Beyond the Cusp

February 11, 2016

Obama’s Massive Budget Proposes but Misses All Marks

 

The Congress will be debating a budget which manages to miss a number of vital areas while spending massive amounts on failed programs and is designed to expand dependence on government programs, expanding programs designed to replace the need for employment forming a self-enforced permanent reliance. Many of the new permanently unemployed who have completely resigned to their current fate and have adapted to a lifestyle more conducive to a retired person complete with a number of friends in the same lifestyle and probably virtual on-line friends in a game or chat room who meet every day for their entertainment used to fill the day while some take on a lifestyle of a self-imposed solitary confinement with hopefully a friend or relative who makes occasional contact allowing for at least a minimal level of human interaction. These are people who have fallen through the cracks finding government programs for their support and sustenance. They know where to get food and live either with their parents or other relative or with a group of man living in a rented apartment or in Section 8 Housing. These are people who have accepted that they have failed and have little if any motivation to improve their lot in life. There will be funds for these people and if they vote we can guess which party is their choice as their existence depends on government teat to nurture them. If only our military personnel were so well cared for, but one has to have their priorities after all.

 

This budget will needfully be augmented by whoever wins the Presidential contest next fall, and that cannot come fast enough. This makes this budget President Obama’s final shot at remaking the United States into nothing more than another demilitarized socialist European failing state. Other than the first budget he proposed and got passed by a Democrat Congress which had complete control over both houses, Congress also passed his next spending increase in a supplemental budget in some way with almost every piece of legislation adding to the demand for more revenue from a tax strapped and wounded economy which groaned and struggled under the ever increasing burden. It seemed the only places cash strapped under the Obama years was national defense and the space program. To be fair the space program appears to be the whipping boy of every politician whose aim it is to reel in a runaway budget. Have you ever noticed that the NASA budget, when it comes time to make cuts, is always given in billions of dollars and never like other parts which are mentioned in percentages of spending? There is a reason which becomes crystal clear once you understand the actual size of the NASA budget. The dirty little secret is that the NASA budget has seldom reached beyond 2 1/2 % and ever since the end of the moon race has never cleared 1 1/2 % and usually hovered around ¾ of 1% of the budget, that is 0.75% which is almost nonexistent but when said in billions of dollars it sound enormous, or ginormous as a very young child once exclaimed while watching television. So, on we go to other budget realities.

 

The defense budget, it’s a monstrous piece of the budget, right? Wrong. Actually the peace time military usually runs on under 9% of the budget. The one wasteful part of the budget is the now approaching 25% of the budget which is used to pay the interest on the national debt, the interest which means the actual debt never gets paid down. This is even worse than paying your monthly minimum on your charge cards as even those include payment beyond just “servicing” your debt. We all understand that should we not charge more on our cards that this minimum payment will eventually drop to zero as we will have paid off our debt in full. Not the Federal Government, they pay what we would call a default payment where they pay off the interest and allow the actual principle to remain untouched thus they could pay the interest rate forever and never have the debt grow any smaller. I hear you and you are correct, that is no way to run a budget. Still this paying off only the interest will force deficit spending as there would be no other manner of paying off the debt. So, that payment may have grown since the last time we came across the actual numbers on that debt demand. Another 30% goes to all the benefits and Social Security based payments and another 30% on corporate welfare and the remainder which is, let’s do the math, NASA and the Defense budgets equals 10% plus debt service is 25% and support payments combined is 60% and we are at 95% and not even begun to talk about simply running the government we would be wise to end our outlays and use that remaining 5% to cover any unexpended necessities which may come around, but no, that amount is eaten up largely by the operating payment which easily found uses for any remaining cash as long as it is not used to pay off principle of the debt as that would make sense.

