Beyond the Cusp

March 20, 2017

Why President Trump Cannot Win

 

Before we start the actual article, we would like to mention and give our respect and condolences to all who are feeling the loss of Chuck Berry. The man was a Rock-n-Roll icon to four generations and his concerts later in his life while he was in his 70’s would draw everything from teenagers to silver haired ladies and all would rock right along as one. The man was also an example of how one should live their lives. His life was dedicated to his music, his fans, married to the same woman his entire life, did not abuse drugs, did not drink and was a man who attended church and truly lived a well-mannered life. We wish to respect his life and mourn a world which has lost a truly great man.

 

 

President Trump has all the power and can do anything he desires. This is the fear mongering we read in the newspapers all too often and hear from the leftists in full panic attack as they no longer control the White House. After eight years of a Progressive Democrat following eight years of a Progressive Republican which followed eight more years of a Progressive Democrat the left and the Progressive right are in a panic. They really should calm themselves as President Donald Trump is a fellow Progressive in many ways even if those he has appointed to some very important posts are not such. Look at those posts and one should be glad that he has put unemotional purists in the slots dealing with national security, the military, counter terrorism, homeland security, intelligence position and such which protect America and the free world. Thus far the most counter progressive appointment he made has been Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and his main offense has been refusing to make law by interpreting the law to meet supposed modern sensitivities and instead simply applying the law. This has put Senator Schumer’s panties in a bunch and sent him screaming into the halls of the Senate rallying the troops. But we can expect this for every nominee which President Trump puts forth for position on any bench and perhaps people should remind Senator Schumer that it was President Obama who appointed Judge Neil Gorsuch to his current position. But Senator Schumer is far from the main opposition President Trump is facing.

 

President Trump is facing a hostile media which currently he is enjoying the threat and has turned much of the confrontation to his benefit, but that cannot last. The media enjoys strong allies placed throughout the nation in the form of entertainment media, their secret weapon. As television, music, movie and other entertainment venues slowly chip and pick at the position of the President and make jokes about his every miscue these things pile up and with time begin to affect the thinking of many Americans. Slowly they will ebb away at his support and make him appear buffoonish and even stupid and uneducated which will erode faith in his ability to make wise choices. As such, they will have him at a disadvantage within a couple of years and may make his reelection all but impossible. President Trump very likely will not even seek reelection as if there is a strong sense of doubt that he could win no matter who the Democrats put forth or that the Republicans themselves may try to unseat him in the primaries, he may decide that with such disregard for his efforts, why bother. But even all of this is not his greatest opposition.

 

President Trump’s greatest opposition is the government itself. While we have been asleep since about 1965 the government has grown to the point where the elected politicians do not even make the laws any longer, that has been relegated to the unelected bureaucrats. When the House of Representatives or the Senate write a piece of legislation it defines the end results they wish to see. This gets tossed around and watered down until it really means absolutely nothing at all, it just has some feel good phrases and soundbites which can be used in their reelection campaigns and some high-minded and altruistic goal in the title and otherwise is an empty shell. The only exceptions are military budgets and tax legislation where they say exactly what the lobbyists and the Generals desire most. These other empty titles are passed off with the same phrase that the Secretary of one of the many Cabinet positions used so their assistants and their assistants and on and on to fill in the legislation with the regulations necessary to accommodate the desired meaning of the bill. Now these Cabinet Secretaries are not about to spend their time weaving these bills into operative and meaningful actions as they are mostly there to oversee that things get accomplished. To that end they will slide this off on some high ranking bureaucrat responsible and presumably knowledgeable to flush everything out who passes this off to some of their underlings on down until it reaches somebody who has nobody else to pass it to or until someone feels like this is their ticket to the top and the regulations are written and the wheels of government continue to grind, the people they presumably serve, into dust. New rules are issued and eventually someone runs afoul of one of these regulations which most never knew existed but somebody inevitably gets caught in the wheels of the legislative and regulatory nightmare.

