|Posted on Saturday, July 09, 2011 - 03:18 pm: ||
Hi Everyone, I haven't jumped into this arena in awhile and I think it is time I did again. I just paid 4.79 for a loaf of the not even good bread and 3.01 for a quart (just a quart) of 2% milk at the local super market, taxes here have more than doubled in the past year and the Government can't get their act together. I'm fed up. Please read my thoughts and a few suggestions I have made to Congress and the President (Not that they will read them) TEA PARTY COMMENTARY ON CURRENT EVENTS http://www.thestarlitecafe.com/poems/105/poem_91195829.html Feel free to leave your own comment if you so choose. Love, Annie
|Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 07:33 pm: ||
These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting. Read to the end.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.
Save America 's Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.
International Fund for Ireland . $17 million annual savings.
Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.
National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.
National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.
Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.
Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.
Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.
Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.
Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.
John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.
Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.
Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.
Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings
Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.
Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.
Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.
Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.
Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.
New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.
Exchange Programs for Alaska , Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts . $9 million annual savings
Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.
Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.
Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.
Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.
Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.
Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.
FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.
Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.
Economic Assistance to Egypt . $250 million annually.
U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.
General Assistance to District of Columbia . $210 million annual savings.
Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.
Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.
No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.
End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.
IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.
Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.
Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings
Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.
USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.
Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.
Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.
Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.
Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings..
HUD Ph.D. Program.
Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
TOTAL SAVINGS: $2..5 Trillion over Ten Years
My question is, what is all this doing in the budget in the first place?
Send to everyone you know.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 11:25 pm: ||
There are a few things you forgot to add to the programs the Republicans are demanding be cut...such as..Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP Program, Housing Asisstance Programs for the poor and elderly, Social Security and Social Security Disability, cuts to programs to compensate Veterans such as retiree benefits and TRIcare. Why is it that they demand to cut, cut, cut from the poor, elderly and veterans but refuse to have the wealthy and wealthy corporations pay their fair share of taxes??? I can think of a better way to cut! Instead of cutting away at the entitlements of the common person out here...why not cut their own?? Is anyone aware of the Entitlements a person receives once he/she becomes a politician elected to office?? And we the taxpayers pay for them! Get rid of those! They all certainly earn enough to pay for this stuff themselves..out of their own coffers!
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 09:20 am: ||
Where are your facts on what the Republicans want to cut?I have seen nothing published that states what you are saying is true,or is this just some more left wing rhetoric to scare the seniors? The Democrats use the same method over and over.Ohhhh,The Conservatives hate Seniors and want to cut their benefits....what b.s.
Can't you Liberals come up with something new?Did you know Martin Luther King was a Republican? Did you know the slaves were freed by a Republican? Of course not.They don't teach
that in school.JFK convinced King into becoming a democrat to insure his votes from African Americans. All the Dems are familiar with is bully politics.If you disagree with them,they go nuclear and resort to name calling.
They make up crap and repeat it over and over like a subliminal message.The more you hear it,the more people start to believe it.Especially Liberals."If it don't fit,you must aquit!!"
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 12:29 pm: ||
You can read about the Republican bill in The New York Times, in CNN news, The Washington Post, BBC News, and most anywhere.
This is not "Liberal Propaganda". anyone who has a relative on social security, whether he is on disability or because he is over 62 years of age run a risk of losing their entitlements. Open your eyes and read. Turn off Fox News! They lie, and so does the Tea Party. Look for the truth and you will find it.
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 09:30 pm: ||
Yes, the truth is out there, plain to see, if one only opens ones eyes and mind to it. My eldest brother is a disabled veteran who fought for this country in Nam. He's totally disabled and receives VA comp and SS disability payments. His medical is covered through the VA. Does he deserve to lose his only means of support and survival because a bunch of politicians can't get their heads out of their *****?? And there are so many others out here just like him..also, poor, elderly, children. What are Boehner and his cronies thinking?? I think you already know.
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 10:00 pm: ||
Ahhh yes,blame it on Boehner,or Bush,or any old GOP.The Democrats will nix any plan the Conservatives come up with.We all know that.In the end the boy wonder will do what he always does....nothing.Just like when he was in the senate,all he did was vote:"Here"...He is taking advantage of his crisis mentality.He could care less what the Conservatives come up with.
