Beyond the Cusp

April 2, 2017

Death of Democratic Republic

 

The United States was founded as a Constitutional Democratic Republic and according to John Adams, “We have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Another comment on how a Constitutional Democratic Republic can be brought low came from Benjamin Franklin, who predicted, “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” But it is not completely the people’s selfishness that is sinking the United States and that was predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville who added this adage to the above, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Anyone care to guess which of these three problems is driving the American experiment in self-rule into the ground fastest? Kings and Queens argued against giving power to their subjects claiming that humankind was completely incapable of self-rule as their own greed and indifference to consequences of their actions and their lack of training in governance would all lead to disastrous results if not immediately, guaranteed to do so over time. People, they claimed, would tend to destroy wealth in the name of equality and that there would never be sufficient wealth to satisfy the redistributors as they would continue to destroy all concentrations of wealth in their mistaken proposals and programs meant to introduce fairness and equality until those who generated wealth were no longer sufficiently financially capable of investment and thus unable to continue to produce wealth for those pursuing fairness to steal.

 

The problems faced currently are that the government absorbed one means after another which had formerly been the purview of religious and charitable institutions. This led to two immediate results; the government was required to demean and spread suspicions that religious institutions and charities were incapable of fairness and that they were too steeped in religion to provide assistance without guilt. They made the claim that the poor need not listen to a sermon in order to receive a meal. Then came the claims that many religious institutions and charitable organizations were possibly providing substandard nutrition or preparing their meals in unsafe manner in potentially unclean environment and might spread diseases or serve contaminated food. This then led to the establishment of regulations and inspections and requirements of reports including the calorie, vitamin, fat content and immeasurable other breakdown of the meals provided to such a point that churches and charities simply gave in to government pressure surrendering their position as the provider of aid to the poor to the government as they could not continue against the power of government regulatory powers. The same occurred with providing shelter for the homeless and many other such assistances which slowly but inexorably became government programs. Food Stamps, Government Provided Shelters, Welfare, Section 8 Housing and on and on program after program and government had complete control over what had been privately provided charity which was financed through religious institutions and donations from people willing to provide funds for these causes. Now the funding comes from taxation which means that government has replaced voluntary donations with forced donations. Some have referred to this as the government playing Robin Hood taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That gets Robin Hood completely wrong as he stole from the government and returned the funds to the public from which it was taken (stolen according to Robin). The Sheriff of Nottingham and the King were not the rich, they were the government and the peasants were not only the poor but also the people who the King and Sheriff of Nottingham taxed (stole) the money (gold and silver) from and thus Robin Hood stole from the government and returned to the tax payers. Today the government is literally taking from the rich and giving to the poor through taxing the rich and returning that treasure to the poor who did not pay taxes thus it is completely not Robin Hood-like but completely separate.

 

Hunting Your Uncle Sam’s Deer Are We?

Hunting Your Uncle Sam’s Deer Are We?

 

But there is another form of gifting public treasure which is far more evil than all the previously mentioned programs and which does not actually benefit the people and is almost always left out of demands for ending government funding. This is most often referred to as corporate welfare. Government gives away many millions, no, wait, certainly billions of dollars, to numerous companies often for questionable reasons. On the web corporate welfare is defined as bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment for corporations. This often ends up becoming taking money from the people, including those who compared to these corporations and companies are the poor, and giving to the corporations or the rich in some means. According to Cheat Sheet the eight largest recipients in ascending order are, Nike @ $2.03 Billion, Royal Dutch Shell @ $2.04 Billion, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles @ $2.06 Billion, Ford @ $2.52 Billion, General Motors @ $3.58 Billion, Intel @ $3.87 Billion, Alcoa @ $5.64 Billion and Boeing @ $13.18 Billion. Well, we can understand the General Motors as so many now refer to GM as Government Motors and apparently we can say the same for the rest of the Big Three auto motive companies from the United States. Now if one were to challenge the government, or your local Congress Critter, about these subsidies of such companies and their response would be that they are essential for the national defense, they are required in order for them to compete with companies from other nations who subsidize their industries or they might simply stutter and sputter and call on the next questioner.