 

With the budget covering all the massive increases, as it has since his first Obama budget gave unfathomable increases that set the tone for the remainder of budgets, government spending is, as logic would dictate, out of control. This was an intentional ploy as now the cost of living increases themselves was sufficiently large that many agencies have been strapped for ways to spend their new levels of funding; but still each was then sufficiently charged with new outlays that their percentage of the budget increased well beyond that 5% limitation. That paltry 5% was insignificant when compared to the demands that legislation would place on the government such as added programs and the expansion of programs such that they were tasked with making payments sometimes to larger and larger sectors of society. One easily provided example was the lengthening of the time one could collect unemployment before being dropped from the roles. The same was occurring at the welfare offices as more people found themselves eligible for added benefits and the increase in people found to be disabled, all of these categories add up and very soon one is talking about real outlays running smack against deficit spending and an increased debt. The worrisome item is how much additional outlays will be required for the military to continue to operate at a level well in advance of other nations who, such as China and Russia, are attempting to supplant the United States as the hegemon. Russia is doing exactly that in the Middle East and Eastern Europe while China is targeting the Western Pacific Ocean and Asia.

 

The two main problems facing the United States will require the next President to address two areas and decide exactly what they intend to do to mitigate the problems. The first and potentially lesser of the problems is simply supporting the military and restoring it with additional funding to cover the development and training of the soldiers on new and more advanced equipment. The F-22 Raptor should be put back into production and the full rostrum originally intended should be resumed. There are a number of other areas where upgrades or replacement is necessary or approaching at an unanticipated rate. One such item is space defense which would protect vital satellites from attack, especially ground based attacks. The other would be an overhaul of the weapons utilized by the military. Improved individual weapon systems and squad defense systems need upgrading or replacement. A new infantry weapon is desperately needed and the new weapon will need to be sufficient to fire a round which will penetrate the personal armor currently used by other militaries and many terrorist groups who have been able to acquire such defensive systems. Another replacement, actually supplemented, is the ability to project force overseas from within the United States to any point on the map within four hours. There has been a plan for a space plane which involves a low earth orbit to be attained and then a controlled reentry would place a squad of soldiers anywhere required. A coordinated launch of sufficient numbers of the crafts could relocate entire companies and even brigades and have them operational within three hours, comfortably within the requirements. New armor, specifically heavy and moderate tanks and the design of an armored personnel carrier (APC) which is mine resistant and adaptable enough to perform transport of any company or brigade troop safely and with relative comfort and a seating capacity for thirty-five men and their equipment. ROV and self-sufficient robotic systems should be urgently placed at the front of DARPA priorities thus leading to fast track readiness for these systems which are required for multiple tasks.

 

 

Super Soldier Outfitted with Helmets, Reactive Body Armor, Unit Identification, Full Battle Field Interface, Text to Unit and Individual, Drone Interface, Full Level Integration from Unit to Command, Exo-Skeleton Strength Assist, Enemy Positions Known and Suspected, Unit and Command View What Soldier Sees

Super Soldier Outfitted with Helmets, Reactive Body Armor, Unit Identification,
Full Battle Field Interface, Text to Unit and Individual, Drone Interface,
Full Level Integration from Unit to Command, Exo-Skeleton Strength Assist,
Enemy Positions Known and Suspected, Unit and Command View What Soldier Sees

 

 

Above the rebuilding of military hardware, power projection, logistics at all levels; the modern warfare future infantry soldier systems need full field testing and provability of aims which include integrating the soldier in the field with access to the same information as command and control is looking at plus gives them locations of all friendlies in the area of operation as well as known and suspected enemy locations and demarking landmarks as known cleared, unknown or known enemy occupied. The systems also permit the squad or platoon to spread over a larger area as each man knows the position of the unit to their right and left and allows for moving inline and giving orders, warnings or other pertinent or mission critical information through test allowing for quiet movement in possible enemy areas. These systems also link to drones, aerial and ground based, with both camera view and location scanned. This also gives command a better view of where assets on the ground actually are and they thus are not depending on “they should be here by now” and other inaccuracies. These systems being given testing by trial in mock training situation making them mission tested and ready to deploy should we require boots on the ground, and if the President does not desire boots on the ground, American troops are versatile if nothing else, they can wear sneakers and if that is too formal they could try wearing flip-flops but movement would be slowed.

