“There are an infinity of angles at which one falls: only one at which one stands.”
G. K. Chesterton
What is true of men and women is true also of nations. In fact, in the course of human history it is debatable whether any nation has ever discovered the angle at which a people gathered together under a social contract may stand. When it comes to standing, gravity is against us. When it comes to standing, the passage of time is not an ally. And though standing is an individual accomplishment, it is never accomplished alone.
When we are learning to stand we rely on someone already standing to help us balance. We discover, ourselves, some portion of the infinite angles at which one falls. Nations also rely on those already standing. Not everyone is capable of standing on their own. For a nation to be upright, there must be enough people who can, and are willing to stand. It is then a moral imperative for those people standing to conscientiously and humbly assist those who are still learning.
No sane person or nation would choose their own collapse. The path to the ground is subtle. No one falls who recognizes his angle is improper while there is still time to correct it. But if we are not paying sufficient attention to the banal task of walking, we may fall. If we are under the influence of mind-altering substances that affect our balance, we may fall. If we fail to prioritize being upright, we will fall.
God cursed the snake to crawl on its belly for its sin in the Garden of Eden. Men, in sharp contrast, He gave the ability to stand. Who would prefer the view from the ground? This nation needs people who recognize that there are an infinity of angles at which people and nations fall. Nations stand on the shared principles that bind individuals together under a social contract. Each of us must understand and agree upon those principles and let that be the bedrock upon which we as individuals, and nations, stand.
February 24, 2012
Bring Sanity to the Budget Deficit:
We're not of the school that screams for a balanced budget at all costs. There are times in the business cycle when deficit spending is quite
appropriate. The government must borrow to help replace private spending when the economy collapses during a serious recession
through increased infrastructure spending as well as expanded unemployment and welfare benefits; funding wars, and rebuilding after natural disasters. Many of the recent actions of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and Congress were necessary in the face of the impending collapse of the international financial system in 2007 and 2008.
But deficit spending - having appropriations exceed tax revenues - during economic booms is not appropriate. Our federal budget has been
in deficit for 50 of the last 54 years. Through good times and bad, through the three longest expansions in our nation's history, we have
spent more than we collected in tax revenues, leaving it to later generations to worry about paying off the debt.
Lets summarize where this horrendous national debt came from, with the understanding that during the last four years of the
Clinton administration we operating with an annual budget surplus:
National Deficit at the end of the George W. Bush administration $5.2 trillion
Medicare part "D", an unfunded mandate from the Pres. George W. Bush administration $1.2 trillion
Tax cuts, and unfunded mandate from the Pres. George W. Bush administration $1.2 trillion
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Afghanistan still under way, but at a greatly reduced cost $7.2 trillion
Lost tax revenue to the IRS from 14 million unemployed and 6 million underemployed $1.2 trillion
Additional unemployment benefits and food stamp benefits resulting from unemployment $1.2 trillion
Who is to blame? Our pass the buck congress, both parties. The men and women we elect, and then continue to re-elect election cycle after
election cycle, even though they continue to sell out America; and now some are declaring the need to take military action against Russia. Many
are the same ones that point fingers over the current deficit. We have been reducing the annual operating deficit, as the economy recovers, but
there still is no real emphasis on getting America back to work again. We still place a priority on looting the corporate treasury over incentivizing
reinvestment in productivity enhancing technology that will allow the United States to compete in a world market.
The article below was written by an economist, Tucker Hart Adams, and I am in complete agreement. For the rest of the very
informative article, search for:
The Economist: When should we start worrying about the deficit? http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/the-economist-
By Tucker Hart Adams
The party clawing for power wants to spin the effects of the bailout money on our deficit, and the facts are, most of the bailout money was
loaned to various financial institutions and automobile manufacturers, and has been repaid with interest, to the taxpayers. That sounds to
me like a successful strategy to offset the effects of the great recession. General Motors has not totally repaid the government, but I have no
doubt, that as the economy recovers, they will be able to repay their loan. The only damage done to the tax payers is the psychological
damage effected upon our economy by the political spin, which is much more significant than the outstanding loan to GM.
