national debt

Feb 28, 2009

111TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. J. RES. 1 Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

On January 6, 2009, as it has been proposed in just about every Congress since at least President Reagan, and perhaps before. H.J.R.1, bill for a Balanced Budget, was introduced in the House of Representatives. H.J.R.1 has 157 sponsors, mostly Republicans, as it usually is.

It would make an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring the budget be balanced, like most states, to be balanced or a bill be passed by 60% of both the House and Senate.

Year after year it is rejected. What it lacks is what the Declaration of Independence calls "the consent of the governed". What it is missing is if there is not an 60% majority in both the House and the Senate, but has majority approval, that it be submitted to the People to vote on in a national referendum.

H.R.1. as it was submitted, without amendment, is as follows:

Section 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a rollcall vote.
`Section 2. The limit on the debt of the United States held by the public shall not be increased, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House shall provide by law for such an increase by a rollcall vote.
`Section 3. Prior to each fiscal year, the President shall transmit to the Congress a proposed budget for the United States Government for that fiscal year in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts.
`Section 4. No bill to increase revenue shall become law unless approved by a majority of the whole number of each House by a rollcall vote.
`Section 5. The Congress may waive the provisions of this article for any fiscal year in which a declaration of war is in effect. The provisions of this article may be waived for any fiscal year in which the United States is engaged in military conflict which causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security and is so declared by a joint resolution, adopted by a majority of the whole number of each House, which becomes law.
`Section 6. The Congress shall enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation, which may rely on estimates of outlays and receipts.
`Section 7. Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government except those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except for those for repayment of debt principal.

Newt Gingrich Analysis of "Obama's" Big Government Plan

Watch CBS Videos Online

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich takes apart President Obama's ''big government'' plan to save the economy. I have to disagree with Gingrich in calling this Obama's plan. Perhaps he dare not define the President as a puppet of Pelosi.

The GOP is like a Marine with an automatic shooting at a 25 yard machinegun target. In this case, the Democratic Party is painting themselves with a bullseye and hoping everyone forgets who voted for this spending by 2010.

The problem is the Democrats has confused this sacrifice of future generations as a map for the future. If it is, they have the North side of the map pointing at the floor.

Newt Gingrich is very respectful of President Obama's abilities in this feature in terms of integrity, focus, and success. He says the President is a left wing advocate who genuinely believes in big government as a solution to America's problems rather than the private sector.

However, it would be a mistake to believe Newt Gingrich is not skeptical of this spending. Essentially, Gingrich is saying pieces of the budget are do-able. He says over it is a higher tax, weaker economy, job-killing budget that dramatically increases the power of government.

He says the $600 billion in energy taxes are a job killer. That tells us that those taxes will hamper business (means of production) recovery.

Gingrich deserves six minutes of your time to give a listen. His comments are cogent, open minded, and considerate of President Obama's perspective.

The government controlling schools and banks is like the way they run the U.S. Post Office and the Treasury. Personally, I would rather have FedEx delivering my medicine and Bill Gates of Microsoft running our Treasury.

How can you have a $3.5 Trillion Budget and claim you are going to cut the Deficit? This is a claim worthy of the Gobbels Award For Public Enlightenment.

How can taxing the "rich" who are only 1.5% of the population, provide the $533 billion reduction in deficits? How can you have reductions by removing troops from Iraq when you are going to reroute them to Afghanistan?

Gingrich is in agreement with much of the words President Obama uses. What is disturbing is the gap berween the rhetoric and the reality of the education reform and earmarks. The bill takes away school choice and has over 8,000 earmarks. Gingrich's estimate is lower than some other sources.

I think the six minutes that the video takes of him speaking is a good investment of your time.

Feb 27, 2009

Republican Leader Steele Putting Republicans on 12 Step Program

Initiative and Freemarket Capitalism Stumped

Maine faced a difficult task in verifying signatures on five petitions.

There is an initiative to revamp Maine's existing medical marijuana law to require the state Department of Health and Human Services to issue cards to patiens who qualify to posses the marijuana and help establish nonprofit dispensaries. It would also change the conditions for which medical marijuana is permitted.

The one allowing citizens of Maine to purchase health insurance from out-of-state companies was meant to allow more choices, making Maine insurance companies more subject to market competition. The Main Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap, disqualified all 63,690 signatures because the six page description of the initiative was presented out of sequence for those reading it.

Oklahoma Bills to Make Initiative Qualification Easier Advance

On February 18th, 2009, two Oklahoma bills to make it easier to qualify initiatives for the ballot passed the Senate Rules Committee on February 17. On the 23rd, they reached the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Both were sponsored by Senator Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso) and Representative Randy Terrill, (R-Dist.53) to ease ballot access for minor parties.