 

The other area which is vital for the United States to address as it is also quite necessary for the world economy as well. The United States debt ceiling must be lowered and the debt decreased. This is not payment on the debt as it is now used, namely paying the interest payment and not touching the principle except to raise it half way through the year and then bumping it up every six weeks as you pass continuing resolution and refusing to pass a budget such that nobody can keep track of spending and the debt can be adjusted every couple of weeks as another extension of the budget with a ten percent increase over the last continuing resolution as we have to allow for a little manageable debt. This has been one of President Obama’s greatest deceits, the creeping debt ceiling where every continuing resolution grants the President the power to raise the debt ceiling an apparently insignificant amount always given as a percentage of GDP and never on actual billions or tens of billions of dollars, one billion dollars is one fourth of one percent, 0.25% or 1/4% (all if my math is remotely accurate), which appears insignificant until somebody breaks the news that that is half of the NASA budget which was considered wasteful. The other matter is these continuing resolutions pile up until you have as many as ten and always at the least five so we will give you the increase if there are merely seven continuing resolution each increasing the debt ceiling by 0.25%. Such an insignificant amount results in increasing the debt ceiling by a whopping 1.75% increase which if the debt is at $10,000,000 then at years end it would be over $10,725,000 which is a lot more than a simple one quarter of one percent raise they claimed they made because they made that increase multiple times. The actual increase from a ¼ % increase one needs to multiple 1.0025 times itself as many times as it was complimented thus making the formula for the actual increase to be (1.0025)n where n=the number of continuing resolutions. The debt ceiling being raised is probably the greatest threat to the future economy which means a threat to any military presence and influence over the world the United States would be financially capable of sustaining.

 

President Obama could be considered the John Lenin, not the Vladimir Lenin though that argument could be made, where he only added one verse to the song Imagine:

Imagine there is no America,
forcing her morals and opulence upon the world,
its catastrophic if it happens,
it’s easy if you try,
just look back to 1919,
when the system failed and left much in disarray.

For those confused, 1919 saw the greatest drop in the stock market value and almost all industry froze expecting a very long, long, long winter and governments were in a panic over what to do. They discussed nationalizing industry as they had misread the populace’s demands, and then there was the imposition of standards and regulations such that government and industry would cooperate. There was no upper limit to proposals and that was the magic. Every couple of days some economist played out the reasons for the crash and the required steps necessary to repair the problem such that it never occurs again. No two were alike as to what to do. Governments in Europe and the United States as well as elsewhere which were struck by the economic crunch debated and debated then debated further for quite a while. There was never a consensus and the government appeared as frozen as the economy and the crisis continued for almost a year and a half without government intervention to save the day. Finally the crisis calmed and reason prevailed and the government did that which was best, absolutely nothing beyond making great and historic speeches which nobody today remembers. The recovery came completely free of any government actions and quite probably because of no government action. The worst economic crisis which the history books refuse to cover was not in 1929 or anywhere through the 1930’s and that disaster only affected the United States where the government took immediate and necessary actions while in Europe the government, as in 1919, debated until the economy recovered on its own in about eighteen months while the United States went from one cure to another like a fish floundering out of the water. Will we ever learn, nope, that can be proven by asking random people simple question concerning something not taught any longer, civics. Simple questions like what are the three branches of government, how many members in the House of Representatives, how many electors in the Electoral College. My favorite is to take a copy of the Declaration of Independence modernized version and tell people you are collecting signature such that this document will need to be voted upon and potentially become adopted by the government but you need signatures to meet some set number. Watch the people freak out and call you so many varied and different names such as fascist, anarchist, communist and any number of other things all meant as pejoratives and insult.

 

