Beyond the Cusp

March 1, 2013

Our Sequestration Outage

Over the past few days all of our schedules here at BTC have been disrupted by a series of high intensity meetings and brain storming sessions all having to do with how we might be able to adjust to the state of things post sequestration with the serious cuts being made in all government programs, especially those which will affect the most numbers of Americans not part of the higher echelons of government, you know, Congrescriters, their staffers, the President, members of his family, and all attached to the Administration.  There had been numerous warning, actually more like threats, of how the sequestration cuts would be the end of life as we know it with the government forced to make draconian cuts to so many vital programs and this was the concern we addressed in our meetings. We went over our budget numerous times, it took so little time we thought we should do it repeatedly until it seemed larger than life, we never attained such levels. Then we reviewed the funding we receive from the government and that caused us great distress. Hard as it may believe, but our government subsidy was less of our budget than anyone could imagine. We checked and rechecked and even double-rechecked and to our complete surprise we were unable to track down one red cent we receive from the government at any level. We even contacted others we know who might be facing difficulties resulting from the sequestration budget cuts and all our fellow private enterprises also were having little problems with these cuts as they, surprise, surprise, also do not receive any funding from government sources. Empowered with this information we decided to review some of the warnings, or threats, your choice, as to which services would likely be curtailed or cut back due to sequestration. The results were nothing short of amazing.

 

Some of the services we found that were to be cut were absolutely astonishing. The TSA might not have sufficient numbers of screeners and security personnel on all shifts to facilitate safe travel conditions. The concierge services at Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport who provide services for Congressional and Presidential staffers and high government officials would remain at full staffing, after all, only the best for our best, or something like that. Another small inconvenience for travelers by air would be a possible deficiency in the number of Air Traffic Controllers to handle the full load of flights. There were some reports that as some locations receive Federal funding for some of their Police, Fire and Rescue personnel that in such areas there may be a reduction in force in order to meet the cuts. Don’t get too worried, security personnel and the Federal and Capital police will remain at their fully funded levels providing nothing but the best for our elected officials and their staff members.

 

Fortunately we did some further research and things will be far less dire than the predictions from the let’s shock the life out of the public newscasters and press personnel releasing these reports to the newswires in order to paint a picture of apocalyptic events being just on the horizon if the sequestration was allowed to befall the United States. Most of the cuts would amount to a small percentage of the Federal workforce having to take one day a week or even every two weeks furlough. This means they may use their personal leave and still be paid or they may simply forgo that one day of pay in the immediate future until a budget is finally formed. After a budget is approved, if these furloughs are treated as every previous furlough, these employees who were forced to take time off will receive back pay to cover every hour they missed of work. Yes, that’s right, at the end the furloughed employees will receive pay for the time they stayed home and did absolutely no work and may have even received pay as they took leave. So, if a furloughed Federal employee chooses to use leave time to receive pay for the furlough days, once the budget is passed they will be paid for those days a second time and still not have worked those hours. So, at a minimum, any Federal worker who does not receive any furlough days has to work those extra days while their coworkers stay home and in the end the ones who got to stay home will get as much if not more pay for the same period. The ones who take leave to cover furloughed days will be paid both leave and regular pay for taking a day off. Who wouldn’t want that deal? But there is a small catch.

 

That might be a problem as there has never been a budget passed since President Obama was first sworn in January of 2009. That year they finished out on the final budget approved and signed by President Bush but since then President Obama has never signed a single budget. Even during his first two years he did not sign an annual budget by only signing continuing resolutions and partial budgets for certain departments or programs. The theory behind this ploy was the President was able to push through numerous budgetary increases by using numerous continuing resolutions and including increases with each and every one leading to an annual increase larger than had one yearly budget been passed. The end result was by the end of eighteen months, a year and a half; President Obama had increased the baseline budget for numerous of his favored entitlement programs allotting significant new funds in order to greatly expand their benefit roles. One of the more notorious of these was the Food Stamp Program which has seen the most massive increase in enrollees in its history. Should the sequestration force spending cuts, it still will not force President Obama to actually sign a real budget. Of course when the President or his spokespeople are questioned as to why he has not signed any budget for a full year, they all answer with he has not received a budget from the Congress for him to sign.