SJR13, a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution, would lower the number of signatures for a statutory initiative from 8% of the last vote cast, to 5% of the last gubernatorial vote. If passed, the voters must vote on it in 2010.

SB 852 removes some impediments to the qualification of initiative petitions. It allows the initiative to be printed on 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper (current law requires that sheets be 14 inches long, which makes it more difficult to distribute blank petition forms on many home printers).

The bill:
1.Deletes the requirement that only Oklahoma residents may circulate an initiative.
2.Expands the petitioning period from 90 days to one year. I
3.Requires legal challenges to the initiative to be filed early in the process, instead of after all the signatures have been collected.
4.Makes it illegal to harass initiative petition circulators while they are working.

Legislators Considering Whether to Put Bills Directly on Ballot

Thursday, 2/26/2009, North Dakota legislators started considering a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow them to put bills directly on the ballot.

The legislature of North Dakota can currently put a referendum on the ballot for changes to their constitution, but not for changes in the laws. North Dakota does have an initiative process for collecting signatures on petitions to put those questions on the ballot. However, the legislature does not have that authority to put a bill for a law on the ballot themselves.

Feb 26, 2009

"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

Obama promises to slash spending by $2 trillion after spending $787 billion on the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. Now Congress (Pelosi) is gearing up to spend $634 billion over ten years for healthcare which he says is going to be paid for by taxing the rich. Of course, that is assuming there are any "rich" left by 2012.

Jobless claims rose to 667,000. The number of laid-off Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs. Those shed jobs are mostly the small businesses that go unnoticed among the many large layoffs.

Of the cost of expanding health care coverage is to come from a $318 billion increase over 10 years in taxes on the wealthy.

Pelosi defined that for him as couples making more than $250,000 per year and individuals making more than $200,000. Those that have small businesses fall into that range. If these "rich" people are smart, they will incorporate to buy vehicles and other perqs for their business or work and take a lower salary for themselves as they do more of their own work rather than keeping people employed.

The tax increase is supposed to occur by reducing the benefit the wealthy get on tax deductions. Taxpayers in the current top tax bracket of 35 percent would see their tax deduction for every $1 given to charity drop from 35 cents to 28 cents.

Perhaps most of them will remain charitible, even though the Federal government is not.

What part of the $634 billion is the $14 billion per year for SCHIP or "Social
Security Act to extend and improve the Children’s Health Insurance Program?"

The answer to budgeting for that was to increase the tax on tobacco products. That will work if people keep smoking or do not start smuggling tobacco like illicit drugs.

Then there is the landfill of those investments in mortgage loans. Chairwoman Pelosi has a Mortgage relief bill set for House vote Thursday. In the future, if you are in foreclosure you will resort to bankruptcy to force reductions in their monthly mortgage payments under this bill. Minorities are claiming the these were preditory loans.

Fincancial analyists are saying, though, that this particular misery is being spread evenly throughout the economic spectrum. Those with higher incomes made less secure lones, as well, on higher cost homes.

Winston Churchill's view was, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, the gospel of ENVY. It’s inherent virtue is the equal sharing of MISERY.”

When President Carter was campaigning he framed the Misery Index as a measure of government. It is the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates.

Last month the unemployment rate was 7.1%. Inflation projections, according to the Labor Department’s projected Consumer Price Index, are for a 0.6 percent decline in prices this year and 1.6 percent increase in 2010. The Bloomberg economic survey for 2009 is less than the 2 percent forecast for next year. So, the assumed Misery Index is 7.7 right now. Remember that marker.

In 2008, the average was 3.8% and the high was 5.6% in July and the unemployment rate was 6.0% in the third quarter for a total of 11.6%. So, if you believe the Labor Department's projection for 2009, President Bush had a 11.6 Misery Index and President Obama is looking forward to a Misery Index of 7.7. Time will tell.

Feb 25, 2009

Pelosi Is In Behind Her Puppet President with $420 Billion

Pelosi claims, "By completing the appropriations bills that the previous Administration delayed, and by rejecting the deep cuts affecting our children, our workers, and our economy that President Bush proposed, Congress can now focus its full attention on the pressing challenges facing our nation. In this legislation, and because of the condition of our economy and the financial crisis, Congress also rejected a cost of living increase for Members for next year.

At no point could the "previous administration" have delayed or rejected any budget since 2006. If Chairwoman Pelosi wanted to make cuts, all she needed to so is not include more spending. She crafted the 2007 Supplemental Appropriations herself.

