist, and proved to be right most of the time.

    As a result, deterioration will continue.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 14, 2008 07:16 PM
    Comment #270455
    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, it is entirely unreasonable and impossible for one administration in one 4 year term to address all your concerns effectively and simultaneously.
    Of course it isn’t realistic to expect ALL of those things to be resolved.

    The 1st point of the list above is to show that we have been allowing serious problems to grow in number and severity for decades.

    The 2nd point is about the probability of any of the major abuses being adequately addressed (if at all) in the next decade. The next 2-to-4 years ain’t enough. It will take decades of fiscal and moral responsibility to dig our way out of this very deep hole.

    The 3rd point is that we have dug ourselves (yes, all of us) into such a deep hole, we’re going to need extraordinary fiscal responsibility for decades to mitigate the now-unavoidable pain and misery from 30+ years of fiscal and moral bankruptcy, and the probability of that happening with 95% of the same incumbents in Congress doesn’t seem likely at all. I do not think government will become more responsible and accountable until the voters do first. How likely are things to change when Congress has been deficit spending for 51 consecutive years, we’ve had positive inflation for 52 consecutive years, and the nation-wide debt has been growing faster than GDP for 52 consecutive years?

    • $55.0T |—————————————-D (Debt=$54T)

    • $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—————-

    • $12.5T |———————D——————G (GDP=$13.9T year 2007)

    • $10.0T |—————-D—————G
    • ——-
    • $07.5T |———-D————G
    • —————-
    • $05.0T |-D——-G
    • ——————————
    • $02.5T |-G
    • —————————————
    • $00.0T +(1956)————————- (2008)YEAR

      The point is, what we need to avoid a total economic melt-down and a lot of wide-spread pain and misery may very well now be impossible.

      The $54-to-$67 Trillion nation-wide debt is so large, wide-spread bankruptcy may be the only possible outcome.

      Especially when:

      • 40% of Americans have ZERO net worth.

      • the wealthiest 1% of Americans owns 40% of all wealth.

      • 80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth.

      • the debt-to-GDP (above) grows worse every year.

      • we have 10,000 foreclosures per day.

      • no one can say where the money will come from to merely pay the interest on the $10.6 Trillion National Debt, much less the $54-to-$67 Trillion nation-wide debt.

      • etc., etc., etc., so many things that have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression.

      If it were not for such a huge list of serious issues that have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression, doubts could be dismissed as mere pessimism.
      However, there is now little doubt that the situation is serious.
      The question is, how bad will it be 2, 4, 6, 12 years from now, when we’re in such a deep hole?

      Especially if those 10 major abuses are not addressed as soon as possible.

      Also, it isn’t merely a question of whether solutions exist to get us out of so much trouble.
      The big question is whether we will choose to implement common-sense solutions.
      Given human nature, Congress’ track record, 51 consecutive years of deficits, and history, it’s very difficult to see how the next decade isn’t going to be painful for most Americans, and it doesn’t seem likely that the Obama/Biden admininstration will be able to get much accomplished with 95% of the same incumbent politicians in Congress.

      Hence, the title of your artcle is very apropos: Obama wins America’s woes.

      P.S. It looks like they’re going to bail-out the automobile manufacturers too. Everyone and their dog is lining up for a bail-out.

      At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

      Posted by: d.a.n at November 16, 2008 06:11 PM
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