 

Any hope that President Trump believes he has for changing government will get lost somewhere deep inside the legislative machinery which now employs almost one in fourteen Americans (the number is higher if you count only working Americans, it more than doubles to 16.7 percent of the U.S. workforce). The government workers union, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), was actually heavily invested in the reelection campaign for President Obama though they did so outside of the view of the media. The government, especially the Federal Government, is filled with people who are ardent Democrat supporters and are fully indoctrinated in liberal ideology. This has been further enforced through selective hiring and as the most dangerous time in a government worker’s career are the first few years, the years when they can be fired or removed through a reduction in force (RIF) directive where the department head is to remove people with the most recent hire first and in reverse order with an exception that if they can find a nonessential position where two people are performing a similar job for which only one is necessary, then the more junior person can be let go. This second means is another means whereby an identified conservative will be fired despite the many protections government workers enjoy. There is another way such an employee can keep their position but that requires approvals and other means whereby they push a person with less time in government out in their place and many are reluctant and prefer just finding a real job, as they would phrase it. These are the people who started the idea that it takes three government workers to do a single job equivalent to the same job in the real world. Is it true? Who knows, no such study has or ever will be permitted to be performed. Having resided in Washington D.C. and having been married to an employee of our Federal Government, I refuse to answer because the government has such long arms and is run by just such persons. Changing or removing some of, if not most, of these people is near impossible as this video explains to some extent.

 

 

 

Percentage of American Population Working for Government by Year

Percentage of American Population Working for Government by Year

 

The problem is not entirely in the government though that is where President Trump will find the greatest resistance and the perversion of everything he believes he has achieved unless he can persuade the Congress to actually write the entirety of the law and not leave it to the government machine to define the rules. Did I mention that this will never happen? The problem actually starts far earlier than with the government. It starts with the education system and from the earliest grades. We hear about the rare teacher who spouts out their political feelings and denounces President Trump, President Bush or whatever politician, usually a Republican. Do such denunciations ever target a Democrat? Great question and an example would be greatly appreciated. The reality is that many parents do not ask their children what happened or what they learned in school and when they do the child often shrugs or says, “Nothin’ much” and it gets dropped at that. If their child did grace them with an example, it would likely be the one thing they did learn and remember learning, but much of learning is more subtle, closer to subliminal. It is the subliminal education which often is the most permanent and where indoctrination does its damage. The textbooks are often written by academics that also have a left leaning slant and outside of the hard sciences there is much room for the soft indoctrination from the left in their education and through their societal influences. This is what has led to the “safe spaces” and the disinviting of conservative speakers or the outrageous actions such as the recent events at Middlebury College or University of California Berkley where students basically rioted and at one location severely injured one of the professors who was assigned to moderate the talk. These actions and the rioting in many cities where law enforcement was instructed to back off and give the rioters both in the cities and colleges the room required for them to express their outrage was an outrage in itself. Is this to be the face of the new world where hooligans are permitted freedom to destroy property and injure those with whom they feel have no right to any contrary opinion, or even who are accused of having a contrary opinion? If this is the way of the society in the West, then we can be assured that the West is going to fall. This is uncivil behavior and no civilization can survive when incivility becomes an acceptable means of expression. Such permissiveness and a government which with continued growth could reach an unsupportable size are reasons that Europe is failing and could become a critical problem for the United States as well.

 