Rejecting a cost-of-living sounds good until you know first that it is a miniscule part of the budget and most have not gotten a cost-of-living raise in ten years.

Chairwoman Pelosi Said, “The American people expect bold and rapid action that will create jobs and strengthen our economy for the long-term, reform our health care system to reduce costs and increase coverage, move our nation toward energy independence and a green economy, and modernize education to foster innovation and competitiveness in the global economy."

The Budget is a "stimulus bill," too? Would that some of this money be used to move the US toward energy independence. Chairwoman Pelosi has opposed drilling for natural gas and oil at every turn. We went from being a net exporter of those in 1973 to a net importer. There is not going to be a replacement for vehicle fuels anytime soon. Biofuels cost more energy to produce than the energy they produce.

This is yet another pork barrel device for the Democratic Party to make payoffs to those who contributed to the Democratic Party. The Dmocrats are already notifying Districts whose representatives did not vote for ARRA that there are going to be military base closings.

Chairwoman Pelosi, “As Americans have seen since President Obama took office just five weeks ago, Congress has already taken major actions on each of those issues. We look forward to continuing to work with President Obama to make our shared vision of a renewed America a reality.”

Yes, Chairwoman Pelosi has been pulling the strings and the policy has come out of the President's mouth. Her policies were formed even before the elections were complete, with the vision she has shared with him.

Of course, this Budget cannot be paid for by the "rich," if there are any left in this economy. If you took all the earnings from the "rich," then you could not pay for even 5% of the budget. It is the middle income people who create the wealth which Chairwoman Pelosi is spending.

Award for Guerilla Warfare to Sarah Palin

This is for her outstanding contribution in putting Obama'SCare in hot water for the Death Panel the Democrats claimed was not there and yet removed. This is a bill, that if it becomes law, is arbitrary and ambiguous enough to put every citizen's welfare, property, and freedom at risk.

How the US Spends More And Taxes Less

“What we are missing is a process to get those reforms implemented. Our current system has not worked to get the job done. We need a new bipartisan process, such as the Bipartisan Fiscal Task Force I have proposed with Senator Gregg (R-NH), that can lead us to a real legislative outcome." Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota

“The time for talking about our long-term spending problems is over, and we must now shift to making the tough decisions on how we bring about reform. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to help move legislation that will help us reach the goal of a solvent and secure economic future. An excellent place to begin work on this goal would be legislation such as the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action that I introduced with Sen. Conrad, which would put needed solutions on a fast-track to Congressional action.” Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire

All Choaked Up After Pelosi's Puppet Speaks

For bipartisanship to work, Speaker Pelosi needs to reconsider the closed process she’s used and give members of both parties, the press, and the public a reasonable opportunity to participate in the process. It was irresponsible when Republican leaders rushed certain bills to the floor as the majority party, and it’s still irresponsible when Democrats do it today. Americans have rightly rejected the old ways of Washington, D.C., and have made clear their desire to have us work together to solve the country’s problems.” was a press release provided by the office of Congressman Greg Walden before President Obama's speech of February 24, 2009.

Oregon's lone Republican in Congress, Greg Walden's aide said he's been suffering from a bad sore throat, but that Walden did watch the address.

Greg Walden said, however, "You know I never found you could borrow your way into prosperity."

I can understand how Representative Greg Walden has had a hard time swollowing this speech when you know it is just another Ponzi scheme that is called ARRA or the Stimulus Plan. Maybe I am suffering from a bad cold as well.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. In this case, we are selling as yet unborn children into slavery to finance this.

We will start paying this, of course, in another way. When the government borrows and spends while handing out tax cuts, they have to print money. The more money they print, the less a dollar is worth. That translates into inflation.

So, this bill will stimulate the budget deficit and inflation.

The handy out in claiming 3.5 million jobs will be created or "saved," is that you cannot track what jobs might be "saved" by ARRA. Even if we lose 3.5 million more jobs, Pelosi's Puppet, the President, can still claim it would be 7 million without it. This is dishonest as a claim.

Feb 24, 2009

RINO Hunters

IF you are a member of a group like "Rid the Republican Party of R.I.N.O.s" then the RINO is you.

Every time you bash the Republican Party and its members and its elected officials, YOU are the Republican In Name Only.

People who claim to be more Constitutional than the US Surpeme Court are like a Catholic who claims to be more Catholic than the Pope. I do not believe them.

People who claim to be conservative and hate democracy, the consent of the people, I do not believe them.

