Beyond the Cusp

January 30, 2015

Too Many Americans Have Realized to Vote for Treasures

Filed under: 2016 Elections,Afordable Healthcare Act,American People Voice Opinion,Baseline Budget,Bipartisan Support,Campaign Contributions,Capitalism,Civilization,Class Warfare,Communism,Congress,Consequences,Constitutional Government,Core Beliefs,Cost of Living,Debt,Debt Ceiling,Democracy,Ecology Lobby,Economic Fascism,Economic Growth,Economic Independence,Economy,Education,Electability,Elections,Elections,Employment,Equal Opportunity,Equal Outcome,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Extreme Leftist,Extreme Right,Family Farm,Farming,Financial Crisis,Fiscal Cliff,Foreign Policy,Funding,GDP,Gender Issues Lobby,Global Climate Change,Government,Government Control,Green Businesses,Green Economy,Health Care,Higher Prices,Hispanic Appeasement,History,Housing Shortage,Humanist,Humanitarian Aid,Increased Spending,Indutrial Farming,Inflated Spending,Inflation,Internal Pressures,International Politics,International Socialism,Internationalist,Investment in the Future,Jobs,Keynesian Economics,Leftist Pressures,Livable Wage,Media,Minimum Wage,Mutual Support,National Debt,National Socialism,Nationalists,Obama Care,Police,Politicized Findings,Politics,President,Primaries,Primary Elections,Quantitative Easing,Secular Interests,Senate,Single Payer Plan,Socialism,Society,Taxes,Tea Party,Under Employment,Unemployment,Union Interests,United States,United States Pressure,Wealth,World Government — qwertster @ 3:07 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

A great friend of America who was completely smitten with the people and the goodness of America was, of course, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville wrote “Democracy in America” which observed that America was capable of greatness because her people individually were of strong spiritual and religious convictions and were strongly self-reliant. He also foresaw the collapse of the concept of the wonder which was America and wrote of the arrow which would pierce America’s heart and end her greatness and eat itself until it became a hollow shell. His famous quote which described the nation he witnessed on his travels in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century summed America as, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” He also predicted her fall with an equally well recognized quote stating, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” The horror derived from the recent State of the Union Address by President Barack Hussein Obama is that the government has a new direction and that this direction will now be the sole driving impetus for the future, or at least for the two remaining years of President Obama’s final term, is to bribe the people in as broad coverage as possible with government treasures even if it becomes necessary to place the government and the nation even deeper in debt. The government is now solely in the vote buying business and unless there is a change of direction then the greatness of America is mortally wounded and will simply limp ahead eventually stumbling repeatedly until she falls flat on her face drowning in her own largess of promises to the people of treasures which she no longer can gather.

 

This is not a new situation but simply the result of a predetermined endgame once the federal government realized that through their providing a safety net for senior citizens with Social Security and how it melded the elderly into a group able to demanded increases in the payout from Social Security and thus formed the first untouchable funding program and the first bribery of a group of citizens and their unifying as a voting block to forever protect their access and the amount they received from the government. Can anybody remember a politician winning an election running on a platform to cut Social Security payments or adding means testing to qualify to receive Social Security with lower amounts paid to the more wealthy? I know I cannot name one. Even the most conservative of politicians guarantee that any changes they plan on introducing to reform entitlement programs will promise that those currently receiving government payments need not fear their checks being slashed or even the promised increases figured by changes in economic situations tying their increases as cost of living allowances (COLA) will continue to be determined as in the past. With Social Security they usually guarantee that even those who will be retiring in the next decade or even two decades will still receive exactly the rates they have been promised. The impossibility of changing Social Security payments is simply the best known examples of the impossibility of altering, cutting or even ending any entitlement program due to the opposition of those receiving such payments and often many of the rest of the public for two main reasons, first the American people are a generous people and have deep heartfelt feelings which drives them to support the less wealthy or people having monetary difficulties or whatever reason exists that they receive their subsidies and because once the government is capable of lessening or terminating any subsidy then it becomes that much easier to reduce or terminate other subsidies which may include the subsidy you receive. The truth is that well over half of Americans receive some form of subsidy from the government, many without actually realizing they are receiving a subsidy.

