Saturday, August 6, 2011

National debt.

I have no idea why Obama doesn't point this out. So I am going to do it for him. Since President Roosevelt (1945) no Democratic President has added to the National debt - except Obama. Of the 14 Trillion National Debt 12 Trillion of it was added by Republicans! While it did go up slightly under some Democrats, that was because of interest on the debt that was added by Republicans. It actually went down under Democrats Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton. It also went down under Republican Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon. But under Republicans Ford, Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2, it went up. It went up HUGELY under Reagan and the two Bushes.

Clinton not only balanced the budget, he had a surplus, that he wanted to put towards paying off the National Debt. In fact under his plan for the next ten years the National Debt would have been paid off completely by now. But then came George W Bush who had "A better Idea". Not only did he not use the surplus generated by Clinton towards the debt he actually cut the top tax rate and borrowed even more money to pay for it. He also started two wars, and borrowed to pay for those too. By the time he left office the National Debt was doubled! And Obama was saddled not only with that huge debt but the interest on it, plus the continuing costs of the tax cut and the two wars started by his predecessor.

Along with the refusal by the Republicans to raise the top tax rate on the rich, plug loopholes to huge Corporations paying NO taxes, or even to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, the situation was impossible. With no way to raise revenue and nowhere to cut spending except trifling cuts to things like NPR, EPA, etc Obama was forced to put his sacred cows on the block - Soc Sec and Medicare.

Just allowing the Bush cuts on the rich to expire, the budget would have been close to balancing again. At 39% under Clinton the budget was in a surplus situation. Cut to 35% by Bush with no plan to pay for the cut - except to borrow to pay for it - there was no hope.

So in spite of virtually the entire National Debt being added by the Republicans, the Republicans have managed to convince the public that the whole amount is the fault of the Obama administration!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another neutral post from a journalist.

Charlie Reese's final column for The Orlando Sentinel. A journalist for 49 years he wrote this, his last column before retiring.
It is completely non-political, neither anti-Republican or anti-Democrat.
He has hit the nail on the head, it is clear and easy to understand.

545 vs. 300,000,000 People.
By Charlie Reese.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Republicans and the Democrats are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget, The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislators responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. he cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the Speaker of the House now? He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted - by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it follows that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it is because they want it in the red.

If the Army and Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If they do not receive Social Security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insolvable government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they can give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees . . .

New mileage rules.

Well now I guess Congress is going to be busy trying to derail the new auto mpg rules. What was Obama thinking of? He must like being attacked. Of course if he defends his beliefs the way he has done so far in his term as President I expect the mpg rules to not only go back to what they are now but he will probaly manage to get them rolled back even further! If he really tries he might manage to get them halved instead of doubled!

To start with, Big Oil will be all over Congress with Big Money, as usual, to bribe them. Then there are our "Friends" in the Middle East who will be bribing Congress - sorry 'Lobbying' - them with Big Money.

And don't forget the Environment, if we use less oil it could make our air and water cleaner. That would never do, so Big Health Care BUSINESS will be Lobbying Congress - sorry - bribing, Sorry, lobbying - it is so confusing isn't it? - to keep using lots of nasty oil, to keep the air dirty so that asthma medication and all those other very expensive, and profitable, medications can continue to flow like the pollution that is flowing into our lakes, rivers, air and ground, once Congress gets the EPA completely evicerated it will be even worse, if that is possible. So far they have only managed to cut EPA's funding by about half and stopped them from enforcing the rules that they do have. But this will not be enough for our polluters, they want a completely free rein to pollute at will with NO chance of being brought to trial, even in the court of public opinion. The far right Conservatives are so 'good' at disemination "information" that even the poor think that keeping our air and water clean is too expensive, so even they support the Big Polluters. Our children, our parents and even ourselves get sicker by the year from the constant attack on our environment by Big Business. All in the name of profit. There can never be enough profit, and no cost is too large, including our Health - in fact especially our Health because of course Big Health makes Big Profits from sick people.
Did you notice that Exxon's profits were UP 41% over last years profits? But apparently even that was not good enough, their shares DROPPED $2 a share - because "The Market" had expected their profits to be higher than that!! More than a 41% increase in PROFITS!! Not enough of an increase! Last year they made a $53 Billion PROFIT - that is profit, not total take, just profit, and on that profit they paid NO tax, not one single penny in tax. Tell me again Mr Conservative about how the American Corporations pay too much tax! And how we have to cut their tax rate even more - please tell me how can you pay less than nothing? Ah, yes of couse you CAN, it is called subsidies and tax credits (GM, another "poor little company" that you may have heard of,) didn't just pay NO tax last year they received an almost $2 Billion tax credit from the US government. (Please don't forget that money came from YOUR TAXES.) Yes, you paid taxes and your government gave it to Big Business. $2 billion dollars is the equivalent of $7 from EVERY MAN, WOMAN & CHILD in the US, so if you are a family of 4 you gave $28 to GE. Not too bad you think? But the same amount went to Skank of America - sorry Bank of America - Billions more to subsidize other oil companies, big agriculture companies that make billions in profits and receive billions in subsidies! And it goes on and on, there are hundreds of companies, maybe thousands, that get subsidies and tax credits - from your tax dollar. And all they have to do to get them is give our wonderful Congressmen and women bribes. (Congress calls it lobbying - lobbyists give them money, I call it bribes, they call it legal, because they make the laws. Including exempting themselves from many of the laws that they pass to keep us under control, while they are completely out of control.)