He is not listening to the American people and never will.Most dictators don't!!
|Posted on Friday, July 29, 2011 - 12:28 am: ||
“Sovereign Debt Crisis” Threatens Sovereigns’ Existence
“Sovereign debts” are those owed by national governments. Historically, any nation’s sovereign debts were deemed to be of higher value than most of that nation’s private debts. I.e., investors were more likely to be repaid if they loaned to a sovereign/government than if they loaned to a private corporation or private individual in the same country. As a result, the interest rates on sovereign debt were almost always lower than the interest rates on loans to private corporations or individuals.
Thus, the interest rates charged to a particular national government tend to set the lowest possible interest rates for that nation. Whatever interest rate is set for a particular national government, the interest rate charge to private companies and individuals within that nation will almost always be higher.
I.e., if the government of France borrowed money for 4% interest, the private companies of France would borrow for, say, 6%. If the less credit-worthy government of Greece was simultaneously paying 9% interest, Greek private companies might pay 12%.
The interest rate charged to the national government effectively determined the interest rate charged to that nation’s corporations.
“Sovereign” debt is not simply important in terms of total national debt owed; it’s important because the “sovereign” interest rate determines the nation’s interest rate for private companies and individuals. If a sovereign/government has a strong record for repaying its debts, that nation’s interest rates for both the government and its private corporations tends to be low. Conversely, if a sovereign’s track record for repaying debts is unreliable, the interest rates charged to both that national government and that nation’s private companies tends to be high.
The great significance of “sovereign debt” is not simply the amount owed, but the resulting interest rates. If a particular sovereign goes too deeply into debt, the entire nation pays in the form of higher interest rates. Higher interest rates slow the nation’s economy. A depressed economy results in lower tax revenues, causing the national government to be even less able to pay its debts, causing the national interest rates to rise even higher, causing even lower economic growth, etc.
There’s a spiraling relationship between sovereign debt and national GDP. Once sovereign debt exceeds reasonable limits, the entire national economy tends to grind towards recession and/or depression. A fiscally irresponsible “sovereign” can destroy its nation’s economy.
• Speaking of irresponsible sovereigns, The Washington Times wrote about the U.S. government’s current “debt-ceiling crisis”:
“The reality is that any solution to U.S. debt problems will require a disciplined plan to both cut entitlement spending and raise taxes over a number of years,” said David Kelly, chief market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. “The problem is,” he said, “politicians are not explaining these realities to the voters.”
Q: Why don’t American politicians explain?
A: Because politicians know that “the reality” is that the total U.S. “sovereign debt” is too great to ever be repaid in full. Congress can’t raise enough taxes or cut enough entitlements to ever repay the existing debt. Congressional leaders know there’s no painless solution to the coming economic debacle.
Democrats object to cutting entitlements not merely because the beneficiaries are Democrats, but also because they suspect that it’s impossible to cut enough benefits to prevent the coming catastrophe. Republicans likewise refuse to raise taxes on the rich not only because the rich are Republicans, but also because raising taxes is a fool’s errand. It might buy a little time, but other than that, what good will it do?
The “reality” is that our “sovereign debt” is too great to ever be repaid by means or any combination of reduced benefits or increased taxes. The debt must therefore be repudiated.
Unfortunately, the sovereign paper debt corresponds to private paper wealth. That private paper wealth is used as collateral for loans. To the extent the sovereign paper debt is repudiated, the corresponding private paper wealth will also be destroyed. When a substantial amount (50%? 80%? 90%?) of the private paper wealth is destroyed, the paper collateral needed to run our banks and credit system will disappear. Without paper collateral, the paper monetary system and credit-based economy will collapse. Starvation, death and political turmoil could follow.
• The multiple sovereign debt crises we see among the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) of the EU are symptomatic of the western world’s democracies.
Self-serving politicians naturally seek reelection. Politicians know that voters reelect incumbents so long as taxes are low and the economy is strong. Politicians know that their national economy can be “stimulated” into appearing to be strong by injecting more governmental funds into that economy. Politicians know that there are only three sources for such funds: 1) higher taxes; 2) borrowing; or 3) printing new currency (inflation). But since voters hate rising taxes and don’t like inflation, incumbents know that the best way to stimulate the economy (and be reelected) is with borrowed money.
