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The Tea Party is working successfully within the system while taking it on. In sharp contrast, the Occupy movement seemingly took the line that the system cannot be fixed from within, and so does not bother. The frustration of the Occupy movement is understandable, given the corrupt state of our political and financial institutions. But they have missed the primary target, which are the government policies that created the credit bubble in the first place, wrecked the economy, and left future generations with a debt so large it cannot be repaid.
On Thursday or Friday, the House of Representatives will be voting on new legislation, the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (CISPA). On the surface, this information will allow companies to more effectively safeguard their systems and users against imminent cyber attacks on the homeland. However, this bill is actually just one piece of architecture in a far vaster infrastructure that shares all of the apparent hallmarks of a Big Brother surveillance state.
Like the day Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, Dec. 7, 2009, might too be recalled by history as a day that shall live in infamy. That was the day Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson issued the carbon endangerment finding, a rule defining carbon dioxide, a gas necessary for the existence of life itself, as a harmful pollutant under the terms of the Clean Air Act.
One of the most time-honored tricks in politics is the act of accusing your opponent of your own worst crime. Doing so confuses the mass of the population. It allows the trickster to assume the mantle of righteous indignation, wrapping their stern lectures in the aura of high morality. This came to mind as I read the ravings of the hard-Left in the “main stream” press.
In a recent press conference, Barack Obama suggested “overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”, referring to the health care law, was “an unprecedented, extraordinary step”.Even if that were true, what is not new is Obama’s latest court intimidation scheme.
Proposed federal legislation purporting to protect online intellectual property would also impose sweeping new government mandates on internet service providers — a positively Orwellian power grab that would permit the U.S. Justice Department to shut down any internet site it doesn’t like (and cut off its sources of income) on nothing more than a whim.
Control of Micronesia was key to swift Japanese victories on Guam, the Philippines, Wake Island, Kiribati, New Guinea, and Nauru. During the war, much of the Japanese fleet was based in Truk Lagoon. Four years and one hundred thousand American lives later, the U.S. declared no nation would ever again enjoy such a strategic foothold in the Pacific. Yet we are watching the expansionist Chinese making incursions in that area, and the United States is doing little to maintain its foothold in this strategic location.
In a recent column for Bloomberg.com, National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru blasted Republicans for not being more accommodating, more bipartisan, and for being too conservative. What putrid nonsense. One must wonder if he has even read the magazine’s mission statement recently.
Anti-tax increase advocates were alarmed on Nov. 2 when 40 House Republicans signed a letter indicating they were open to new revenues as part of a package expected from the so-called congressional Supercommittee. “To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table,” the letter stated. So will the Supercommittee sell out the American economy and the American people with tax increases to feed the ravenous appetite of this out-of-control government?
First Peter Orszag, Obama’s former Director for Management and Budget called for “a bit less democracy.” Then, North Carolina Democrat Governor Beverly Perdue suggested we skip elections. Now Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. in an interview has called on Obama to use “extra-constitutional” means and simply order the expenditure of $1 trillion a year to bailout states and cities and to hire the 15 million unemployed as government employees.
Republicans railed against the Obama Administration’s proposal to push the national debt to more than $26 trillion and the budget to $5.7 trillion by 2021. Yet, when the time came to put their own budget on the table, the best House Republicans could produce was a proposal by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan where the debt still spirals up to $23 trillion, and the budget to $4.7 trillion. The annual deficit would only be cut to $391 billion by 2021.But why?
The Obama Administration has turned to billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of financial giant Berkshire Hathaway, to make the case for raising taxes on the rich because, says Buffett, he can afford it. But if he were truly sincere, perhaps he might simply try paying the taxes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says his company owes? His company has been in a years-long dispute over its federal tax bills.
Tolkien called it the “day the strength of men failed” when the people of Middle Earth failed to destroy the One Ring. So it was with the votes to increase in the debt ceiling, as the American people have received little in exchange for allowing it to keep all of its powers to borrow with abandon. Politicians who have spent decades in Washington simply refuse to give up their “Precious” — and we can only hope that their lust for power won’t be all of our undoing.