Lastly, to make a few comments on this fall’s Presidential elections in the United States. The person elected to office will be initially critical to Israel. The growing crisis in Europe over the refugees will result inevitably in violence like never witnessed before. The reactions will propel the world onto yet another conflagration where the ending volley will come as a response to Iranian nuclear strikes on the United States. When communications break down in the usual levels and the conflict has proceeded to a point where a conflagration is sure to follow, the fleet commanders out to sea in submarines and surface vessels and all the bases around the world will do as their letters of command instruct, to the best of their ability determine who or plural who was/were responsible for the attack which broke off their communications links with all commands and take whatever measures are possible to mitigate the situation. If the nuclear submarines, boomers, determine or are informed that nuclear weapons were utilized in an assault on the United States, they will launch their missiles in order to eradicate the enemy which thusly destroyed the United States. Some nations believe that the United States is no different than them and only has a few number of vessels not in harbor safe and sound rather than roaming all points in the globe lurking in the depths awaiting commands and when not receiving such assuming that their bases were destroyed so they would contact the ranking officer outside the mainland and receive their new orders. These orders would take into consideration the launch point and nation behind the launch or assisting these attackers anywhere on the planet and launch nuclear Armageddon upon them such that there be nothing left for the twelfth Imam to come save. As the old commercials used to say, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” This version would be along the lines of, “It’s not survivable to fool with America” as her assets around the globe will kill you very completely. In conclusion, if the United States can instead of policing micro-aggressions at home and inspecting their navels, would instead look at the real and serious threats around the globe and address them in some assertive manner, then they would allow the real threats to be known and scheduled for destruction immediately and completely with no reservations or considerations for their populations, and should target and eliminate by any means necessary any credible and identifiable threats from abroad as they likely targeted locations which would directly affect families and friends back home. The American military need only break things and then simply advise that remaining population that they correct their governance and attitudes about all things of immediate concern otherwise the American military will return, break everything and give the survivors the same challenge, and repeating this cycle as long as necessary until any new governance poses no discernable threat to the United States or her allies. But there is the definite possibility the next American presence in the world will more appear as weak-willed and incompetent governance based on the people making the call through their elected representatives which if weak-willed would lead to their electing their own representatives for all the wrong reasons and falling for flashy commercials and tired old promises made every election cycle. America is, as Ronald Reagan pointed out, the last best hope for freedom in the world and that was correct. What he got wrong was should America as the beacon of democracy die, there will continue to be a beacon for democracy as there is another which can carry the seed though would be pressed to spread it through more than a value preserved and ready for when men’s souls yearn for freedom and seek within them such fortitude to risk all to fulfill their dream. Israel can be that spark but the nations of the world will need to provide the fuel that will light the fires of hope, freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and a will to risk everything they have to give their children the freedom they must in turn preserve. Freedom is a small flickering flame which can be fueled to burn so brightly, but also will become merely glowing embers which soon turn charcoal black and give off little if any heat unable to rekindle the flames. Those embers of freedom are currently losing their heat throughout Europe and America is trailing not all that far behind. Time is limited but ripe for a new burst of freedom; the next elections may be the determining factor between freedom and hopelessness engulfing much of the world. Will men and women realize and answer the challenge.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 23, 2013

Aid Seeking Oklahoma Republican Reps Denied Hurricane Sandy Aid

There will be factual but misleading commentary and quotations in the coming week condemning the elected Congressional representatives from Oklahoma for accepting Federal assistance in the recovery from the EF-5 tornado that utterly destroyed much of the small Oklahoma town of Moore. These statements will claim that those Oklahoma politicians who had voted down the initial $50 Billion aid package to assist the Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and the Northeast when it was before Congress are now being simply greedy in expecting funds for the recovery from the tornado. The main targets will be these conservative Republicans; Senator Tom Coburn, Senator James M. Inhofe, Representative Jim Bridenstine, Representative Markwayne Mullin, and Representative James Lankford. Both Representative Frank Lucas and Representative Tom Cole will be free from blame as they supported this legislation, well, they may receive a pass now but come the next election this vote may be used against them for supporting such massive unnecessary pork included in this legislation. And it is the included pork spending which makes the blame game unprincipled and purely a political witch hunt in an attempt to gain political points by disregarding the actual truth.

The legislation which allocated generous funding to assist and enable full recovery from much of the damages incurred during Hurricane Sandy still did not utilize even half of the $50 Billion. The greater part of these funds went to numerous projects or to supplement existing programs which had absolutely nothing to do with hurricane Sandy. Many of the expenditures went to numerous states and locations untouched by Hurricane Sandy and even to some which have never been touched by any hurricane in recorded history. These were the expenditures which the Oklahomans in the House of Representatives and the Senate voted against and they had made their positions very clear back in Oklahoma. Furthermore, there is not going to even be a vote on relief aid for the tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma as FEMA has a surplus of funds at this point and all outlays will fall well within already allocated emergency funds set aside for just such emergencies. The difference for Hurricane Sandy was in order to fund the repairs after that disaster had to come from spending above and beyond allocated spending thus the discussion was to allocate supplemental spending. This is a normal situation which has happened before and will happen again in the future simply because some years storm and other emergency disaster recovery allocations are less than budgeted and other years it will exceed allocated spending. The evil which is hidden in the example of Hurricane Sandy was the practice of attaching additional spending for pet items, most often funding items within a Senator or Representatives State or District, often to reward major financial supporters of their campaigns, to legislation which is obviously necessary such as emergency spending, defense budgets, and other pressing or popular legislations thus guaranteed to pass. This is a convenient and efficient way of hiding what is in reality unnecessary expenditures from discussion, debate, or media coverage while guaranteeing passage and allocation of these somewhat nefarious spending items which would suffer defeat and embarrassment if their sponsors were to submit legislation solely for the approval of such expenditures.