There is one last item which could also cause the end of Western civilization, its inability to defend itself. The United States is still the world’s greatest super power, but that is not guaranteed for the future. It was not all that long ago when Great Britain was the great power and before them France and even Spain and they all proved, as if Rome had not done so before them, all super powers finally fall. Going back even further there were Greece, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Hittites, China, India and even Siam. Having great power is not a guarantee of continued power. That requires dedications, vigilance and the desire to continue to bear the costs of such preeminence. Such costs continue to rise as weapon systems grow ever more complex and research takes greater scientific knowledge which brings us back to education, in this case the hard sciences, an area of endeavor which remains the most challenging and the less inclined rarely venture into these waters. Without an expressed importance placed on such study, it falls by the wayside as does military power which is not properly stressed and thus funded. The problem comes when a society gains so large a cost of social spending, particularly welfare spending and retirement promises where recipients don’t or no longer replace revenues into the system, exceeds the limitations of taxes and other revenues that the military becomes an expense no longer afforded. This is a prospect which the guaranteed minimum wage, especially as a livable wage, makes an even more dire situation and brings the choice as a sooner onset rather than a later one. There is a development which if technology continues at its current rate of increase will make these two situations collide and force a complete revamping of revenue enhancing streams as otherwise the governments will financially collapse. Eventually these advancements will make work more of a hobby which select groups will dedicate themselves towards while the majority of the population will do as they see fit and be permitted such by the advances of technology. That, perhaps, should be a future article leaving us to conclude on that sweet note.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 29, 2012

What Actually Predicated the Fiscal Cliff?

The media, talking heads, politicians and presumed experts have been feeding the public the story that the Fiscal Cliff was made possible, if not inevitable, by the Congress and the President put on hold addressing the deficit spending and debt ceiling difficulties and all the rest of the economic woes by passing a resolution setting this New Year as the deadline where the Bush Tax Cuts would automatically be rescinded and sequestration would cut spending across the board with a significantly larger cut being imposed on the Military parts of the budget. Unfortunately, this simplistic view leaves untold the reason that we are running more than a trillion dollar per year deficit spending. The rush to blame the other party or the other branch or house of government has obscured the springboard that launched the budget into this predicament. The truth is there is more than enough discrediting blame to go around and cover both the Democrat and Republican Parties. The originating start that placed us on the path to eventually hit a wall where spending would outstrip any possibility of taxes and fees being able to cover the spending by the Federal Government once allowed to spend outside of the Constitutional limits began almost from the inception of the constitution replacing the Articles of Confederation. This diversion from the strict limitations placed by the Constitution began very early in the history of the United States but the egregious disregard for Constitutional limitations began with the legislations and Presidential executive orders implemented to address the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The three signature programs that got their start as part of the New Deal under the economic policies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt were Social Security, Unemployment Insurance and the Minimum Wage. The next major damage done by the politicians in Washington were enacted as parts of the Great Society proposed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson with much of it touted as instrumental in the War on Poverty. After these two initial significant increases in the social spending by the Federal Government and the companion spending which was required or adopted by the individual States we have simply added additional coverage under these laws and programs with the occasional new program but as these existing programs had such an enormous cost that each addition seemed minor in comparison. Of course there were some programs which did add significant cost or set up situations which would eventually explode and destroying the societal economic wellbeing. One such program was the Community Reinvestment Act which was passed into law and signed by President Jimmy Carter. This law was used to intimidate banks and other mortgage lenders to make loans to marginally qualified buyers. Under President Clinton the CRA was expanded which set the housing market on the fast-track to forming a bubble which would crash in 2008. Under President George W. Bush we were given the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act which added excessively to the costs of Medicare. The latest major spending program is still being implemented and is the signature program put forth by President Barack Obama, called the Affordable Care Act. The full impact of this legislation will not be felt until later in this decade when it becomes fully implemented and all of its institutions and coverage have been instituted. These were just some of the most costly of the many new programs that have been instituted by the Federal government almost nonstop since the 1930s with the purpose of eradicating poverty in the United States or providing the social and financial safety net for all.