People who claim to be Republican and are "RINO Hunters" who bash the party and its elected officials, I do not believe.

If you proudly claim to be a member of the Republican Party without bashing the Party or its elected officials, that I will believe.

You have NO business attempting to define what it is to be a Republican when you only CLAIM to be a "Constitutionalist, Christian, Conservative, or Patriotic.

Now Stay With That 401(k)

Feb 20, 2009

Pelosi pushes budget austerity: When is that 787 going to Land?

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put pledge to paper on Thursday by sending her committee chairmen a letter asking them to "
conduct rigorous oversight of all aspects of federal spending
" in order to reduce an escalating budget deficit.

What was that $787 billion for? This is political schizophrenia.

News - Walden vows to help implement stimulus

COMMENTARY: ARRA or Stimulus? Oregon as an Example

Spending without taxing forces printing money. Printing money causes inflation.

If you are willing to vote for this package, then if it does not work you should be able to take a cut in salary. For a U.S. Representative or Senator, it should be their whole salary if their State or District fails to have the jobs materialize in their area.

The low end claimed for the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is 3 million jobs. That is about one job for every 101 people in a nation of 305 million people.

In the House of Representatives there are 435 US Representatives who vote and 6 who do not vote that represent the Territories that are not States. That is about 691,609 people each for 441 who represent the people of the States and territories.

So, that means about 6917 for each District. In Oregon, there are five Congressional Districts. That would mean at least 35,580 jobs for Oregon, if you figure it that way.

If you look at the total population again, 305 million, Oregon is 3.8 million of that or one in every 81 U.S. citizens. If you divide that 3 million jobs by 81, that means Oregon should get at least 37,037 jobs from ARRA. One of the Oregon U.S. Representatives is claiming we will get 44,000 jobs from this spending, so this seems fair.

It sounds helpful, too, when we have about 180,000 unemployed in Oregon. . That 180,000 is twice the unemployment of a good economy, so we need to reduce to 90,000 unemployed.

However, let's just hold the Representative to the 37,037 jobs. That would mean this ARRA should bring the unemployment down to 143,000. So, if we are at that low end by the end of the year, the Representatives who voted for ARRA should be able to keep their salary and job. Otherwise....

However, remember that one in 81 figure. The ARRA costs $787 billion. That means ARRA is costing Oregon $9,716,049,382 to get 37037 jobs or $262,232 per job.

Can't we get a better deal than that? If we paid workers to just build windmills at $62,232 per worker, including wages and benefits, that would be a very good deal for the workers.They would still have wages of $42,000 after paying for benefits.

Yet, it would leave $200,000 left over for those roads and bridges we need. But even if we just built windmills, it would be a better use of our money. You can install at least three sizeable wind generators for $200,000. Imagine 37,000 windmiills and 37,000 people employed for a year.

Would you rather have? The "Stimulus Plan" of Congress? Or mine?

Write the Whitehouse Here.

Feb 19, 2009

NewsBusted 2/20/09:Congress, Amy Sullivan, Diane Feinstein, Senate Democrats, Postal Stamps, Time for Lies, SI Swimsuits, NJ State Song

Stimulus Package and Religious Freedom

"This is a direct attack on students of faith, and I’m outraged Democrats are using an economic stimulus bill to promote discrimination,” said Senator DeMint. “Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for siding with the ACLU over millions of students of faith. These students simply want equal access to public facilities, which is their constitutional right. This hostility toward religion must end. Those who voted to for this discrimination are standing in the schoolhouse door to deny people of faith from entering any campus building renovated by this bill.

“This is now an ACLU stimulus designed to trigger lawsuits designed to intimidate religious organizations across the nation. This language is so vague, it’s not clear if students can even pray in a dorm room renovated with this funding since that is a form of ‘religious worship.’ If this provision remains in the bill, it will have a chilling effect on students of faith in America.

“It is in hard times that our society most needs faith. It provides the light that no darkness can overcome. This provision is an attempt to extinguish that light from college campuses, from the lives of our youth.

“In the words of President Obama today, Faith can promote a greater good for all of us.’ Our varied beliefs can bring us together and rebuild what is broken. It lifts those who have fallen on hard times. Our culture cannot survive without faith and our nation cannot survive without freedom. This provision is an assault against both. It's un-American and it's unconstitutional. Intolerant and it's intolerable.”

This funding restriction is unconstitutional. In the 2001 Good News Club v. Milford Central School Supreme Court decision, the court ruled that restricting religious speech within the context of public shared-use facilities (or schools) is unconstitutional.

