We’re Broke Folks

10/23/2012

Hate to be the one that breaks it to you, but…. WE’RE BROKE.  By we, I mean the government of course.  Now you may be wondering how that’s possible or why you haven’t heard about it.  Those are fair questions that deserve a decent answer.

So how bad is it you might ask.  Well, the value of the U.S. dollar is now worth about 3% of what it was worth in 1900.  As a result, a loaf of bread that cost $.05 in 1900 now costs $2.75.  That’s inflation for you.  You see, inflation is primarily the result of the Federal Reserve printing too much money; in other words, too many dollars chasing a finite amount of goods for sale.  Milton Friedman, who won a Nobel Prize for economics, must be rolling over in his grave.  In addition, the government spending has ballooned totally out of control over the last 8 years or so.  If it were you or me of course, they would have cut off our credit cards long ago.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, the really bad news is that the light at the end of a tunnel is an oncoming runaway train loaded with increases in entitlement programs (primarily Obamacare and social security) as the demographics in this country change dramatically with the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

The reason that you haven’t heard about this issue during the presidential campaign is that  neither candidate wants to talk about it – since there is little to nothing that they can do about it that won’t totally piss off the voters.  Mitt Romney gave lip-service to government spending in his economic plan, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what it will really take and as for President Obama, well he seems to be proposing four more years of Hope and Change.

As things stand right now :

You can say good-bye to the American Dream.

You can say goodbye to America being a world leader.

You can say goodbye to your standard of living.

You might even have to say goodbye to your very way of life.

So the country is swimming in debt (the real deficit is closer to $200 trillion) and the two candidates have totally side-stepped, or are ignorant of, the issue.  Former Senator Everett Dirksen should have been around to see this.  He would have been right in his element.  However because of the escalation in government spending, he would have had to adjust his famous quote to something like the following: “A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”  Yes, and pretty soon you’re broke too.

So the debates are over and the presidential campaign is winding down.  Yet, I haven’t heard either of the candidates, never mind the totally biased political pundits, talk about the only issue that really matters; namely, the economy.  Okay, I was just joking about that, sort of.  Here’s why.

From my perspective, neither of the candidates has a meaningful plan to turn the country around, let alone return it to greatness.  Heck, Obama seemingly doesn’t have any plan at all.  The elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring is the federal deficit which may be as high as $200 trillion (as opposed to the published figure of $16 trillion), which means that you could conceivably shut down the entire federal government and the country could go still go further into the hole.  Of course, these numbers don’t even count the black budget which absolutely no one ever talks about.

The reason is that the government lies about most things pertaining to the economy.  By that, I mean they lie about little things and they lie about big things; certainly important things like the rate of inflation and the unemployment rate.  For example, if the inflation rate is kept artificially low then workers’ salaries, most of which are driven either directly or indirectly by the Consumer Price Index, have less value relative to the cost of products that they buy (food, gas, housing etc).  This is one of the reasons why the savings rate has plummeted over the last 30 years.

David Walker, a highly-respected and former U.S. Comptroller General, has launched the Comeback America Initiative to discuss the looming crisis in government spending which he says is a bigger threat to the country than terrorism.  In fact, he has labeled it a threat to the very survival of the republic. Yet, go on the six-o-clock news and see if anyone is talking about it.  Alternatively, attend a local town hall meeting and see if anyone is even remotely aware of the issue.  One must also question why Mitt Romney is not making a big deal out of this either, as this has the potential to swing the election to him.  I’ll leave that to you to ponder.

The bottom line is that the government wants to hide how bad things really are.  Sure, Obama is politically motivated to suppress the truth – he has an election to win.  However, this problem has been around for a while.  President Clinton left office with a surplus so just how could things have gotten so bad so fast?

So there you have it – political intrigue, government bailouts to corrupt financial institutions, including foreign banks, and a cast of characters worthy of an Agatha Christie novel.  It’s a $200 trillion secret that they don’t want you to know about… but, of course, now you know.

Shakespeare would have loved it.  Romney and Obama debating each other – a real American tragedy.  If you saw the debate last night, you would have seen both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama misleading the American people about government spending.