All of the above and the other items instituted over the years have had their individual and collective effect in pushing spending by the Federal Government beyond the ability of the economy to cover no matter what the tax rate. There is one last action which has to be discussed and is very likely the single most important contribution in causing the Fiscal Cliff yet has been overlooked by the majority of pundits, journalists and the rest of the coverage of the presumed coming disaster. This event was more of a procedure which was executed over the first eighteen months of President Barack Obama’s first term in office. It all is a part of the disregard for the financial, fiscal, and budgetary requirements of the Constitution by President Obama, his administration and the totally controlled Democrat Congress as they did not pass an actual budget during his first term. Instead of meeting this requirement the Congress in cooperation with President Obama passed individual spending bills which made allotments by department or program without forming an all-encompassing budget which covered and identified a budget for each department, program and other expenditures. This allowed for President Obama to stipulate a series of spending increases for those departments of the Federal Government which he favored large spending increases. Through this subterfuge that the President committed with the willing cooperation of a rubber-stamp Congress enabled for an increase of as much as thirty percent increase in the baseline budget of virtually every social program and their overseeing agencies. This forever increased spending in these selected departments and programs without ever needing to actually propose additional spending as the initial increase was used as the new baseline spending onto which the COLA annual increases would be applied as well as whatever the standard increase was applied to the entire budget if and when the Federal Government returns to actually passing budgets as required by the United States Constitution.

These slyly placed spending increases are a major portion of the items which have pushed spending causing the United States Federal Government to be running over a trillion dollar per year deficit which also resulted in constantly crashing into the debt ceiling. The main reason that the taxation and spending consequences were put off in such a way that the time would eventually arrive where the Democrats would get everything they dreamed of and the blame would be placed on the Republicans, what could be better? What is interesting is if one inspects the previous times when similar fiscal difficulties have struck the Federal Government and where the blames have been placed. When there was a budgetary war fought between the Democrat Congress and Republican President Ronald Reagan the media laid the blame for the impasse on President Reagan and allowed the Democrat Congress to get a pass. The next conflict over a budget came as a disagreement between Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and President Clinton. The entire fault was reportedly due to the intransigence of Republican Speaker of the House Gingrich and no blame fell upon Democrat President Clinton. Now we are facing the dreaded Fiscal Cliff and once again it is the Republicans in the House of Representatives who are to blame while Democrat President Obama along with a Democrat majority Senate are given a pass. There does appear to be a pattern here.

Meanwhile, back to the perfect situation the media is giving the Democrats and President Obama by placing all the blame for the lack of an agreement on the Republican House as if the President would approve any budget and solution the Republicans would send to him. In some manner that is a true statement but solely because even if Speaker of the House Boehner managed to marshal the votes to pass a budget, it would never even get heard in the Senate as per the promise of the Democrat Majority Leader of the Senate Harry Reid. Between the protective shield provided by Senator Reid and the Senate and the media and their favorable reporting gladly placing all blame for anything fiscal at any time squarely on the Republicans, the President can afford to take a vacation and grandstand claiming to return early to get serious when the only seriousness the President will demonstrate is rolling up his proverbial sleeves. Otherwise, the only actions that President Obama has taken has been to demand that he get everything he demands and anything in the way of a compromise is out of the question.

Looking at the situation which directly caused the Fiscal Cliff we get a far different picture than the media has laid out for us to consume. The initial steps on the path which has gotten us to the precipice of a cliff were made a long time ago. This extra-Constitutional spending by the Federal government started long ago even before President Theodore Roosevelt began purchasing lands placing them under Federal Government ownership as Federal Parks denying the sovereign States of their right to utilize the lands within their borders as they saw fit. The huge steps taken which was the base-work in establishing the concept of social spending being under the purview of the Federal Government were done under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and subsequently by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. The problem has been further expanded and exasperated by virtually every President and Congress since LBJ. The Community Reinvestment Act was instrumental in setting up specific criteria which would be expanded eventually leading to massive failures to pay on loans leading to a run of foreclosures which resulted in a crash of the real estate market causing bank and other financial institutions to fail as they held what had become toxic mortgages where the properties were worth a mere percentage of the loan value. This difficulty was handled in what may prove to have been the worst possible manner by initiating a Federal Bailout which was the brainchild of President George W. Bush. Doubling down on this troublesome solution was reapplied to cover even larger sectors of the economy of the United States was initiated by President Obama. At the same time, President Obama used the existence of a super majority in the Congress which precluded any possible meaningful opposition by the Republican minorities in his plan to vastly increase social spending. President Obama managed to repeal all the reforms placed on welfare, food stamps and other Federally mandated social programs that had been passed in compromises between a Republican Congress largely led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and President Clinton during his second term. President Obama then directed that these programs begin a special enlistment project to maximize their coverage rolls. This push became most noticeable in the increase in Food Stamp recipients. President Obama also pushed to increase spending in every program he favors and tasked others to perform some forms of social functions replacing their previous primary functions with these new priorities. The special additional investments in social programs led to an unusually large increase in the spending on these programs and subsequently on their parent departments. This set a new inflated base spending in these areas which has now led to the problem in balancing the new baseline budgets with the available funding. Procrastination was used to set a trap that is now about to be triggered. When facing this fiscal nightmare the Congress along with the President decided that it might be easier to address the new budget slowly and with greater care and thought and so the trap was set. The trap agreed to was that if the Congress and the President were unable to find a compromise by the end of the year, then the Bush tax cuts would be allowed to expire, a Democrat dream objective ever since these lower tax rates were passed, and sequestration cuts would be made across the board in every department with an extra measure to be taken from the Pentagon and military budgets. Now we are facing the consequence of this agreement and time is growing short. What to expect?

