Archive for the ‘recession’ Category

Brilliance

I was preparring to run this as the next post, but Investor’s Business Daily picked it up and ran it in their Monday edition. Please click the link to see it. It is high time someone shout loudly from the rooftops that “The emperor has no clothes!”

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/545302/201008271806/How-Brilliant-Can-President-Obama-Be-.aspx

We can’t stop this spigot of insanity until 2012, but we can pinch it down considerably if we change control of Congress this November.

Semper Fi,

Jeffrey S. Howard

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Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President: 

 In today’s dangerous world, we need a President with experience, leadership, and courage. Unfortunately you have shown us little of those traits. Your childhood and younger years denied you the opportunity to grow up as an American man, and that is no fault of your own. Unfortunately, your lack of empathy for and experience of a traditional American upbringing has left you out of touch with those of us who grew up learning the traditions and work ethic of our predecessors. You have never accepted the honor of military service, nor held and survived in any sort of entry level working position. You are bereft of many of the basic building blocks of a true American personality and world view. 

You have never experienced the icy fingers of fear caressing your gut during a firefight when your very survival from second to second depends on your luck, wits, fellow troopers, and the grace of God. You have never sweated out a payroll when your receivables are late. You’ve missed the rewarding feeling of flogging a loaded truck all night to deliver a load 500 miles away at 7:00 AM. You never shoveled cow manure for less than minimum wage to earn enough for a rattletrap car. You missed out on greasing dump trucks on the night shift, and never had the opportunity to start out cleaning restrooms and sweeping floors in a factory. 

 Your education was in the law, and you ignored any opportunity to absorb the lessons of history or the theories of economics. You have never experienced the ecstasy of success or the lash of defeat in the private sector. While you play golf, basketball, and surround yourself with “the swells” enjoying concerts in the People’s House, those of us in the general public dine on Spam and Costco burgers. I can’t put my wife on a 747 and send her to Spain so she can be ready to spend 10 days on Martha’s Vineyard when she gets back. She works 7 days a week and so do I – spreading 4 full and part time jobs between us to make ends meet. 

 I watch in pain while my business venture slides into oblivion and my small IRA erodes as your economic policies push the nation into a double dip recession. This economy is locking up again, and you cannot blame former President Bush. The great construction jobs I created are ending while you pour trillions in borrowed money into the public sector to buy votes. I blame you personally for appointing the ship of fools you have as cabinet officials and advisors for this. You are repeating the gross mistakes of Japan in the ‘90s and the Roosevelt Administration in the ‘30s – both of which failed and lengthened severe economic problems for a decade or more. You are intentionally smothering our private sector with regulations, taxes, and mandates at the same time you squander the wages and futures of our children and grandkids. 

 I deplore your continued efforts to divide the greatest nation of immigrants in the world along race and class lines. Pandering to various groups and attempting to set them against other Americans is demagoguery at its worst. I sincerely hope such actions end up damaging you in the end and not our country. 

 You will leave office with a big pension, Secret Service protection, and gold plated health care for life. I may well end up with 40 years of hard work down the drain, living in a mobile home in the backwoods. I do not resent you for your good fortune – you worked hard to become President and won the election fair & square. I do however despise your policies and the horrendous damage they are visiting on our nation, its economy, and our future. I have dedicated my remaining years to fighting you, your policies, and protecting our children’s futures. 

 I may well end up destroyed financially from the results of your misguided and dangerous actions – but you will never break me psychologically, nor crush my spirit. I am a Marine, I have a wonderful wife and family, and last but not least, I live in the greatest nation in the world. I shall work to my last breath to keep it that way, and you sir, shall fail to destroy that dream. 

Jeffrey S. Howard

Redmond, Washington

Got Jobs?

To paraphrase a well known quote: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” Two of my friends are out of work and it seems to be a long term deal. Both are highly qualified and experienced. I have personally lost a great night job I held for years and have not been called in to work since August, 2008. How are you and your acquaintances doing these days?