A late deal struck by House and Senate leaders to raise the debt ceiling — with spending cuts that won’t balance the budget anytime soon, if ever — is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Washington. We needed a solution, but instead just got another cockamamie deal that won’t stop the spending.
August 2nd as a deadline to avert default is nothing more than a lie by Obama. Republicans have all but ceded that debate, however, and refuse to call Obama out. The agencies are not rating Washington’s unwillingness to borrow more, but politicians’ reluctance to stop borrowing so much. Meaning, whoever votes for a bill that ensures a downgrade — or signs it — owns that downgrade politically. Like the ancient Mariner who killed the ship’s good luck, the albatross, politicians will be made to wear AA as a shameful reminder of Washington’s greed, avarice, and profligacy.
President Obama’s leverage right now on this issue is default and withholding entitlements checks; the “Full Faith and Credit Act” takes those threats off the table by prioritizing how revenue is spent, and a mere short-term extension with $400 billion of immediate cuts will provide both houses the time to enact a long-term measure that adheres to the principles of “Cut, Cap, and Balance.” So, Boehner should take away Obama’s loaded gun — before someone gets shot.
According to a recent analysis by Reuters’ Steven Johnson and Daniel Bases, a threatened credit rating downgrade of U.S. treasuries by S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch could drag down state and municipal bonds, leading to higher borrowing costs at a time when governments are already strapped for cash. As bad as things are in Europe right now, a sovereign debt crisis in the United States would dwarf the pain being felt financially.
“Cut, Cap, and Balance” may be our last chance to turn the Ship of State around. The only way to prevent from sinking into the Abyss is a reconfiguration of the promises government has made to the people that cannot be kept. Today, the House through “Cut, Cap, and Balance” is attempting to begin that process in an orderly way, before a disorderly, catastrophic default down the road turns Washington into Athens.
The debt ceiling has become the loaded gun in Barack Obama’s hand. But there is more than enough revenue to make interest payments even if the debt ceiling is not raised. In 2011, the U.S. is projected to collect $2.174 trillion in taxes. Even if interest payments to Social Security and Medicare are factored in, at most the U.S. has to pay $430 billion in interest this year. So, the risk of a default is actually zero — unless Obama is threatening not to make interest payments should the debt ceiling not be raised.
Often times, someone outside the family is better able to define a problem or the real issues in a conflict than those in the middle of the dispute. So it is that Jeremy Warner of London’s Daily Telegraph put his finger squarely on the real, underlying nature of the blood-fest surrounding the proposed increase in the national debt ceiling.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently attacked House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposals as “imposing radical change from the right.” Given our nation’s astronomical debt and deficit, Ryan’s proposals actually are not radical enough.
Every American should be afraid when their government tells them to keep their mouths shut. This is especially true when the subject relates to a matter of national public policy. On Monday, Lafe Solomon, acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), seemed to forget about the right to free speech when he essentially told Boeing, and all other commentators, to shut it.
China may be preparing to cut its foreign exchange reserves by about two-thirds, down to about $1 trillion from its current $3.04 trillion level, according to Chinese news service Xinhua. China currently holds about $1.154 trillion of U.S. treasuries — the debt securities that constitute U.S. debt. Dumping those treasuries would have severe consequences, mostly for the American people.
The U.S. cannot say it was not warned. For years now, sovereign credit rating agencies have repeatedly told Congress to get its torrent of deficit spending under control, or else face a downgrade of its gold-plated Triple-A credit rating. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) was the first agency in the West to fire its warning shot, downgrading its outlook on U.S. debt from “stable” to “negative.” The threat of a downgrade is now, meaning we don’t have 26 years to balance the budget.
Barack Obama is threatening that if Congress does not increase the $14.294 trillion national debt ceiling, the nation will default. It is a rather curious formulation. Note that the Administration is not saying that if we continue to borrow trillions of dollars year on end without ever presenting a plan to repay the debt, we will default. But that if we do not continue borrowing, we cannot meet our obligations to creditors. Call it the next big lie.