 

Needless to point out, but the usual reason is he has never received a budget from the Republican Congress. This little bit of information is almost universally reported verbatim as if it were the gospel truth. The honest truth is that the Democrat controlled Senate, half of the Congress but who’s counting, has refused to even schedule the numerous House of Representatives passed budgets for committee hearings or a floor vote or debate. Senate Majority Leader Reid has announced from day one after the 2010 elections that no budget the House of Representatives would send to the Senate deserved even a minute of debate and were dead on arrival. This refusal to even debate and to never, ever, ever allow a vote on a full budget is actually a service provided by the Democrat Party to their Democrat President to relieve him of ever being held responsible for the budget and to have a ready-made excuse to beat like a drum whenever he is questioned by the press or anyone else. With Senate Majority Leader Reid following the President’s actual words given in countless speeches where he has said what amounted to the denial that President Obama was standing ready to sign any bipartisan and proper budget that the Congress could agree upon and send to his desk, oh, and he is waiting anxiously. Then comes the whispers from the White House into Senator Reid’s ear, no budget must ever pass the Senate without White House giving prior approval. Then the only budgets approved and sent to the President are kick the can down the road continuing resolutions. But why let such a trifling matter spoil a good thing. Eventually a budget or possibly one of the myriad of continuing resolutions that gets passed will include the back-pay for the furloughed workers and it will be excused as necessary as the unfortunate Federal workers who were furloughed cannot be made to suffer because the Republican Congress would not do their job and send a responsible budget to the President in time to avoid the sequestration. Also, you do realize that the whole idea for sequestration was a Republican one and the President had nothing to do with the idea, well, other than proposing it, defining it, demanding it, and then complaining how the Republicans forced it on the country. Oh to have an echo chamber anywhere as faithful and loyal as the fifth estate is to their leader, President Obama.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 23, 2013

Republicans and the Empty Promise Syndrome

Filed under: 2012 Elections,24/7 News Reporting,Ability Raise Taxes,Absolutism,Administration,Amalekites,Amnesty,Anti-Capitalists,Anti-Colonialist,Austerity Measures,Balanced Budget,Baseline Budget,Border,Budget,Cabinet,Cabinet,Checks and Balances,Civilization,Class Warfare,Congress,Consequences,Constitutional Government,Cost of Living,Debt,Debt Ceiling,Debt Clock,Democrat,Economic Fascism,Economic Growth,Economy,Elections,Employment,Enforcement,Enlightenment,Equal Opportunity,Equal Outcome,Euro,Euro Zone,Europe,European Union,Executive Order,Fascism,Fascism,Federal Government,Federal Reserve,Financial Crisis,Fiscal Cliff,Funding,Government,Government Waste,Guard Border,Higher Prices,History,Hyper-Inflation,Illegal Immigration,Immigration,Income,Increased Spending,Inflated Spending,Inflation,Investment in the Future,Jobs,Media,Military,Military Base,Military Option,Minimum Wage,Myth,National Debt,Neglection of Duty,Nuclear Weapons,Obama,Panic Policies,Pentagon,Politics,Poverty,President,President Obama,Quantitative Easing,Regulations,Repatriation,Republican,SEAL Teams,Senate,Senate Majority Leader,Sequestration,Speaker of the House,Special Forces,Spending Cuts,Taxes,Under Employment,Unemployment,United States,United States Constitution,US Army,US Marines,US Navy,Wealth — qwertster @ 1:34 AM
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First off we need to define the Empty Promise Syndrome, sometimes called the Wimpy argument quoting the Popeye cartoon character who was always offering to “Pay you next Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Those cartoons must have had many Republican politicians earning money on the side as extras on the set as Wimpy never seemed to have any shortage of hamburgers to gulp down. To trace the beginning of the Empty Promise Syndrome infecting Republican politicians we need to go all the way back to 1986 of the Reagan Presidency and the Immigration Reform Bill which legalized at a minimum the three-million illegal aliens residing throughout the United States while promising to address and provide for a system of border enforcement which would make the borders of the United States virtually impenetrable. Currently there exist an estimated eleven- million to possibly over eighteen-million illegal aliens, the euphemistically denoted undocumented workers, citizens without papers, undocumented aliens, and any other of a half dozen terms which dance around but would never use such a harsh and loaded term as illegal. Somehow the agreement to grant citizenship today and impose enforcement tomorrow never quite delivered when tomorrow rolled around, a lot like Wimpy who can never be found on Tuesdays. But there are so many other examples that we had best stick to the two latest in the series.

 

If we were to remember back to just before Thanksgiving and on close to Christmas and then New Years the news reports were all buzzing about some looming doomsday threat called the Fiscal Cliff. The Republicans demanded spending cuts which would be at least equal to any tax increases. They would have preferred, or so they claimed, to have far more of the deficit cut by spending cuts than relying on tax increases. President Obama was insistent that the deficit reduction be levied completely by increased taxes on the rich as they had to be made to pay their fair share. With what were defined in perfect threats from on high was this sequester which would cut spending severely without any concerns for what was necessity and what was less vital and would destroy uncountable programs for the poor, the elderly, the children, the ecology, the Earth, the whatever you cared about and especially the military while ending the great recovery we have been experiencing (though many myself included are loathe to see any solid signs of this recovery unless that is what higher grocery prices are now called). In the end, President Wimpy offered spending cuts by March 1 for taxes on the rich today and the Republicans gave Obama everything he requested and set a new sequester date to force spending cuts as promised.