(a) IN GENERAL.—A public institution of higher education that
receives funds under this title shall use the funds for education
and general expenditures, and in such a way as to mitigate the
need to raise tuition and fees for in-State students, or for modernization,
renovation, or repair of institution of higher education facilities
that are primarily used for instruction, research, or student housing,
including modernization, renovation, and repairs that are consistent
with a recognized green building rating system.
(b) PROHIBITION.—An institution of higher education may not
use funds received under this title to increase its endowment.
(c) ADDITIONAL PROHIBITION.—No funds awarded under this
title may be used for—
(1) the maintenance of systems, equipment, or facilities;
(2) modernization, renovation, or repair of stadiums or
other facilities primarily used for athletic contests or exhibitions
or other events for which admission is charged to the general
public; or
(3) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities—

H. R. 1—168
(A) used for sectarian instruction or religious worship;
(B) in which a substantial portion of the functions
of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission.

Amendment I: Freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If you want to comment on this - Write the Whitehouse Here.

Commentary: Who Is Really In Control?

One thing that should have become obvious long ago is that the President has only discrete power, like a flip-flop in in a computer. They can sign or veto a bill. Please read the Constitution.

You can blame the Banks, the Corporations and the Lawyers all you want, but then you are missing the point. The housing market failed in the last quarter of 2007, which was the first quarter of the first budget of Chairwoman Pelosi. Still, it took President Bush to cause the global stock markets to fall by announcing the problem at the beginning of 2008.

Presidents, in the end, are partisan puppets of the Speaker of the House. Please read the Constitution. Why do you think Chairwoman Pelosi endorced Senator Obama. Was it for independent thinking or was it because he voted strictly a party line. For all the propaganda about Obama seeking bipartisan support, he did not vote bipartisan. He never, as a senator, was involved in compromise. In fairness, few junior senators are.

The policy of the US belongs to the one who holds the purse strings. Only the House of Representatives can propose a spending bill. The Senate can modify and refer it back to the House, but it is still in the power of the House.

If you just have to blame the Republican Party for the economics of 2001 to 2007, then you should be looking at what Speaker Dennis Hastert did.

Budgets are passed 18 months before they are applied. That means the first budget of Chairwoman Pelosi began July 1, 2007. You could claim it began in the first 100 hours of 2006, though, because she changed the rules and excluded dialog with the Republicans. That allowed her to force through $700 billion in supplimental spending.

People are quick to blame or credit Presidents, but that is obfustication. The one responsible for budget deficits or surpluses is the Speaker of the House. Do you really think there was a six year lag in the surpluses in the Clinton Administration or did it happen because of who was Speaker of the House?

So, to blame the Presidents or claim that it has been the special interests' influence on them is ignorant simplistic thinking with regard to the Constitution or party politics.

Personally, I expect the politics of Chairwoman Pelosi to come more from Walgreen's than her district. If Chairwoman Pelosi had represented her district, she would have followed through on her promise to impeach President Bush. Instead, she stopped Kucinich and others from that. The President is just a strawman for politicians to play against.

Are the main players in the media really this ignorant?

Feb 18, 2009

$75 Billion: Obama Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan

He laid out the four key elements of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan:

1.refinancing help for four to five million homeowners who receive their mortgages through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac incentives for lenders to modify the terms of sub-prime loans at risk of default and foreclosure
3.steps to keep mortgage rates low for millions of middle class families looking to secure new mortgages
4.additional reforms designed to help families stay in their homes
"The plan I’m announcing focuses on rescuing families who have played by the rules and acted responsibly," the President said, "by refinancing loans for millions of families in traditional mortgages who are underwater or close to it; by modifying loans for families stuck in sub-prime mortgages they can’t afford as a result of skyrocketing interest rates or personal misfortune; and by taking broader steps to keep mortgage rates low so that families can secure loans with affordable monthly payments."

Republican Congressman Greg Walden, who once owned a classic rock radio station in Oregon, put the Fairness Doctrine in perfect perspective when he said it’s “the musical equivalent” of “every time we’d play a classic rock song we’d have to play a polka.”

National Ponzi Scheme - Recovery.Gov - ARRA - Stimulus Plan

The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is an extention of the National Debt by $2580 for every man, woman, and child.

Of that, President Obama claims $288 billion is "Tax Relief," or $944 per person. Then, he claims the "Tax Relief" includes $15 billion for infrastructure and science, $61 billion for "protecting the vulnerable," $25 billion for education and training, and $22 billion for "Energy."