Opportunity in America starts with a job. Without one, there is no security, no earnings or savings, and no satisfaction and self-esteem of contributing to ones future or society. Official unemployment stands at 9.5% and if those who are under employed are added in, it becomes over 17%. Here is a short clip about how onerous regulations hurt the economy. It only touches on a couple of the several items mentioned below:

Do we want our jobs back? – YES! OK, just how can this goal be accomplished?

Business creates new jobs when it expands. Most large firms are sitting on their cash because they are uncertain of the future. In fact – several big companies that have announced expansion plans have been savaged by the stock market recently instead of rewarded. Investors are not confident that growing business is a smart move at this time.

Small business is fighting the combined headwinds of low demand, burgeoning new regulations, and great difficulty obtaining financing. This sector of the economy which traditionally creates the most jobs is stalled.

The Obama Administration has passed or is pushing legislation that has emasculated businesses large and small, putting great fear into owners and investors and hampering economic recovery. If we want our jobs back, these monstrous legislative overreaches must be rolled back. Here they are:

$867 Billion Stimulus: This program borrows nearly a Trillion Dollars from China and others against the future earnings of all Americans. It was promised as a method to initiate “shovel ready” infrastructure work. Instead most has been spent on the state level preserving government jobs.

Health Care: This massive takeover of 1/6 of the entire economy has created unintended consequences of huge proportions. It threatens to crush small businesses’ health plans and drive workers into the government system. The true long term costs to both business and individuals cannot be accurately calculated, and the implied costs were buried deep in the overall effort to pass the Bill.

Financial regulation: The Dodd / Frank legislation supposedly regulates financial practices while ignoring completely the malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed so greatly to the 2008 meltdown. Draconian rules and regulations will trickle down to the smallest mom & pop business and stifle initiative and productivity with reams of reporting requirements, paperwork, and red tape.

Cap & Trade legislation: Currently passed in the House and stalled in the Senate, whispers have it that a lame duck session of congress after the November election may pass it in the Senate anyway. This myopic and hysterical “solution” to a problem that has not been proven as fact would saddle business with huge energy cost increases. It would drive literally millions of American jobs overseas in a pen stroke.

Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all lowered taxes in the face of a recession. All three saw a spurt in economic growth and jobs as a result. The Obama Administration intends to raise taxes at the end of 2010 by allowing the current cuts to expire. Raising taxes punishes investment, expansion, success, and hiring. This scheme is a recipe for prolonging the worst recession in 75 years.

The Obama Administration has caused more damage to the US economy in 18 months than Jimmy Carter managed in 4 years. The only way to have a prayer of turning things around for the better is to change Congress this year so opponents can block funding and implementation of some of the more destructive aspects of the Obama agenda.

For you, your friends, your neighbors, and your children: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIMES.

Double Dip?

The Dow is down 275 points this morning, below 9900 and falling like a safe dropped from a helicopter. It just touched beneath the absolute low hit in the “flash crash” of May 6th. Consumer confidence plunged from 62.7 to 52.9 in one month. Recent polling shows that over 62% of Americans think the nation is on “the wrong track.” Exactly what is this market, supposedly a leading indicator of economic activity, trying to tell us?

The market is telegraphing that there is no confidence in the present government trajectory toward tax increases, more borrowing, and higher deficits. It also dislikes the dead hand of government in the management of financial institutions, automakers, and health care. It deplores the idea of saddling the economy with cap & trade costs, and realizes that “stimulus” spending largely directed toward the public sector is totally non-productive. Investors and businesses have seen this movie before – when the very similar activist policies of FDR failed to cure the Great Depression which lasted well into his 3rd term.