The hiding of pork and pet project spending within unrelated legislation is an old trick of the political class but has, like so many other underhanded and circuitous measures, exploded over the last fifty years. There is another legislative misdirection used by politicians by which they pass legislation for items which they are fully aware that should they support it straight out they would be pounded come the next election as their constituents would hold their feet to the fire for supporting something the voters would find undesirable, odious even. What is done is there are three versions of the legislation presented for consideration, each one worded just sufficiently different to make each one appear to be different. This can be accomplished by changing technical terms or making less direct references within the bill such that it is a difference without a difference. Then our Representatives and Senators can vote against at least one variation while they agree on which one will be passed, maybe all three will be passed and still allow any who need to have cover for opposing the legislation is also met. Another misdirection used was a favorite of retired Texas Representative Ron Paul who would add copious amounts of pork to guaranteed to pass comfortably legislation and then he would make a grand pontification denouncing all the pork in said piece of legislation and, after demanding a roll call vote, proudly vote against the legislation into which he had placed the pork for his district. When his reelection campaign was hitting the home stretch he could wave his vote against a bill containing pork for his own district as dyed in the wool anti-pork purist despite knowing full well that the pork would safely pass and his district receive the largess he intended for them. Representative Ron Paul was one of the most successful practitioners of this method of deceit.

These are simply a pair of ways our Senators and Representatives mislead and outright lie to us and still manage to do every dirty little trick necessary in order to build government and spend all of the citizens’ tax monies to buy the votes to keep them in their cushy jobs in Washington or each state capital. There is one method which will never see the light of day unless “We the People” demand that such be made into law, or better yet, made into a constitutional Amendment. What is necessary to end these practices is single item legislation requirement where each piece of legislation must state exactly the measure or condition it will address and then every article, addendum, and amendment must be justified as to how it addresses the defined subject of the legislation. Such constricting rules will never be imposed by our elected representatives because such would end much of their little games and secrets through which they enrich their big money supporters and even often find channels that put more cash directly into their own wallets. Single item legislative requirement would not be the end and cure-all but it would be a solid step towards curbing runaway spending which we currently suffer from in almost immeasurable amounts. Once we have corralled the spendaholics in our government, perhaps then things will become easier to observe, then further steps towards honest and forthright political service can be demanded and excesses finally be rendered to the past. Everybody is allowed to dream and sometimes that first step, the dream, can lead to actual achievements. Truth be told, if you never dream it, you will never achieve it, so let’s get the dreams started and the necessary changes introduced into the discussion.

Beyond the Cusp

February 26, 2013

As Budget Sequestration Doth Approach

How is it that no matter how divergent the most crucial topics and interests of the day may be and despite their being completely independent of each other with disparate source all traveling their own paths that somehow they all appear to be closing in on a critical moment all of them almost in unison. The topics include but not be limited to such things as the budgetary sequestration, the Iranian nuclear situation with the related P5+1 talks, the continued strife from Mali to Afghanistan to Yemen and then some, and the fiscal crisis throughout much of the world with emphasis on the European Union and the United States. Where most of these subjects are covered with some lesser amounts of slant and bias, there is one from amongst them which has been the subject of pure and bold propaganda meant to obscure, mislead and demonize far more than any intent to truly inform, and that is the looming budget sequestration. The truth of this story is so much less and yet so completely different than most have been sold.