 

Another area where government largess is generously spread around is in the agricultural endeavors. Farms are actually paid to raise dairy cows because before refrigeration there was the need for dairy cows to be raised throughout the United States in order for dairy products to be available in every location. But with the wonders of refrigeration, these subsidies are superfluous as now dairy products could easily be transported from the dairy states to those where such farms are economically impractical due to lack of water, grass and the other requirements necessary for raising healthy dairy cows. There are also subsidies to farms growing corn and since these have climbed to near astronomical proportions as the ethanol industry demands more corn, the acreage of wheat production has plummeted while corn has replaced wheat in many areas. This has created two problems beyond potential wheat shortages worldwide, as raising corn requires additional nutrients and more water, the demand for irrigation waters is lowering the water tables at an increased rate and runoff of fertilizer has increased causing difficulties in many river runoff areas, especially places of slower moving or stationary water as this runoff leads to poisoned fish and over growth of algae and other plants in rivers and especially lakes. Further, farms are often paid not to raise certain crops or raise certain animals in order to allow food prices to remain substantial enough for farming to show a profit. These programs end up assisting the industrial farms to a far greater degree than the family farmers they were proposed to assist. Again, the reason for these programs has been to continue to make farming profitable rather than having the rules of supply and demand to control what farmers grow.

 

There is an example of supply and demand working its magic in eastern Colorado where many farmers with some of the best topsoil grow sugar beets for a simple reason, if their crop of sugar beets is of high enough quality they will catch top dollar from the Coors brewing company to use in their production of Coors beer. The land is quite capable of growing other crops but not one which can bring such a high price as Coors offers the incentive for such quality sugar beets in order to assure themselves a ready supply locally of the requirements for their product. As for the grains for their beer, well, they are located quite near great fields of grains within a short distance including in Colorado wherever the soil is not rich enough to grow high quality sugar beets of which there is ample acreage. Still, was government not to provide these subsidies there would be some disquieting periods of economic upheaval after which there would be fewer companies in many industries and the healthiest and most efficient companies would survive? Perhaps there are a relative few companies which were necessary for military readiness but in the modern era there are very few companies who are purely reliant on military spending to survive as the demands of the private sector now has requirements of ships, aircraft and even automotive who can change some production to produce military products such as armored vehicles. Further, military production is now done on a very sparse demand with rare but occasional high demand when replacing longstanding equipment. For these demands one would likely find entrepreneurs more than willing to make bids and then invest in the necessary production facilities to produce armored vehicles while ships and aircraft already have ready manufacturers. But if such an argument could be proven to have merit, then perhaps some outlay might be called for.

 

The problem is that with corporations, people, even NGO’s all making demands on government claiming that they require the government largess, their service is worthy of government largess, or some claim is found which demands government funding combined with the elected representatives use government funds in order to buy the faithful votes of a particular constituency by warning that other political challengers would cut or end the flow of money, food stamps, housing allowances, utility payments, free stuff and so on thus buying support to keep them in office. Because the people lost their faith in religious institutions as the government spent much time, funds, advertising and editorials in parallel with increased regulations matching the claimed weakness of religious institutions and charities allowing the government to incrementally replace them in caring for the less fortunate.

 

Then they quietly over time subsidized corporations initially claiming their necessity for the defense of the country in times of war and subsequently simply arguing that the companies or corporations were necessary economically and without the “temporary” assistance, nothing ends up being temporary as once the money is outlaid it is never retracted, these companies would potentially go out of business putting some unacceptable number of employees out of work. What is really being protected is a company which is not sufficiently competitive and if allowed to go out of business it would soon be replaced by somebody with a better idea or a better means for production or something making them competitive. It might be argued that the national security requires at a minimum one company in every vital industry for the possible future protection of the nation. Where this argument hits a snag was the steel industry which almost went completely out of business as their production equipment and processes became outdated. The entire industry faced this challenge and some companies went out of business and others retooled and became modernized allowing them to return stronger than before. Some of the retooling received government assistance but this once it was a one-time outlay and not a continuous flow of revenue. Should these outlays continue the government will continue to spend more than it can possibly collect which will forever add to the deficit which will eventually cause hyperinflation which will end the time of the United States as a super power? If the government attempts to collect sufficient tax revenues to allow these payments to continue at current levels, then the entire financial system would collapse as eventually those who were being more heavily taxed would find working a fool’s game and simply join those on the dole.