Fortunately (for politicians), the interest rates on most sovereign debt is low and the world’s creditors prefer to lend to the world’s sovereigns/national governments. Thus, access to borrowed money is relatively easy for sovereigns—provided that they don’t borrow too much.
In a reasonable world, all borrowers have maximum credit limits. One man can borrow $5,000; another, $20,000; a third, $500 million. The limits vary, but each of us has a credit limit.
Same thing is true for sovereigns. The government of Greece might be able to borrow a maximum of $500 billion. The U.S. gov-co might be able to borrow a maximum of $14 trillion. Sovereign limits vary—but there are limits.
Each government can only borrow a certain maximum amount of money before its creditors say Whoa!—you’ve borrowed as much as you can be reasonably expected to repay, and therefore we won’t lend you any more.
Unfortunately, once a national government reaches its credit limit, it’s no longer possible for incumbent politicians to borrow more money to stimulate the economy to guarantee their reelection. Without sovereign access to more easy credit, incumbents tend to lose.
• That’s why politicians love accountants—especially “creative” accountants.
Accountants are highly-educated, intelligent men and women who know how to read a balance sheet to discover the financial health and credit worthiness of an individual, company or government. Accountants also know how to “creatively” write a balance sheet to help conceal some of the liabilities that might otherwise appear on a sovereign’s balance sheet.
Thanks to the marvel of “creative accounting,” it’s possible for politicians to cook a sovereign’s books to conceal the true magnitude of existing debt. So long as the true size of sovereign debt is concealed, that sovereign’s debt limit will (apparently) not have been reached, politicians can borrow more money to stimulate the economy, voters can be appeased, incumbents can be reelected—and the world remains safe for democracy.
For example, the U.S. gov-co is currently fussing over whether its current debt ceiling (the maximum limit on our sovereign debt) should be raised above $14 trillion (roughly equivalent to one year of our national GDP). The $14 trillion can be paid, but doing so will be a strain. Raising the debt ceiling to $16 or even $18 trillion will make repaying the debt even harder—perhaps impossible.
But, on the other hand, raising the debt ceiling will allow politicians to borrow more money to stimulate the economy to insure their reelections. Gee, I wonder what they’ll do? Should we call the Psychic Hotline?
• Thanks to “creative accounting,” the U.S. sovereign’s debt limit was exceeded long ago and has since been largely concealed. While politicians claim the total national debt is only $14 trillion, credible sources such as John Williams (shadowstats.com) and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker indicate that the true debt is roughly $75 trillion. Other estimates run as high as $200 trillion.
Our “sovereign” gov-co might be able to repay $14 trillion or even $18 trillion. It can’t possibly repay $75 or $200 trillion.
Creditors might be willing to lend more to the national gov-co so long as the debt is “only” $14 or even $18 trillion, but they won’t lend more money if the U.S. sovereign debt is shown to be $75 trillion or more.
In fact, creditors have already balked at lending more money to the sovereign gov-co by refusing to buy U.S treasuries at auctions. The Federal Reserve filled the void by “buying” U.S. debt, but those purchases are largely achieved with newly-printed cash. Thus, the Fed isn’t really lending money to the U.S. gov-co, so much as monetizing the debt by inflating the currency. Inflation is just another level of “creative accounting” intended to conceal the true extent of the U.S. sovereign debt, artificially stimulate the economy, pacify voters and insure incumbent reelections.
But we’ve not only exceeded our national credit limit, we’ve nearly exceed the limits of “creative accounting”. We are almost out of lies. When the truth about the size of the national debt is exposed, the gov-co will be unable to borrow money to stimulate the economy. Then, it’ll have to rely on inflation (QEs 1, 2 & 3) for stimulation, which will lead to hyper-inflation, rising interest rates and economic decline.
As the A.D. 2010 election showed, the time is already here when sovereign incumbents can no longer sufficiently stimulate the economy to appease voters, and reelection is increasingly difficult.