Vice president Joe Biden has said that we “need to spend money to keep from going bankrupt.” Nancy Pelosi has stated about the Health Care Bill that “we have to pass the bill so we can see what’s in it.” Christopher Dodd comments on his financial reform legislation: “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works”. Of course no one can forget candidate Obama’s comments on cap & trade: “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket,” and on taxes: “it is better for everyone when we spread the wealth around.”

Peter Orszag, the OMB director responsible for planning budget deficits beyond contemplation and cooking the books to make Health Care appear feasible is bailing out. President Obama just got slapped around by the leaders of the G-20 when he floated a trial balloon involving more massive “stimulus” spending. These heads of state are belatedly awakening to the fact that Keynesian economic theories eventually crash, but Obama, Summers, Geithner, and Biden have yet to catch on. Unfortunately, they never will because they are so completely wed to big government along with massive spending, taxing and regulation schemes. Of course, buying votes from SEIU and UAW members is the prime benefit to the administration of the mix.

This administration is stealing from our grandchildren and spending our national future down the drain. The red ink must be staunched, entitlement spending reformed, Health Care repealed, and government cut back. Obama will never consider it, so the only way to begin a reversal is to elect a Congress that will refuse to fund these massive programs.

The next time you see a baby, stop and wonder how he or she will think of our generation in about 50 years. Then promise that baby that you will vote now to stop this insanity before it is too late. No American has the right to live in the present off the future earnings of another.

The Gift

In late 1941, WW II had been raging for over two years.  Britain was holding out alone in Europe and Hitler’s Panzers were within sight of Moscow.  With the horrors of WW I fresh, the United States wanted no more foreign entanglements.

FDR knew the US would have to enter the war on the side of the Allies.  Allowing the Axis Powers to absorb huge populations and untold natural resources would eventually create powers too big to defeat.  Every farm, oil well, rubber tree, factory, and military age man absorbed by the Axis meant another increment of strength to our enemies.  What – if anything – could awaken the American people to the growing and imminent threat to our very existence as a free republic?

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto stepped up with a perverse and tragic gift on December 7th.  The horrific news of the attack on Pearl Harbor galvanized the American people as nothing else could.  The intense anger following that sneak attack combined with the sober realization that half the world’s modern military strength was arrayed against us stoked the determination to destroy our enemies.  The acute realization that our nation was in mortal danger of becoming an Axis conquest awoke the instinct of self preservation.  From that moment on, America was at war to win.

The Obama Administration is our generation’s domestic Pearl Harbor.  We must take advantage of it to preserve our country for future generations.  Barack Obama has given us a priceless gift if we are strong, smart, and organized enough to use it to our advantage. It is an attack on our freedom, liberties, way of life, and our children’s future, from within. It is an assault on America’s greatness, the destruction of her exceptionalism, and the squandering of her prosperity.  It is up to us and like minded people throughout the land to seize on this gift and turn it to our advantage.

In my adult lifetime, America’s population has increased about 40%.  In that same time, the proportion of people dependent on, or working for government has increased by over 270%.  A whopping 30% of all Americans are currently either working for government or receiving some sort of assistance, transfer payment, or entitlement.

The currently employed labor force is about 45% of our total population.  Almost half of them pay no taxes whatsoever, so that further dilutes the number supporting the 30% to around 22.5%.  If you pay taxes, you are not only supporting yourself, but also more than one person on government programs or employment.  The imbalance of these numbers gets worse by the year.  It is the slow bleeding of our fiscal stability on the path to inevitable to economic suicide.

Obama and his cadre of hacks, elitists, sycophants, czars, camp followers, and assorted & sundry buffoons are ratcheting up every handout, entitlement, and subsidy they can to increase dependency on government.  These burgeoning government giveaways are no different than the farms, oil wells, factories, mills, and young men that were being swept into the maw of the Axis war machine. Each new handout buys strength for the Obama welfare state juggernaut.  Senator Jim DeMint stated that “A dependent voter is a dependable vote.” Obama is buying as many as he can with money as yet unearned by those yet unborn.