 

I know, you demand to know how it could be that people are receiving a government subsidy without realizing they are receiving government payments. Many people receive a subsidy known as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which results in many receiving a larger tax return than the amount of income tax they had withheld. Anyone receiving unemployment insurance is receiving a subsidy. Technically any deductions one takes on their income taxes is technically a form of subsidy. Many corporations receive subsidies from the government which benefits their employees indirectly which is an indirect form of subsidy for the employees of many governments. People with children in the public schools will benefit from subsidies, which cover part of the costs for the school lunch and other meal programs. Social Security is another subsidy which we benefit beyond the amount paid into the system even if they had been invested in the most profitable stocks and bonds provided we manage to live sufficiently long which many will according to the life expectancy. Across the United States the Federal Government pays farmers a milk subsidy for producing milk in areas which are not conducive for raising dairy cows in order to guarantee they will make a decent profit as otherwise milk would be scarce in many locations as shipping milk had been impossible thus making it worthwhile a hundred years ago for paying farmers to raise dairy cows. With modern refrigerated tankers both for railroads and trucks would allow the shipping of milk and dairy products to any location within the United States yet the subsidy had been maintained. Why? Because those farmers across the nation became dependent on that subsidy thus they voted politicians into office who guaranteed their continued dairy subsidies and with the Congressional agreement for mutual backscratching where I will vote for your subsidy and you will vote for my subsidy produces a system which extends every subsidy and for the predictable longevity for any new subsidy which is voted into existence. That alone should produce sufficient fright that the average politician would believe that it would be best to promise not to invent any new subsidies and their constituents would vote for such as it would be prudent and beneficial for the public and governance at large. But people will vote their own pockets and be quite selfish about such thus the politician who can promise the largest numbers of his constituents that he will provide them with treasures from the government endless monetary supply thus buying their votes. Thus, as Alexis de Tocqueville predicted and stated, “Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” His prediction will prove true as the rising national debt is both the proof of de Tocqueville’s prediction and something that unless the people as a whole do not suddenly decide to end their selfish voting habits and start voting for candidates in droves who promise to end the candy train of subsidy after subsidy and elect such politicians universally. Thus far such a trend has shown little if any support from the general public thus we may be witnessing the American greatness teetering on the precipice to ruin and it is simply just a matter of time until America falls beyond the cusp and into the dark void of insolvency. Those few economists and others predicting the coming of difficult times for America are dead on right and predicting when America will fall beyond the cusp will not be difficult, it will come to be within a decade of the financial collapse of the European Union which has been leading the way into that financial void. Americans can watch and do nothing to alter their path or they can see the coming apocalypse and make the needed changes choosing a temporary period of strong austerity and then once the economic health has been reacquired then hopefully we will teach the coming generations of the pitfalls which almost brought America to ruin, but first it will be necessary to teach austerity and the urgent need to the body both politic and public before it becomes irreversible and America will be destined to fail. It is up to the Americans to choose to heal herself.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 5, 2013

Solution for United States, Back to Basics, the Constitution

The United States has managed since the turn of the century to take a budgetary surplus and strong economy and turn the economy on its head while having two Presidents, one from each the Democrats and the Republicans, spend the nation into depths of deficit spending and rising national debt rivaling that of the worst of Europe. With the spiraling increases in the debt of the United States reaching levels that have required a number of increases in the established debt ceiling simply to make interest payments and meet salaries and other budget necessities, the United States has found itself in the position of having to monetize its own debt as China and much of the rest of the world refuse to invest in what is seen as a lost cause driving headlong into financial oblivion. Despite predictions from leading economists, the public does not appear to hold much trepidation towards the financial catastrophe which is looming if something is not done to address the ever bulging deficit spending and the massive amounts being added to the national debt. The manufactured crisis at the end of last year labeled the Fiscal Cliff turned into more of a showcase for pontificating politicians and gasping talking heads all attempting to work up some concern with the public mostly to no avail. Then, even when the politicians simply kicked the can down the road for a few months, there was no eruption of shock or anger but simply a collective shrug of indifference. The neglect shown towards fiscal responsibility by the Washington elite has been a perfect representation of indifference and replete with total disregard to any consequences or warning which predicted the potential doom that would eventually result if spending was continued with such disregard.