Either we will go over the Fiscal Cliff, a meaningless consequence that has been pumped up and made into a huge and scary monster, or the Republicans will compromise and be censured by the media for not giving in sooner and their constituents for compromising their principles. The question people need to remember the answer to is why would the Democrats compromise when what they really desire is for huge cuts to the military, NASA and other nonsocial budgets with minimal cuts to welfare, food stamps, and other social spending along with tax increases on everybody. The Democrats get their wildest dreams coming true simply by doing nothing but refusing to cooperate and they can count on a media which will absolve them of any blame while thoroughly scorning and condemning the Republicans as solely responsible for the refusal of a compromise being attained. After this pretend emergency has passed, just like the pretend disasters previously when shutting down the government because of lack of agreement on a budget was supposed to bring on the apocalypse, life will continue and the consequences of the miserable handling of the economy and spending will still not yet be evident. All the hoopla and grandstanding about the Fiscal Cliff is much ado about nothing and the consequences that led to this situation will continue unmentioned by the media because they are adverse to reporting the shortcomings and shenanigans committed by their hero, President Obama.

Eventually the consequences of the fiscal extravagances that have been the main fare of the Federal Government for much of the last century will come crashing down upon our heads and thin out our wallets. Thus far we have been spared by another group whose irresponsible actions have facilitated the extravagant overspending by the Federal Government simply by keeping the interest rates deceptively at their current low level. This charade cannot be kept up forever and eventually the rates will need to rise to their natural level. The only reason the Federal Reserve has escaped harm from their deceptive ploy keeping interest rates so low is because the Federal government has adjusted how inflation is measured in order to obscure their real levels. Why else did the measurement of inflation be adjusted in such a way that food, energy, and petroleum prices were not considered as essential elements of our lives and thus not included? I know I eat and use energy and have to feed my vehicle, but apparently the Government does not believe I have any need to purchase such things. This sin of forcing the interest rates to remain low is not only the fault of the United States as Europe and much of the rest of the world gladly goes along with the charade as they also get to enjoy cheap money due to low rates on their loans. When the future point is passed and the interest rates must rise or inflation will destroy every economy and there is no longer any choice, then everybody will pay for their sins. Whenever this event comes to fruition it will be best if you have absolutely no outstanding loans, especially credit cards. Long term loans such as car loans and mortgages which have fixed rates will be safe but any adjustable rate debt will become unaffordable as interest rates are very likely to become prohibitively high, possibly reaching or exceeding twenty percent. Let this be a wise warning that the day will soon arrive when adjustable debt will become an anchor that drags your finances into the deep and they will drown you. The governments of the world will pay for their excesses but there is no reason that we as individuals must be as irresponsible as our governments have been.

Beyond the Cusp

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