This is the path so disastrously trod before us by Greece, and being quickly followed by Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Hungary.  Our future is unfolding before us in Europe this very minute.  The only preventative measure that will save us from a similar fate is to emasculate the Obama Administration in November with our votes. While we are at it, let’s broom out a few dozen Bush-era RINOs who don’t concern themselves with our future any more than the current regime.

Here is deficit spending compared to a cross country road trip.  It will give some perspective:

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country!

Just for clarification; that line did not come from the mouth of some famous leader back in history.  It originated as a typing class drill by a teacher named Charles E. Weller in about 1867.

Just the Facts

Here is Daniel Hannan, Member of the European Parliament chastising former Prime Minister Gordon Brown about deficit spending and borrowing. This exact same speech could and should be delivered in our own Congress, on the Sunday talk shows, and from every rooftop in America. Keep in mind that when Mr. Hannan mentions that every child in Britain is born owing “Twenty Thousand Pounds”; in America every child is born owing just shy of $400,000!

Our own Senator Murray and Representative Inslee are so wrapped around the axle with myopic liberal orthodoxy that neither of them would ever think of opposing the dangers of the nation’s present path toward future bankruptcy. Both ignore the past, are blind to the future, and concerned only with personal power. It is our job to elect replacements for them with Mr. Hannan’s common sense and courage. They are out there and running in the primaries this very moment and deserve our support.

This November General Election may well be the most important in our lifetimes. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference. Your little loved ones, too young to vote or yet unborn, are depending on you.

Devil to Pay

Greek citizens are angry because their government spent and promised too much, is broke, and has had to reduce wages, benefits, and pensions. Ironically, one of the requirements of the proposed EU and IMF bailout of Greece is that it privatize its single payer health care system!

Based on concerns that this situation could spread to several other European countries, the Euro is weakening and stock markets are falling. With the massive debt being rung up by our own government, could the dollar be next on the list?

In the US; local, county, state, and federal governments have vastly expanded regulation and ladled on layer upon layer of additional “services”. They have hired too many, promised too much, and spent themselves into a descending spiral of debt. High wages, big benefits packages, and generous pensions are quickly threatening to bankrupt many cities and states. Huge entitlement programs are fast approaching insolvency at the federal level.

What will the American people do when the rubber hits the road and all these promises cannot be kept? They were promised these programs and benefits in good faith, and are bound to be extremely angry when they find out their “services”, wages, and benefits will be reduced.

United Airlines pensions were trashed a few years ago. GM and Chrysler pensions are still paying out only because the US government is supporting the firms with TARP money. Social Security went into the red this year. Many states’ pension liabilities are underfunded and approaching critical breakdowns. College students are demonstrating against tuition increases. What will happen when California defaults on its pension liabilities? Will LA become “Athens West”?

If we do not address these looming problems immediately, we may be seeing serious unrest in our own cities. We must elect LEADERS with the principles, backbone, and ability to start adjusting these situations before the ax drops suddenly. We need office holders with the guts to look the American people in the eye and say “Enough!” If these unrealistic and underfunded programs are not scaled back, they will fail, and there will be the devil to pay.

The Greek government made the Faustian bargain of buying loyalty and labor peace by spending future revenues that would never materialize. The citizens are now being told they will get less free stuff, and they are violently reacting. Are the millions of Americans who are dependent on or expecting free stuff going to behave any differently when the gravy train grinds to a halt?

If you have children you care for in your life, now is the time to think of their future. Political business as usual should go into the dustbin of history. It depends on you and your vote to determine whether it will be a peaceful readjustment over time or a blind plunge over a fiscal cliff into conditions that will make the Great Depression look like a cakewalk. Preventing such a future will require most Americans to sacrifice some of the future benefits they are expecting – that goes for you and me. Can you face and handle the truth?

Don’t wake up some morning and see scenes like the above playing out in our major cities. Your country needs your attention, your love, and your vote at this approaching crossroads of history.