 

The one semi-amusing side effect of the fiscal mismanagement has been the many disparate solutions, warnings, predictions, and long winded prognostications given from all fronts and political orientations which managed to cover almost every angle one could imagine. There have been those who claim that the government was executing the correct fiscal plan by applying increased government spending which would boost the economy resulting in collected taxes covering the increased spending and then some thus solving the problems. Others have called for austerity measures and universal spending cuts across the board as the only way to address the deficit problems. There have been calls to increase taxes, decrease taxes, end many tax deductions, go to a flat tax, and just about any other tax program ever invented, all of them come replete with graphs, spread sheets, and pages of justifications which show that each and every solution should produce the desired results. Perhaps the complete idiocy existing in the economic and fiscal debate where every possible solution can be shown to work despite many being polar opposites, it is no wonder that the public has simply disowned the problem and just walked away. How can anybody care when everything is claimed to be the solution and everything that is done simply makes the problem that much worse.

 

What is needed is a vision which has a historic record of proven fiscal success which cannot be dismissed. Oddly enough, the United States has what might be the best guide to fiscal and economic success and productivity. The really strange thing about this guide is that even though it has never been followed to the letter, simply making a concerted and honest effort to run the government by its dictates and restrictions have resulted in nearly one-hundred-fifty years of economic stability and low, often no, taxes. This guideline is what may eventually be proven to be the greatest single document providing a blueprint for responsible governance. The document, of course, is the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution was not followed to the letter from the very start but it did act as a restraint for over a century. The initial serious onslaught on the United States Constitution was in the 1860’s with the onset of the American Civil War.  President Lincoln suspended many provisions of the Constitution and placed unrivaled power in the hands of the President and neutralized the power of the other two branches. Unsurprisingly, by the end of the Civil War the United States had run up a healthy deficit. Despite that deficit, the return to Constitutionally guided and limited government following the Civil War the United States rebuilt and even spread her territories and soon had paid off all of the debt. The final daggers into the heart of the Constitution came in 1913 with the enactment of two Amendments, Amendment XVI and Amendment XVII. The Sixteenth Amendment established the personal Income Tax Amendment which was supposed to never rise above a paltry three percent nor be applied to anyone below the top ten percent of earners. All of these guarantees soon proved to be completely false. The Seventeenth Amendment provided for the direct election of Senators which removed the last vestiges of power which the Constitution had allocated solely for the States. This was the final nail which would lead directly to the over-centralization of power being stolen by the central Federal Government in Washington. Even with this death knell the Constitution still retained sufficient restraining power to beat back the onslaughts against its original intents that it would take another fifty years before the final assault destroyed any restraint on Federal spending. It was these ideals and ideas which began with Franklin Delano Roosevelt with Social Security and Unemployment Insurance that brought on the end. With Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Great Society, the Constitution gave out its last gasp and the financial difficulties that accompany unrestrained, undisciplined, expansive spending slowly led to the financial difficulties currently plaguing the United States. Perhaps a return to the ideals and ideas first instituted with the original Constitution could forge the necessary restraint that would lead the United States back to fiscal solvency and responsibility. By showing such restraint and self-discipline the Americans would be rewarded with a growing economy and a positive and promising outlook for the future. That is the power of the United States Constitution and the promise the writers left to their countrymen into the future.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 21, 2012

Coming Election Will Not Affect Seniors Despite Claims

We have already heard the Grandma off a cliff in her wheelchair reference and will likely hear a lot more of that ilk between now and the election. Fortunately for Grandma and Grandpa, this election will have little effect on their comfort in their golden years. It is highly unlikely their Social Security will be drastically curtailed though they may not get as healthy an increase going forward, they will at least be guaranteed to get at least the same levels they currently receive. The biggest threat to their Medicare funding will not come from Paul Ryan as his plan leaves everything as it stands for those over fifty-five years of age. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about President Obama’s signature Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama Care, which has already diverted (a political wording for stolen) approaching three-quarters of a trillion dollars from Medicare. Of course the administration has denied this even when confronted by Congress when Illinois Republican Congressman John Shimkus inquired of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a House of Representatives hearing on March 3, 2011, “So, are you using it (the $716,000,000,000.00) to save Medicare, or are you using it to fund health-care reform? Which one?” To this question Secretary Sebelius remarkably replied, “Both!” Congressman John Shimkus then replied conclusively, “So, you’re double-counting.”

