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It is also available as a book with added comments and thoughts. It is a fundraiser for Multiple System Atrophy research - the disease that killed my wife and the catalyst for the blog. Please consider buying either a Kindle version from the Kindle store or a paperback version from Amazon. The title is "Living With A Snowman" by Scott Poole. It is available for purchase HERE.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm back and we're all broke!

I finally have something to say. Like a lot of the news and the news reporters, I am going to comment on the national debt, debt ceiling, and related.

First - if you think the current problem is a Republican problem - you are WRONG!
Second - if you think this is a Democrat problem - you are also WRONG!

One thing I can say about today's politicians, for the most part they are all clueless. The only thing that appears to be motivating most of them is getting re-elected. There is enough blame to go WAY beyond party lines.

One aspect of the debt ceiling/national debt discussion that bothers me is that most average Americans seem only to be concerned about the problem in relation to any monies they get from the government being cut off. This is the problem people! Remember the base rule - THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT MONEY!! It still angers me beyond words when I hear a reporter, politician, or anyone else talking about "federal funds", or "state money". (but that is another subject - it is only relevant because people see their gravy train being shut down) There is going to have to be a LOT of government programs cut off or at least scaled WAY back!

The federal government is spending WAY over $1,500,000.000.000 (1.5 TRILLION) a YEAR more than it has! It does not take a financial genius to realize that is not sustainable!

How about some history relating to the national debt?

Pre-WWII (1939) the debt was around $40 billion dollars. During the FDR/Great Depression years, when HUGE federal spending got really started; the FDR administration took the federal debt from under $17 billion to over $33 billion in 1936. War build up and America assisting our allies in early WWII battles sent the debt to the $40 billion level.

At the end of WWII, in 1946 the debt had skyrocketed to almost $270 billion. FYI, the GDP for that year was around $1.7 trillion. So, the debt was under 16% of GDP - remember that - even after fighting a world war and funding the battle for a large portion of the world!

From 1950 to 1960, even with the funding of the rebuilding of Europe and Japan, the Korean War, the GI bill, the beginning of the Vietnam War, and getting NASA and our space program going; the national debt was in the $255 billion to $290 billion range. Still under the $300 billion level. FYI (for you real numbers freaks like myself) the GDP grew from over $1.9 trillion to over $2.8 trillion. So, under 14% growth for the debt with an over 45% growth in the economy. The national debt actually dropped as a percentage of GDP.

In the 60s with the Vietnam war, Johnson's addition of a LOT of social programs under his Great Society, and sending people to the moon, the national debt grew to around $370 billion. The GDP grew to well over $4 trillion! So, national debt stayed close to the same in percentages - even with all the spending.

The 70s brought the end of the Vietnam war, the beginning of OPEC and our first modern oil crisis. The debt climbed to over $900 billion. We were approaching our first TRILLION dollar debt. The GDP grew to $5.9 trillion. This shows what soaring oil prices and runaway social programs can do. Our national debt outpaced the growth of GDP by a wide margin.

The 80s brought the first Great Recession of my lifetime. It took us until 1983 to achieve sustained growth in GDP over the 1980 numbers.Unemployment was in the range it is now, to a bit higher. The advent of hair bands pulled us out ; ) (seeing if you  are paying attention) We ended the 80s close to our first 3 trillion dollar debt ($2.85 trillion 1989). The 80s saw our first trillion dollar debt (1982), and our first 2 trillion dollar debt (1986).  The GDP went to right at $8 trillion. Again, a decade where national debt outgrew GDP by a wide margin. The effect of oil prices, runaway social programs, and profligate spending were obvious.

Ah, the 90s! Desert warfare, global terrorism, Islamic jihadists, and so much more. The debt grew to over $5.5 trillion. The GDP grew to over $11 trillion. The first decade our debt was more than 50% of GDP.

Now for the REAL scary part. The 2000s. You can see from the previous (or your own research) no matter who was in the White House, the debt has risen ever since we instituted the social welfare programs of FDR. Republicans and Democrats alike cannot stop spending money they do not have!

Watch this:
In 2000 the national debt was $5.6 trillion.
In 2002 it was $6.2 trillion.
2004 - $7.3 trillion.
2006 - $8.5 trillion
Now we ramp it up a bit -
$9 trillion 2007
$10 trillion 2008
almost $12 (11.91) trillion in 2009
2010 - $12.6 trillion
today - $14.5 trillion.


To finish the comparisons, the GDP grew from around $11 trillion in 2000 to around $13.2 now. So, with a 20% growth in GDP we have grown the debt by almost 250%  AND GROWING!!