The above article brings some sanity to the current budget crisis, and the current election cycle partisan politics that is taking place. An
important element in the above is that our federal budget has been in deficit for 50 of the last 54 years. Everyone still wants to takes sides
in this very polarized political environment, and it's both parties that continue to sell us out, and spend like drunken sailors. There are very
few in either party that value the middle class in this country, and truly aspire to restore the value system that made this country great. Both
parties play good cop, bad cop, stir the crap to distract us, and sell us out every day. It makes no difference which party is in power, neither
party is focused on the common good. The President has very little influence on the process, it's 435 Congressmen and 100 Senators, that
introduce legislation which undermines the potential of our country. If we don't elect leaders that will work for the people, we will never see
change. It's imperative that we take back our government from lobbyists, special interest groups, PACs, talking heads, and the lunatic fringe
of both parties. Don't buy into this partisan BS, look at the candidate, elect a candidate that will work for you. There is no secret sauce or
leadership in either party, just more empty promises. It's not about empowering the Bloods or the Crips, oh, excuse me, the republicans or
democrats, it's about empowering the people. We the People of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect
Vote wisely, and put a stop to the childish, us against them, gamesmanship, that takes place in Washington DC every day. Cut thru the smoke
and mirrors and make them work for you. It's up to you and I.
Quit buying in to the divisive BS. Divide and conquer only wins wars, and the American people are not at war with each other, even though
both parties would like to make us believe that we are. We are at war with two political parties that do not represent our best interest.
FIRE THEM ALL, for the next five election cycles, and maybe, just maybe, they will remember who they are supposed to work for, and Citizens
United, the most damaging Supreme court decision in the history of the United States won't matter.
Regulatory Oversight for the Financial Industry:
How about repealing the Graham, Leach, Bliley Act, putting the firewall back in place, between commercial banks and investment banks.
The firewall that Glass and Stegal, were so wise in anticipating the need for in 1938, on the heels of the great depression; so that commercial
banks have to get back to the business of making loans, rather than investing in securities, and sinking the world economy with scams such
as the sub-prime mortgage debacle. And while we're at it, how about some effective regulatory oversight in the financial industries???
Maybe even jail time for the offenders?
Isn't it about time the two parties got together and decided to enforce the sound immigration laws, that are currently on the books and
served us so well since Ellis Island? The border states in America have taken on the burden of providing health care, housing, and
education for an incredible number of illegal immigrants, and neither party wants to take the lead in tightening security on our borders.
Republicans want the cheap labor, and democrats want the votes. Lets develop a solution.
The Population Explosion:
We believe that this may well be the most pressing and challenging problem the United States and the world will face in the 21st. century.
The world population has been adding 1,000,000,000, that's 1 billion people, every 14 years or less since 1994, the world population
reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011, we expect 8 billion by 2022, and 9 billion by 2042. Leading scientists have concluded that our
wonderfully resilient planet can not support more than 8-9 billion people. We have discussed the rate at which we are depleting our crude
oil reserves, and that is just one important natural resource. As we deforest the planet, we set in motion a domino effect of results that
seriously effect, our ability to grow food, resulting from heating of the soil, erosion, and salinization, the resulting erosion alter the
biological oxygen demand in our streams and rivers, creating dead zones that will not support aquatic life, we create additional dead zones
where our major river meet the oceans, thereby eliminating the fish harvest, and ultimately creating an environmental disaster. A great
book on this subject is Collapse: How Societies Chose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond. He charts the history of the collapse of
societies from 1200 BC, in the Easter Islands, to present day.
There isn't one religious leader or consequently one elected official that will take on this most serious problem, and we have one
presidential candidate that doesn't believe in birth control. Imagine the social unrest and chaos that will be unleashed when we can feed our
children. We can't bury our heads in the sand and expect to wake up one day and this problem has gone away.
This is a monumental challenge that our leadership and the People face today, and entitlements come in various forms, social security,
medicaid, medicare, unemployment benefits, welfare, aid to dependent children, indigent health care, veterans benefits, special tax loop
holes, the cost of health care increasing at 2-3 times the rate of inflation, and of course corporate welfare. We have a graying population
reaching retirement years, a rapidly increasing number of our People living in poverty, 15.6 million by current estimates, close to 20
million People unemployed and under employed, and overall fewer People in the workforce to sustain the graying population.