So, as things currently stand, no matter who wins the election, Medicare will start with their administration having to figure out how to fund it with it already short close to three-quarters of a trillion dollars, a significant amount in anybody’s proposed budget. The funding will be found even if it has to be printed, something that has apparently become the new American cure-all for budgetary problems. What will be decided in the upcoming election in the United States will be how the country will face the problems going forward. All the blame games over who made the mess, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, the Republican Congress obstruction, headwinds, speed-bumps or the alignment of the universe is irrelevant as whoever wins the election will be facing the same financial predicament. What will be decided is whether spending will be cut by choice now or by imposed necessity later. The main difference is if cuts are made as soon as possible, then the cuts can be made over time in a measured manner, while if we wait until economic conditions dictate the cuts, they will be drastic and beyond the control dictated by the creditors. This is the choice being placed to the American public and this November they will decide. What makes this election somewhat of a crisis is that many claim that this could be the last chance for the United States to exit the spending freeway of their own volition.

But, the question is whether this is reality or is this simply being used as a scare tactic? Those claiming that another four years of attempting to stimulate the economy through government spending to presumably invest in order to collect the funds back in future taxes will lead to the situation where sufficient numbers of voters will be receiving Government dole-outs and thus will create a permanent majority for continuing such programs. This is much like what we are witnessing in Greece and other places suffering in the Euro crisis in Europe. On the other side there is the claim that should we cut spending and wait for time to solve the economic slowdown, then the economy will continue to stagnate and funds through taxes will drop and the country will fall into a viscous cycle of Government cuts yielding less funds forcing more cuts etc. So, which prediction is correct we will find out about after the election and will be left to guess where the other path would have led. Where spending and tax cuts for the rich, the middle class or anyone who pays taxes will be the major discussion debated during the campaign, which is only half of the problem, much of the real problem with the stagnant economy will be left alone. So what is the other half and why will it escape debate?

The other half, what we believe will be the larger half (if there can be a larger and smaller halves), is regulations, particularly on businesses. What will spur the economy faster than tax cuts would be to simply take a laissez-faire attitude and simply make a promise not to add any more regulations or other requirements and keep Government from any further impinging on the daily operations of business. Just allowing business to know that the playing field will remain constant and the requirements are not going to change on a whim allows the business owners to make plans with some degree of certainty what the rules will be going forward. One of the quickest ways to kill economic growth is to keep fussing and adjusting the rules making for a high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability which makes planning difficult to impossible. This has been proven in a very easy historic lesson for people to research. In the United States they refer to the economic problems that resulted from the stock market crash of 1929 as the Great Depression. In Europe it was the economic crash of 1929 and they were in recovery by 1933 only to have it all destroyed by a small interruption best known as World War II. The difference was that Franklin Delano Roosevelt attempted one solution and within a few months impatiently tried his next approach on and on and on. In Europe their leadership could not agree on what they should do and what to enact to repair the problem, so the result was they did nothing and before they could agree their economies began to improve. That is the funny thing about economies; they are cyclic just like nature and just about everything else in the universe. Economies go hot then cool then simmer and repeat as needed. Often the best solution to any economic downturn is to simply be patient and wait, it will come back around. Unfortunately, doing nothing is directly against every impulse of humankind. So, the difficulty is to have the discipline to do nothing and rely that the cyclical nature of all things natural or manufactured is cyclical and the only thing that is constant is change. So, our advice to whoever wins in November, make your decisions on what regulations you like and which you wish to toss out and after enacting it in your first hundred days, just take your hands and sit on them. Do not do anything no matter how obviously correct it may appear. Can any politician actually have the mental discipline to leave things alone? Somehow it is doubtful.

 

Beyond the Cusp

Blog at WordPress.com.