 

Well, here we are fast approaching March 1 and President Obama is demanding changes in the code resulting in more tax revenue and attempting to reduce spending cuts in any programs or departments with possible exceptions of certain areas the President finds unnecessary such as the Military. It is likely that President Obama would gladly put off any spending cuts forever and simply rearrange the tax codes and eliminate deductable items or at least reduce them or cap them all in order to cut the deficit without cutting spending. Actually, the President has even proposed that his adjustments to tax deductions and the tax codes will produce so much deficit reduction that he will even be able to propose additional spending with the extra funds his accounting has predicted. If the Republicans allow the President to fiddle with the tax code and tax deductions in lieu of the spending cuts promised at the end of last year’s Fiscal Cliff negotiations, they will have forfeited the collateral supposedly granted them of tax increases on the wealthy then for spending cuts and only spending cuts now. This simply means that if the President insists on increasing tax revenues instead of more spending cuts the Republicans should stand loudly upon the promise by the President that this would be the time for spending cuts and only spending cuts. Force the argument to be either the President reaches an agreement on spending cuts or President Obama will be responsible for the sequestration cuts when they occur. Force the choice on President Obama and the Democrats by passing a spending cuts bill which delivers what was promised and announce that the House of Representatives has met their responsibility and produced legislation for rational and safe spending cuts to reduce the deficit and that it is now left to the Democrat controlled Senate and the President to meet their obligations and keep their promises. After all, it is not like the across the board cuts required by the sequestration alternative would actually be anywhere near as debilitating as has been expressed by the fear mongering going on in some of the media and the White House.

 

Then there is another repeat performance being played out in Congress and that is once again immigration reform. This is forming up to be a complete and exact repeat of what occurred during the second half of President Reagan’s time in the White House and many of the exact same players are simply dusting off their old scripts and adjusting a few numbers and going through the same motions using the same terms and offering the same old lies as promises. As the old adage says, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” There is absolutely no reason for the Republicans, and any Democrats who actually care about the rule of law and the safety of the United States, allowing any form of amnesty or forgiveness and allowances to remain inside the borders, let alone working, for the approximately eleven million illegal aliens until there exist in place solid and uncompromising enforcement procedures that include security controls, observation abilities, formidable border barrier systems, and every possible technique applied and utilized to prevent any further illegal infiltrations. There can be no allowance of we will secure the border next Tuesday for total amnesty, or whatever sly and misleading name it be given, today. That was the basic promise which was never intended to be kept in 1986 and will likely be the offer given once again with every single amount of deceit included today.

 

There is one large and very unfortunate problem with the above. The truth be told there are many Republican who desire the lie of enforcement later for allowance and a path to citizenship today as that way they can unfurl the banner of supporting a closed border while not actually getting a closed border. Both sides, the Democrats in order to gather more voters for their candidates and the Republicans to provide less expensive labor for certain industries and businesses, honestly work together to guarantee that those they allowed into the United States are rewarded every so many years with citizenship and at the same time keep the border porous letting in the next wave of voters and workers enter the United States illegally to the benefit of both sides coffers and votes for reelection. One should not be too surprised then when once again we will witness a deceitful front played by those for whom taking a strong stand against illegal immigration and its effects upon the United States once again feign disgust when their votes allowing for immediate forgiveness in any form for the illegal immigrants currently in the country allowing them to remain, keep their jobs, and eventually gain an easy path to full citizenship while enforcement of our laws and control of the border are put aside to be addressed later. Of course later never comes as it is always now and later is, well, later. Do not expect this round to result in anything which falls far from the indecency pulled over on the American people in 1986 when Reagan allowed amnesty on the promise of future enforcement. We are still waiting for that later enforcement and who knows which later will arrive first; the last one or the one we can expect in the near future when the grand immigration compromise is announced with great fanfare and applause all around. My bet is neither enforcement will materialize before the Congress and some future President assure us that these thirty-some-million undocumented citizens will be the last and by allowing them legalization and documentation it will facilitate their soon enforcing our laws and border, and then there will be three soon to come promises.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 18, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff Negotiations and Republican Gullibility

The latest rumors circulating about the negotiations between Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and United States President Barack Obama are finally making progress. Of course, this all depends on one’s definition of progress. According to some in the media there is movement in the negotiations and apparently both sides are giving a little to get a little. The stories vary slightly from one source to the next but there are a few items which have proven to be consistent over multiple sources. So, what does reading the tea leaves reveal about this swirling fog that shrouds the entire debate over the fiscal cliff?