• The sovereign debt problems we see among the “PIIGS” and in the U.S. aren’t simply the result of self-serving politicians seeking reelection rather than the best interests of their nations. These problems are the inevitable result of government adopting principles that may be seductive, but are, in fact, irrational and unsustainable.
These flawed principles include: 1) Keynesian economics; and 2) fiat currency.
Insofar as these flawed principles are common to western democracies, the sovereign debt problem is systemic in the western world. Our economic problems will not abate without abandoning those flawed principles. But those principles are now so entrenched in western societies that they cannot be abandoned without great economic and political turmoil.
• John Maynard Keynes is big government’s favorite economist because he advised that governmental sovereigns could extend their power into managing private markets. Keynes’ “big idea” was that governments could save money in the good times to be spent in the bad times and thereby stimulate the “bad” economies to minimize business-cycle downturns. Although Keynes proved his “big idea” with scores of equations, it’s been common sense for millennia. Saving in the good times to tide you over in the bad is as obvious as harvesting your corn in August and saving it in granaries so you’ll have food throughout the following year.
Keynesian business-cycle theory makes pretty good sense—provided you’re using a real, gold- or silver-based monetary system. We save the gold in the good times to spend the gold in the bad times. The gold provides a necessary discipline. Creditors who are happy to lend paper, are reluctant to lend gold so a Keynesian/gold system can’t rely on borrowing to stimulate the economy. Gold can’t be “spun out of thin” air so as to stimulate an economy with “fiat gold”. As a result, gold imposes limits that inhibit both borrowing and inflation. Gold forces politicians to behave responsibly rather than self-indulgently.
Keynesian theory plus gold might work.
Unfortunately, the only way to save gold during the good times was to raise taxes. Voters hate higher taxes and vote incumbents out. If politicians had to ruin the “good times” with higher taxes in order to minimize the bad times, no incumbent would ever be safe at reelection.
The solution to the politicians dilemma was obvious: replace gold with fiat currency.
Once Keynesian business-cycle theory was combined with fiat currency, politicians had no reason to “save (increase taxes) during the good times” when all they had to do was borrow or “print” more fiat currency during the bad times. Without the discipline of a gold-based currency, politicians had little reason to behave reasonably. If government spending stimulated the economy in bad times, why not spend in the good times, too, and stimulate the economy even more? So long as the economy remains “stimulated,” incumbents are reelected. Thanks to fiat currency, we need not endure the hardship of high taxes in the good times to accumulate money to spend in the bad times. With fiat currency, we can spend, spend, spend all the time.
Or, so it seemed.
• But a day of reckoning has arrived. The debt can’t be paid and its true magnitude can no longer be concealed. When those truths are uncovered, access to credit will diminish or disappear, and interest rates charged to the federal gov-co—and then to private U.S. corporations—will skyrocket. The economy will be further depressed, tax revenues will fall, and the U.S. gov-co will finally and openly default on its debts.
A similar chain of events can be expected in other western democracies.
These multiple, simultaneous defaults by western “sovereigns” won’t simply discredit those individual governments—it will discredit government in general and especially those adopted values such as fiat currency and Keynesian economics that are common to all defaulting “sovereigns”.
Global chaos may ensue.
That chaos won’t be limited to one country or two or ten. That chaos will be systemic among all the “sovereigns” who’ve embraced Keynesian theory, fiat currency and borrowed more than they can ever repay. The economic “contagion” will probably afflict even those governments and nations that have heretofore behaved responsibly.
The world is on the verge of an economic collapse—largely because our governmental “sovereigns” can’t ever resist the impulse to borrow more money. The world won’t emerge from that collapse until it abandons Keynesian theory, restores gold-based monetary systems and demands that each “sovereign” operate under a balanced budget—thereby preventing the future ruin caused by sovereign debt. We are fast approaching a world with little or no credit. Money, real money (like gold and silver) will talk—requests for credit will be ridiculed.
In the meantime, we won’t see only an economic collapse. We will probably see some insolvent “sovereigns” die and disappear just like the former Soviet Union.
Those “sovereigns” who live by their credit, will die by (and die with) their credit.