So, after all those special tax cut programs are removed, that leaves $165 billion of more general "Tax Relief," for all of us not in those categories, or $540 per person. So, you are going into debt for investing $2580 for $540 in tax relief.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit.

Is the ARRA any less of a Ponzi Scheme when the Federal Government does this than when Charles Ponzi or Bernard Madoff does this? Does it matter whether Nicolas Cosmo, Allen Stanford, or Barack Obama does this?

If you want to comment on ARRA, Write the Whitehouse Here.

Feb 17, 2009

The Natives Are Restless

About 30 million immigrants are in the US. Of those, about 12 million are illegal. Of those, about 7 million are employed.

We are spending $786 billion on the ARRA just to retrieve 3 to 4 million jobs, according to those who voted for and passed that law into effect. We are morgaging the future of my great grandchildren to pay for likely less than half of those jobs taken by illegal immigrants.

Unlike most, I do not want to boot out our illegal immigrants, but plenty are getting very frustrated by the influx going on unabated.

Sen. Gerald Ortiz y PiƱo, D-Albuquerque, has introduced a joint memorial that would put the state Legislature on record as supporting federal immigration reform.

However, he also also condems groups like the Minutemen Project, which used civilians to monitor the border, saying "extremist groups that advocate bigotry or racism, armed citizen response or vigilantism in any form subvert the democratic process and fundamental values of the United States."

In a nation that needs jobs and has problems with security at the borders, it seems to me there are some worthwhile jobs to be created that beef up that security and give us an accounting of who partakes of the feast.

The Error In ARRA

I emailed my U.S. Representative, Kurt Schrader, regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to indicate my lack of confidence in the claims being made.

Rep. Schrader claimed in his email he suported this act "because the cost of inaction is far too great." He provides no proof of that. It seems that the serious of the economic crisis is justification, even if it causes inflation and more unemployment.

The reports are that this bill would bring 44,000 jobs to Oregon and in his email he states, "In Oregon alone, the unemployment rates are a staggering 9%." The challenge for him, which was in my email, is if that 9% unemployment is not reduced by 44,000 jobs that he either resign his office or remit his salary to the people of the U.S.

He claims the bill includes "targeted funding support for: education for the 21st century; clean, efficient, American energy; modernizing roads, bridges, transit and waterways, lowering healthcare costs; saving public sector jobs, creating new public sector jobs, and protecting vital services; transforming our economy with science and technology."

The percentages of the total money for those in the bill are small indeed. They certainly do not cover the losses to state revenues due to the economic downturn. The bill includes less than 10% for state fiscal relief to key services. Regarding modernizing roads, bridges, and other transit construction, less than 11% of the bill is infrastructure building.

The "clean efficient American energy" is mostly for the "Smart Grid," and weatherization. The rest comes in the form of tax cuts for renewable energy. All of this portion is less than 8% of the bill. There are real investments in energy production that reduces our dependence on foreign oil as President Obama promised. We increased energy production even more than roads or bridges.

In fact, the cost of government spending while decreasing taxes results in wild increases in inflation. By the end of the year, inflation will be in the double digit figures to go with double digit figures in unemployment.

He claims, "Indeed, economists testifying before my budget committee stated that our long term ability to deal with our debt burden would be much worse if we allow the nations economy to sink without any support."

Obviously, it depends on which Nobel prize winning economist you listen to.

Before this, in the campaign speeches of Candidate Obama, he claimed he would get that cost of the Federal government back down to 18.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that was under Reagan. I would debate that figure and his pick of a model.

The better model would be under Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. The budget surpluses at the end of the 1990s were due to slowing the increases in spending to keep the pace more in keeping with the growth of the economy. Even 18.5% is too high, but it was 21% before the 111th Congress passed ARRA.

The $787 billion ARRA will cost us, our children and their children about $1.14 trillion. That is about $30,000 in new debt for each American household. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the cost of permanently extending the twenty most popular provisions in the bill. The cost? $3.27 trillion.

However, if they had to directly appeal to the voters for this, every bill would be subject to higher scrutiny. This ARRA would be no exception. The economy can only pay for so much government.

The Democratic Party has made this bill unacceptable and then claims the Republicans are being partisan. If you yet again mortgage our grandchildren's future on this roulette wheel with the excuse of stimulating the economy and fail, there should be a penalty.

Unfortunately, that will only come in the form of not being elected again, at best. This debt will stay with us. The inflation it causes will stay with us for some time as well. It will not come in the form of those who voted for this losing their jobs and homes.

Again, the people have turned to a two party system that is neither responsive nor representative. They develope policy based on partisan politics rather than having to respond with a referendum of issues to the voters. Make no mistake, the Republican Party is correct in not voting for this.