As a result, the founding fathers are now turning over in their graves and I even hear that Wil Shakespeare might try to make a comeback with a new play entitled, “A Midsummer Night’s Fantasy”.  The play, as I understand it, will be about two politicians both of whom have taken to fantasizing about how to solve their country’s economic woes and thereby win an upcoming election.  The play shows what will happen to the country economically if either candidate wins.  The plot line takes a dark, somber turn near the end as the two candidates are shown to be mannequins taking their direction from a powerful puppeteer who is pulling all the strings.  Wil must have read The Wizard of Oz no doubt.  The real tragedy is that it didn’t matter which candidate was elected.  The outcome was the same – economic disaster.

In some respects, Mitt and Barack are two peas from the same pod.  They both dance to the same fiddler (biggest contributors) and they both pretend (fantasize) that they have a solution to the country’s lack of a balanced budget.  But here’s the real problem: the size of the federal deficit is way beyond what the two candidates are talking about.  The number that has been continually thrown around for the annual deficit is $1 trillion, with a total cumulative deficit of $16 trillion.  Believe it or not, that’s the good news.  The bad news is that the real numbers are $11 trillion annually and $222 trillion in total, and that’s without addressing the black budget which nobody ever talks about.

So the two candidates have some vague ideas about trimming the federal deficit by making cuts in some minor programs.  Am I suppose to get a warm-puppy feeling about that?  Total government spending is less than $4 trillion a year, as compared with an annual deficit of $11 trillion, which means that you could totally close down the government and the deficit would still continue to grow.  Now that’s some kind of crazy math!

The source of the discrepancy in these numbers is the creative bookkeeping done by the Government Accounting Office.  But why blame some lowly bookkeepers when it’s the politicians who pull the strings.  It’s the same for the fallacious numbers which the government publishes on unemployment and cost of living increases.  By hiding the ball, the government disguises the very problems it’s creating.  How’s that for transparency!  So the next time that I see Wil, I’ll have to ask him if he knows “where goeth thou balanced budget”?

When I was a kid, we used to argue back and forth: “Yes you are.” “No, I’m not.” We’d go back and forth without ever resolving anything.  But then, we were just kids being kids.  Now that I’m an adult (presumably), the game seems more than just a little bit childish. 

But, I’m confused.  I need someone to explain something to me. When Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency, he didn’t want anyone using his middle name (which is obviously Muslim).  It was supposedly because he was trying to emphasize that he was a devout Christian.  I get that part. At least, he had attended a Christian church for many years, albeit one with a radical pastor.  No doubt, Jeremiah Wright’s controversial anti-American tirades had something to do with Michelle Obama saying that she wasn’t proud to be an American. I guess that I get that part too.                                        

But then there was the recent White House statement which said that President Obama was still committed to the Christian faith.  The President even went on The Larry King Show to combat the growing public perception that he is a Muslim.  Now here’s where it’s starting to get fuzzy for me.  Since when would a Christian bow to a Muslim (as in the King of Saudi Arabia)?  And since when would a Christian support the building of a mosque at Ground Zero?  To me, those actions seem completely at odds with how a devout Christian would act.

I mention this not because I care about the president’s faith. It’s okay for the president to be a Buddhist if he wants.  He could even be an atheist for all I care.  I would just like some clarity in what the man believes in and how it might therefore affect his judgment (like bowing to a foreign dignitary).

So here is where the picture goes completely out of focus.



For a man who is a devout Christian, he sure does quote a lot from what he refers to as the Holy Koran. Of course, the Koran is only considered holy by those that view it as such. Everyone else simply refers to it as the Koran.

That’s why I’m so confused.  President Obama’s actions don’t seem to reflect what he has said about his faith. For me, leadership and credibility go hand in hand in The Oval Office and if you can’t trust your leader, that’s a serious problem.  I guess that’s one reason why his poll numbers are so low.   

I know some people won’t share my views and that’s fine by me. If you want to, you can even call me a wacko or a zealot, or, like the government is doing nowadays with people who disagree with their policies, a terrorist.  Oh, by the way, did I understand it correctly that Barack Obama now admits that he was born in Kenya?

 

 I’m confused again more than ever. I thought he’s from Hawaii. Yes, he is.  No, he isn’t.  Yes, he is….

 

 Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

     – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.