If any of you are left, here is the payoff. WE HAVE TO GET CONTROL OVER SPENDING. Taxes are irrelevant to the problem. We MUST stop spending what we do not have. You can raise taxes all you want. If you are spending the entire GDP every year it JUST WON'T WORK!! Period. You cannot tax more than is made!

Now, this means a LOT of cuts. Cuts to EVERYTHING! Social programs, defense, foreign aid, research, EVERYTHING. It has to be. The value of EVERY goods and services (ALL the money) produced is already in the debt. There AIN'T NO MORE! The federal government has about $3 trillion dollars of revenue coming in this year. We did not spend $3 trillion dollars a year in any year until 2008. (FYI - we are projected to spend over $4 trillion in 2014 if nothing changes!) We need to CUT SPENDING! PERIOD! Should tax increases or elimination of loopholes be part of the discussion - OK, maybe. I am not a fan of taxes. I do not see where penalizing any group of people is good. However, maybe we eliminate some loopholes that allow certain people to pay little or no taxes. But, WE CANNOT TAX OUR WAY OUT OF THIS! One of the things that bothers me the most is the way no one is talking about what we are spending now - well over $3 TRILLION!! THAT IS ENOUGH MONEY!!

Call or write your senator and congressman. Tell them it is time to STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY LIKE IT IS ENDLESS!! Tell the to pass a budget that lives within OUR means - NOW. Stop playing games.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I AM AN AMERICAN - another reprint

Considering my lack of enthusiasm and the fact that I like this post and think it still makes the point - I am going to reprint this post again. This is from 2009 and last year. In 2009 I had a technical error and this did not get posted until after the 4th. Last year it was up.

Happy 4th of July! U.S.A.! Become engaged with politics. Write or call your elected officials and make your feelings known. I do not know many people today that think the country is on the right track regardless of their political leanings. Remember, the government works for US!

Here is the post -

I am an American. Like the majority of those living in this country, I was born here as were my parents and their parents. Like the great majority of those living in this country, my ancestors were not born here. A direct descendant on my paternal side immigrated here in 1789 from England. However, I am not an English-American or even a European-American. It bothers me to see people described (by self or others) as Irish-American, African-American, Asian-American, or any other hyphenated American. Hyphens do nothing but separate us from what we truly are: Americans.

Like my father and his father before him; I speak English. In the not so distant past, every immigrant that came to this country learned to speak English. It was a point of pride for them to master one of the most difficult of languages. Since this was (and is marginally still) an English speaking country it was expected and usually accomplished relatively quickly. Expectation and hard work made it so. To immigrate to this country was, and is, a desire that burns brightly in the hearts of people worldwide. However, it seems now that it is expected by some that we should welcome their "diversity" in language and culture at the expense of our own. Merriam-Webster defines diversity as:

1: the condition of being diverse : variety ; especially : the inclusion of diverse people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.

Inclusion does not mean domination or extinction. One could make the argument that diversity by its very definition requires the original to remain as a part of the whole.

As I said above, my ancestors immigrated here. They came by accepted means and according to the laws of the land. It makes me very angry when I see the illegal aliens in this country called an "immigration" problem. I have said before - calling the illegal alien issue an immigration problem is like calling bank robbery a withdrawal problem. We have a very serious and growing problem in this country of providing and maintaining social services for our citizens. When these services are offered to and overwhelmed by illegals, it makes the problem that much greater. We must address the problem of illegals in our country. It is one of the defined constitutional responsibilities of our government to secure our borders. The government has failed at that responsibility. Amnesty is not the answer when solving a bank theft spree. Nor is it the answer to our illegal alien problem. People must be required to follow the laws of the land when it comes to becoming a citizen. We also must stop now in providing social services and any medical care beyond that which is needed to save a life to illegals.

The United States of America has a great heritage in its two hundred and thirty plus year history of offering freedom, liberty, protection, defense, and support of all kinds to the people of the world. A large portion of the world owes any freedoms and liberties it has to the armed forces and the diplomatic minions of the U.S.A. Americans have helped to free and rebuild Europe twice. We have helped free those behind the Iron Curtain. Most recently we have brought the light of freedom to the Middle East. American might has not been used for building an empire. We freed these countries and turned them back over to the indigenous people, while providing the funds necessary for rebuilding. It sickens me to see and hear cries of "Imperialism" from detractors of the U.S. That claim is ridiculous when history is reviewed. The U.S. has won in battle or by diplomacy; Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the Philippines, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Grenada, Panama, and more. Did we add them to our country? No, they were all returned to their people who in some cases still decided the U.S.A. was the evil empire.

The United States of America is a beacon of freedom and light for all the world. We offer support, hope, and ideals of life that are envied by a large portion of the world.