If you want to comment on ARRA, Write the Whitehouse Here.

Feb 15, 2009

Looking Forward To Change

Conflicts Between Economy and Energy

Can Obama balance the budget between Economics and Energy? Will Obama make compromises between foreign policy and commitments to renewable resources?

When the oil prices were high, it made production more feasible in the US in places where drilling costs more. Since the cost of oil decreased several US drilling rigs were moved and crews were cut back.

This decrease in price also caused an economic pinch in the Middle East nations around the Persian Gulf. If the market is unbalanced, yes we will take measures to balance the market,OPEC’s Abdullah al-Badri said. “We will do anything we can to balance the market. After February 15-16 when we will have all the information, we will decide,” he said.

While there has been some talk of President Obama loosening restrictions on the filing of environmental impact statements in order to speed up the use of the $819 billion bailout money, there is no loosening in issuing permits for coal fired plants. Coal fired energy plants do keep down US use of petroleum, which President Obama vowed to decrease.

He claimed in a Lansing, Michigan campaign speech he would eliminate dependence on oil in the Middle East in ten years. In addition, he said he would create five million new jobs by that trategically investing of $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future. Any increase in economic activity is going to require more energy.

If the US will spend less on oil or try to limit US dependence by taxing foreign oil, OPEC is going to increase the cost of oil until they get back to their original revenues for oil. Any savings with alternative energy will still be passed onto OPEC. OPEC's position is they are more than willing to charge the US more and send less oil.

Feb 11, 2009

The Blame Game: GOP Is Guilty

It does not matter how the Stimulus Plan turns out for some because if it fails or aggravates the economy they already claim, "If the stimulus plan doesn't work, it won't be because it wasn't bipartisan -- it will be because it's not big and bold enough."

Experience has shown the public does not work that way. Those with a vested interest in their party act as if by mere election and the passing of bills that change has been made. If change is not seen immediately, the public starts digging in and disapproves of all the usual suspects, starting with the President and Congress.

This is one of the problems with a two party system. A progressive government has referendums for a vote. Without that input the public is alienated by not being included. Public confidence needs to be high to recover. People have more confidence if they have already invested their vote on an issue personally.

The housing market did not crash in 2008. It crashed in the third quarter of 2007. The stock market did not crash in 2007. It took its first tailspin the day President Bush made reference to the housing market and started talking about a recession. The public is always at the ready to believe bad news.

Following that was a downturn in consumer goods. Following that was a downturn in employment. This is a spiral caused by a crisis of confidence most of all.

Normally, when a market makes a downturn on its own, normally precious metals like gold and commodities like oil take a giant hike. This is more like the Depression where commodities took a dive.

The Have Less Versus the Have More

Again, the "Have Less" are being played against the "Have More," by the collectivist pundits. They are quick to pimp out the "poor" in an emotional claim that the "poor" are being robbed by the "rich." The poor do not pay taxes, so help me understand how this money is taken from them.

The wealth of this nation comes from its means of production. If that means of production decreases, there are fewer jobs and less wealth created. The government and the poor of this nation are consumers of that production - not producers.

Unlike some, I do believe that maintaining the infrastructor by the govenment is a plus in such areas as creating and maintaining roads, bridges, dams, et cetera.

There comes a point at which the cost of government is more than we can afford. When the government responds to recession with more spending or less taxes, it results in printing more money. If more money is printed, it becomes worth less. We call that inflation.

For those that are employed, they can somewhat keep up with the inflation in the cost of living. For those on a fixed income, that is not so. They see their buying power decrease daily.

Some of the fixed income issues are resolved by entitlement programs, but that results in more printing of money. The end result is the spiriling inflation rather than a leveling off.

This is particularly so when entitlements become such a high percentage of government spending. The increase in entitlements can account for every one of the yearly deficits since 2001, when Speaker of the House Dennis Hastart took office. The safety net became a hammock.

The cost of government has steadily climbed since 2001 as well. That can be calculated in a relative way by dividing the U.S. budget by the U.S. Gross Domestic Produce. That was less than 18.5% before 2001 and was beyond 21% with the 2007 budget.

During the campaign, President Obama said he would keep it down to the levels of President Reagan, which was, by his statement, 18.5%.

The best figure that President Obama claims of the Stimulus Plan is that it will create four million jobs. Regardless of how the final bill he signs is tuned to, it is going to be over $800 billion. If the Stimulus Plan is about jobs, then each of those jobs is going to be created at a cost of $200,000.