Well, the latest news is that only a few small details stand between the two sides and avoidance of falling over the self-imposed doomsday fiscal cliff. It is said that Speaker Boehner has agreed to allow some amount of tax increase on the top two tax brackets which covers people who make well over $200,000.00 a year while President Obama is granting that cuts will be made on entitlement spending in the future. If this is really the agreement, then obviously the Republican leadership has once again failed to learn from history. They are falling for the Wimpy argument of I’ll gladly pay you next Tuesday for a hamburger today. Tuesday, or cuts to entitlements in the future somehow never seem to arrive. I like to call this the tomorrow promise which goes like this, “My guarantee to you is whenever we talk about my promise I will restate my intentions to do it tomorrow.” And what happens is every time you mention or even begin to broach the subject you are waved off with the simple mention of one word, tomorrow. This was the promise the Democrat Congress gave President Reagan when he cut taxes and they guaranteed to start cutting the budget starting with the next budget, which needless to say never came. This was the promise made to President “Read my lips, no new taxes” Bush who also never saw the reduction come to fruition. And the one thing I can guarantee Speaker Boehner is that he too will wait forever and a day and until there exists a majority of conservatives in both houses of Congress and in the White House and there will be no cuts to entitlement spending coming anywhere in the future. But who cares, Boehner has the complete support of the vast numbers of go along to get along RINOs who will laud him for his great courage and fortitude in obtaining an empty promise.

This has been the problem with the Republican Party for as long as I can remember with very few exceptions found in their leadership with the obvious exception, for the most part, being Ronald Reagan. Almost universally the rest of the leadership of the Republican Party honestly believe that the path to winning election is to move as close as possible to the Democrat position on all subjects in order to guarantee they will win that ever so overly-hyped middle of the road voters. There is one thing that is consistent about voters; they will vote for only one of two things, money in their own pockets and a principled candidate who stands firmly on his convictions and is offering an actual alternative which has the appeal of bettering life for everybody. If the Republicans continue to try and sell themselves as almost the same as the Democrats but slightly concerned with the principles of the constitution, enough to actually bother to mention its existence, then they will continue to lose as why would anybody who wanted a Democrat vote for the Republican offering to be Democrat-lite? The Republicans are not losing elections from not garnering sufficient votes from the center; they are losing by not getting the votes from the conservatives who are their base.

How can we say this when virtually every pundit after the election pointed to the numbers interpreting them in such a way as to indicate that President Obama won reelection precisely because he swayed the majority of the center voters. We would like to point out that many of those who report and interpret the news have a unique definition of the center. Their idea of the center are those voters who mostly hold views of a similar nature to those of the journalist, after all, the journalist is the best example of somebody who is from the center due to their presumed ability to cover the news free of any political bias. So, if the people who are claiming that in order to win the candidates need to win the votes from the people who most closely mirror the views of most journalists, then their suggestion is that candidates need to be well left of center progressives in order to win. The majority of journalists underestimates and even ignore that there are people who strongly believe in the Constitution and actually would be in favor of the government being pared down by applying the governmental limits from the Constitution to reduce the size and scope of government. If one takes the time to inspect the actual numbers one would find that in this last election Mitt Romney received less votes from Evangelical Christians, Tea Party members, and many other conservative, libertarian, Constitutionalists, and other right wing voters than had John McCain four years earlier. This is what sunk the Presidential aspirations of Mitt Romney. Statistically, had Mitt Romney received the same numbers of votes from the entire gauntlet of libertarians, Constitutionalists, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and other right of center voters as had voted for John McCain, then Mitt Romney would have won the election and we would be awaiting a Republican being sworn into the White House this January instead of a reinduction of President Obama.

So, Speaker of the House John Boehner, leader of the Republicans and supposed conservative leader in the House of Representatives, do yourself, the Republican Party, and the people of the United States a favor and refuse to allow any tax increase without an immediate across the board reduction in entitlement and social spending. No promises of future cuts or of intentions to make cuts, hard, noticeable, real, and actual cuts in entitlement and social spending now or no deal. And make as much noise and yell your convictions that there will be no tax increase without real spending cuts while you are Speaker of the House. Even if in January and after we have gone over the fiscal cliff and President Obama comes to the congress and asks that you legislate tax cuts for those making less than $250,000.00 a year and again says that spending cuts can be discussed down the road and that tax cuts are the immediate item which is needed for the country, once again stand on principles and demand that if there will be tax cuts only for those who the President favors and not across the board for everybody, then this requires spending cuts be made at the same time. Take the stand that everybody gets to keep their current tax burden and that if the President demands otherwise then he has to grant your demand of spending cuts. You are the Speaker of the House and as such you are equal in power to prevent legislation from becoming law as is the President. Stand firm and you will likely be surprised at the support you will find.

Beyond the Cusp

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