 

The other choice would be to scale back payments or start terminating programs allowing those currently on support to have their funds slowly lessened eventually being terminated in some predefined period of time. Another option would be to ramp back until the payments were completely terminated on the subsidizing corporations and companies and even farming, especially the large corporate farming conglomerates. Finally, the government should deregulate the assistance from charities and religious institutions allowing them to return to what they had so adequately provided before being driven from assisting people in need. Such a return to the religious institutions serving the public and their communities and taking a greater role in their communities and the nation the United States could potentially find some returning to their religious affiliations simply because as active members in their societies, they would become relevant again. The removal of religious institutions from their community functions and relevance might have been a contributing factor to the loss of faith in the nation as a whole. Humankind is a funny animal in that he does not conscience things which serve no real purpose and religion had always been the caretaker of the needy in the United States. When government removed this function from the religious institutions and took away their function as adoption services, they made religion superfluous as government had replaced it. Without government returning valuable functions to religious institutions and private charities, then these functions will become solely the province of government and government will become the new religion, which was their intent.

 

Once this has been established irrevocably, which it has all but become, then they will work on replacing the only item not completely under their purview, parenting and raising children. The public schools are already making inroads on the parent-child relationship. In too many cities (one would be too many but in too many cites it is already occurring) it is being usurped by the schools. Many will claim we are being alarmist but we have witnessed this ourselves as have friends where the school teachers were telling their students that their parents were not permitted to punish them, ground them, deny them their rights to telephone usage, television viewing, listening to music, watching particular programs, going out with their friends and numerous other actions, then they should tell their teachers and the school would look into if this was proper and take their side against the parents. They were told that it might result in criminal charges if their parents did not do as the school would advise. The best resort of any parent facing this would be to explain to their child what it would be like in foster care or in an orphanage if Mom and Dad were forced to give them up because they went to the school claiming that their parents were being cruel and denying them rights. Explain what a right is and what is a privilege and the difference and then review the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and ask them where telephone use was a right. When they are unable to prove whatever grounding you are imposing is denial of a right, then explain that privileges can be revoked for improper acts and that is what you are doing.

 

One sad thing we must all understand is that in time populations will be controlled and even then the majority of people will be kept simply because work will have become an optional pursuit. Anything one does will earn a salary with a living wage guaranteed as long as you were to contributing in some manner, writing a blog, writing poetry, composing songs, performing music, performing comedy, acting out dramas, researching mathematics, teaching, inventing, growing grapes, brewing or whatever one desired. Of course if your desire is to go from one party to another, then you make the living wage. Perhaps we will all receive a credit card where there are different levels by color and your living standard is determined by which card you receive which would also be determined by a formula we would all know. Then there would be another choice where one applies and if accepted are sent on multi-generational spaceships out into the cosmos in some new direction or in a direction where we have received communications telling of planets capable of supporting life. This world will be the life of our children or grandchildren when artificial intelligence (AI) govern the planet, robots perform almost all job functions as they replace humans in production, retail, food service and everything else while AI robots perform prototyping, engineering, manufacturing, production facility construction, building construction, residential construction and every job with very few exceptions.

 

Aristotle, Euclid, Descartes Newton, Riemann, Einstein

Aristotle, Euclid, Descartes
Newton, Riemann, Einstein

 

Humans would still work in some fields alongside the AI systems such as theoretical sciences and hard science research as no matter how intelligent the AI systems and robots become, there is one thing which will take far more advances than we can even begin to understand, and that is an AI which has the ability to imagine, to invent things which have no logical lead-up which require illogical jumps of reason from which proofs can then be derived but only by reverse proofs. The great discoveries of history which we take for granted today were completely beyond reason such as Einstein’s theories, Riemann’s geometry, Newtonian physics, Descartes’s “Cogito ergo sum”, Euclidean Geometry and Aristotle’s philosophies and logic. AI systems may some day get to such a level as to make great leaps in thought which are independent of straight logic, but for the time being we humans are the only ones who imagine on such a scale. That is a far future, in the meantime, in order to get there we need to repair the problems of now and do so with a great urgency.

 

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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