As I wrote at first, I believe the infrastructure is a valuable investment for the government. This is particularly so in areas where private industry cannot create those things that are needed by the public, like roads, bridges, and dams. A little thought would add such alternatives as solar/wind generation and information technology (satellites/internet) as well. From looking at the budget, that is a very small percentage of the budget.

Most expenditures in the Stimulus Plan that are on my "dream list" of projects that have nothing to do with either creating jobs or building up the infrastructure. Unfortunately, they are not expenditures that are likely to stimulate the economy.

In regard to the politics of the Stimulus Plan:
If the Republicans are correct and the Democrats are wrong, the Stimulus Plan will stimulate a a return to Republicans to power. Bipartisanism is just a way to avoid that.

On the other hand, if the Republicns are wrong and the Democrats are correct, the Democrats will claim a great victory and demolish the Republican Party for a century.

If three million jobs are not created and the economy continues to spiral downward, it will not go well with the Democratic Party. If the increase in spending and printing money cause the economy to go into an inflation spiral, then there will be fewer Democrats in office.

If the unemployment rate goes into double digit figures, then there will be a loss of the House in two years. If it continues after that, there will be a loss of the Senate.

Since a similar stimulus plan was attempted by Japan in the 1990s and failed, it gives good reason for the confidence of the Republican Party in rejecting the Stimulus Plan of 2009.

If this were a stock market issue, the bullish Democratic Party is buying on the margin and the Republican Party is bearish and selling short.

Feb 9, 2009

The Progressive Capitalist

Progressivism as a movement was the goal of Theodore Roosevelt and his party in the early 1900s. In the US, it caused many states to introduce into their state constitutions more democratic rights and policies.

This included the ability to confirm and create law through referendums to require approval of voters, initiatives wherein citizens create law, recall where elected officials can be removed from office, and the election of U.S. Senators by popular vote instead of being appointed by legislatures.

For the purposes of this blog, it will refer to that populist movement rather than some esoteric subjective criteria.

Capitalism is the private ownership of property in general and the means of production more particularly.

Since many of the terms such as conservative, liberal, democratic, and republican are muddied and subjective in a party system, the pragmatic basis of thought here had to be well defined.

This blog is not confined to the realm of politics or economics, but that perspective should be revealed. There is no such thing as an unbiased perspective when it comes to individuals. Whether it is fair or ethical to claim to be unbiased is up to the reader, as always.

Freedom of the press is important in a democracy in that it allows the presentation of all ideas to be weighed by the members of that democracy. Freedom of the press, in a capitalist society, is limited to those who own a press.

The Net has provided a means of production for the press to everyone with a computer and access to that democracy that is by no means exclusive. It is the ultimate democratic tool.

Theodore Roosevelt's Progressivism has been used in the States for 90 years. It is the process of recall of Representatives that fail to represent, referendums that could force a vote on deficits and the debt ceiling, initiatives that could allow citizens to petition for change, and popular votes on executive officials that are, at present, appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.

We have tried to make the government smaller. The Senators and Representatives have gone against the consent of the governed.

While I believe the Repubican Party represents those values and is the best vehicle for instituting that form of government, the "consent of the governed," has been the goal of this nation since the Declaration of Independence. The Democrats are DINO sores on the Constitution. They are Democratic-In-Name-Only.

It is no longer the 18th century when information traveled at the speed of horses and over half the nation was illiterate. We are ready for the true democracy of self governance.

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Republican Leaders in the Senate & House

Senator/ Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's official YouTube channel The official YouTube channel of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Senator Jim DeMint's Official YouTube Account Following the November elections in 2006, the senator stood up against big spenders in Congress and stopped over 10,000 wasteful pork projects. Famed Washington journalist Robert Novak called him a "hero."He was recently ranked as the Senate's most conservative member by National Journal and as the No. 1 senator voting for responsible tax and spending policies by the National Taxpayers Union. DeMint understands the greatness of a country is found in its people and values, not in its government
Republican Leader of the House, John Boehner House Republican Leader and a staunch opponent of pork-barrel politics, John is fighting to eliminate wasteful spending, create jobs, and balance the federal budget without raising taxes. He has challenged Republicans in the 111th Congress to be not just the party of “opposition,” but the party of better solutions to the challenges facing the American people. Under the new House GOP leadership team John leads, House Republicans have formed “solutions groups” to develop principled alternatives on the issues that matter most to American families and small businesses, and launched the GOP State Solutions project, an initiative aimed at bringing reform-minded Republicans at the state and federal levels together to promote common-sense solutions from outside the Beltway.

"Gone" Barack Obama

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