With March 1st fast approaching, the United States Media is playing up a deadline called the sequestration. My dictionary defines sequestration as 1) removal or separation, banishment or exile; 2) a withdrawal into seclusion, retirement; and lastly 3) the legal sequestering of property, confiscation or seizure. As usual the federal government is masking a simple action by labeling the simple forced reduction of the budget through an across the board uniform application of spending cuts with a seldom used word outside of legal or government discourse, namely sequestration. The imposition of the sequestration uniform spending cuts across all government spending is how this is being spun often leaving out completely or ignoring the facts that significantly higher cuts resulting from sequestration will be applied to military and Pentagon budgets. The really interesting item about the coming sequestration is the lies and propaganda being spread in order to magnify what should be only minor concerns into dreaded consequences which could conceivably destroy the fabric of our society. What is not being told is that the cuts will actually be less than four percent of total government spending over the next ten years. That simply means that the sequestration cuts are, as is almost always the case when our elected representatives in Washington speak of budget cuts, merely decreases in the amount that spending will be increased. Instead of telling us that even after the dread sequestration is applied the government will still spend more in 2013 than was spent in 2012 which was more than in 2011 and so on, they will just continue with he lies that the sequestration cuts are draconian. The only difference is the percentage of increase between 2013 spending from 2012 spending will be around five percent less than the percentage of increase between 2012 spending from 2011 spending. So, if they are spending more in 2013 than was spent in 2012, how is it that the claims are there will not be sufficient air traffic controllers, meals on wheels for homebound seniors, fewer teachers in the schools, reductions in the size of police and fire departments throughout the country and other high profile consequences of which most will never occur or be of any actual danger to safety or denial of assistance to those who rely on federal programs to provide care for them.

There is another disinformation about the sequestration which is being confirmed by most of the mainstream press and that is about who is to blame. The news coverage and press commentary and releases from the White House place the entirety of the blame on Congress. The next point of clarifications from these same sources is that they do not so much mean Congress as they mean the House of Representatives and not all of the members of the House of Representatives but the Republicans in the House of Representatives because they control the House of Representatives who are to blame. The truth is that the House of Representatives is partly to blame, both parties; and so is the Senate to blame in part, both parties; and lastly President Obama gave his blessings to the sequestration solution to the budget crisis and when it was enacted it was claimed to be the most brilliant and innovative budgetary solution ever conceived by the government in all of history. There will be those who will claim that the President cannot be to blame as he has not received a budget or any form of legislation addressing the budget needs which is what is going to force the implementation of the sequestration. Why, even the Senate has not had anything scheduled for discussions about budgetary plans or offers which would address the problems and avoid the implementation of the sequestration. Those comments while valid on face value do not reveal the truth of the matter. The House of Representatives has sent at the least three separate budget plans that would have avoided sequestration to the Senate. Once these bills were sent to the Senate they were never referred to committee nor were they scheduled for any discussions or votes on the floor of the Senate. The truth is they were simply shelved by Harry Reid and ignored completely. By avoiding even the idea of considering anything sent to the Senate by the House of Representatives and instead simply demanding the House of Representatives send the Senate a bill which they would find palatable, Senator Reid has absolved the President from needing to refuse anything proposed by the House of Representatives allowing President Obama to simply decry the lack of action by the Congress in addressing and avoiding the sequestration. After President Obama has complained about the lack of legislation coming out of Congress, then Senator Reid lays the blame on the Republican House of Representatives absolving the Democrat controlled Senate of any responsibility. Then the majority of the mainstream press, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, et al echoes these comments while never following up with any comments which might be forthcoming from the Speaker of the House in defense of their efforts. The major news services and programs simply repeat the Democrat line that the Republicans are out to destroy the country. The saddest part of the lies told to the people is that even should the presumably undesirable sequestration be applied on this coming Friday, March 1, 2013, it will not bring on the catastrophic destruction of America as we know her, it might actually be a decent first step to curtailing the prolific spending habits of the federal government. This would be especially true when after the sequestration, if we should be so fortunate as to have such befall us, the country does not spiral out of control from too little government spending but actually we find that things improve. Who knows, maybe we will start to demand more sequestration style cuts as the new method of writing future budgets. Wouldn’t that be a concept, a new form of federal budgeting which cuts the rate of increase every year and even reaches the point where it actually shrinks spending and the size of government until it actually will fit within the limitations presumably dictated by the Constitution. I’m beginning to like this sequestration idea.

Beyond the Cusp

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