March 30, 2009
This week is a pivotal time in this nation’s history as the Senate and House debate the biggest budget ever, yet there was no mention of it in area newspapers serving Chicagoland on Monday, March 30th. Obama’s $3,550,000,000,000 ($3.6 trillion) budget proposal for the 2010 fiscal year spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much.
In keeping with Obama’s myopic tendencies as an ideologue, he fervently believes that massive new federal spending on health care, education, and the energy sectors will lead to better economic growth while cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first term.
Obama refers to his spending priorities in health care, education, and clean energy as investments, but it is money we don’t have. These investments will do nothing to create economic growth. They will only grow our federal deficit and lead to a giant government welfare state with a redistribution of wealth.
This nation’s national debt presently stands at $11 trillion. $4.4 trillion of this debt is held by the Social Security Trust Fund and other government agencies and the other $6.6 trillion to citizens and or “foreign” owners like China. 50% of all U.S. debt is owned by foreign owners.
What would happen if China and other foreign creditors lost their appetites for assuming our debt and instead viewed the U.S. as a risky, debt-ridden economy? Recently China’s prime minster voiced concern over the safety of this nation’s debt.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office calculations, Obama’s budget would generate deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year from 2010-2019 or more than four times the deficits under the presidency of George W. Bush.
Unnerving is that the deficit under Obama’s policies would never go below 4% of this nation’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). By the end of this decade the deficit could reach the 5% range, a debt-to GDP ratio that would not be sustainable. This massive debt will come down like an avalanche on our kids, reducing their standard of living and affecting every area of their lives.
Obama is pushing hard for his budget priorities as was evident these past few weeks during his immense trans-continental public relations offensive. It was during Obama’s Internet town hall meeting from the White House on Thursday, March 26, that Obama spoke of being a big believer in “persistence.”
It is telling that Obama’s intensive public relations offensive didn’t yield the results he had hoped for. According to a Gallop poll taken during the week of Monday, March 23, people who feel positive about Obama’s budget fell from 44% in late February to 39%.
Leaders in both the Senate and the House seem confident that Obama’s budget proposal will pass this week despite passionate disapproval from Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is aware that a handful of Democrats will likely oppose Obama’s budget plan, but armed with a 58-41 Senate majority, Reid feels very comfortable that the budget will pass. Over in the House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) expressed the same confidence.
Even if Obama’s budget proposal should sail through both chambers of Congress by week’s end, it will not become law. it will function only as a non-binding road map or blueprint — a symbolic endorsement — for Congress to boost Obama’s agenda in future legislation on clean energy, global warming, access to health care, and education.
The Republican Party has fashioned an alternative plan in response to Obama’s budget plan which can be downloaded by going to GOP.gov. “The Republican Road to Recovery” is a plan that curbs spending, creates jobs, lowers taxes and controls the debt.
Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) had the right idea when he warned the American people in a Republican radio and Internet address onSaturday, March 28, that this nation must live within its means or risk its tradition of passing a more prosperous country from one generation to the next.
It is obvious that President Obama and his Democratic allies are too short-sighted to see that massive spending to stem today’s financial crisis will only create a financial tsunami in the future. Such spending threatens to send inflation spiraling upward and threatens this nation’s credibility and the value of the dollar. European nations have cautioned this country from digging ourselves further into debt.
Encouraging to note is how many Americans seem to be getting the message that Obamanomics will not work by participating in Tea Parties across the nation. On April 15 (tax day) many Tea Parties” will be held nation wide. I will be participating in the one scheduled here in Chicago.
There are not enough taxpayers to pay for all the tax-eaters. It will only lead this nation to the brink of national insolvency. A big explosion of spending has never produced an accelerated recovery, but a nation can spend its way into bankruptcy. Also worth remembering is that government cannot pay for anything unless it takes from the people who produce it.
Obama’s massive $3.6 trillion budget proposal, if fully implemented, would kill this nation without a shot being fired.
March 23, 2009
The Sun-Times in its editorial of March 11th applauded President Obama for skyrocketing education reform to the top of the list of his signature issues and for using his bully pulpit on March 10th to lay out a better vision for America: “Obama wisely makes education a priority”
Touted as major shifts for the government in Obama’s March 10th education speech was his strong support for early childhood education, performance pay for teachers, and a longer school day and year for U.S. students.
Unreported in the Sun-Times’ editorial was language in the $410 billion omnibus 1,132 page spending bill dictated to Congress by teachers unions which killed 1,700 scholarships that enabled kindergarten through 12th grade students from low-income families in the District of Columbia to attend private schools.
Growing up in Hawaii, President Bush attended a private school. Obama’s two daughters attended a private school while in Chicago and now in Washington, D.C. Studies show that parents are overwhelmingly satisfied with their children’s experience and success in scholarship programs and are appreciative of being able to choose their child’s school. Is it right for Obama to deny Washington, D.C. children the same chance he had as a child and now his two daughter?
It might be well for the Sun-Times editorial board to consider the reaction of National Education Association president Dennis Van Roekel to Obama’s tough talk on education and teachers: “I think people are putting words in his mouth and jumping to conclusions about what he supports.”
The NEA president seems to know more than does the Sun-Times editorial board. The teachers unions are not disappointed with President Obama’s first major education speech. The devil is always in the details!
March 23, 2009
Kudos to the Chicago Tribune and to Tribune reporter Michael Hawthorne and correspondent Laurie Goering for their timely and informative articles on Wednesday, March 11 about nuclear energy.
I read with dismay and disbelief Hawthorne’s article telling how Obama’s proposed budget all but kills the Yucca Mountain project, whose purpose it was to serve as a permanent home for spent fuel rods now being stored at this nation’s 104 nuclear reactors. There are eleven reactors located in Illinois. Hawthorne goes on to tell of a recent study indicating that water is running through the mountain much faster than previous thought raising the fear that radioactive leaks could contaminate drinking water.
How could this be so? In 1994 scientists conducted extensive volcanic, seismic, geological, hydrological and geochemical studies of the Yucca Mountain site and found the site to be ideally suited to storing nuclear waste. The nature of the rock formation determined that no water had been in the area for millions of years. As to the issue of radioactive waste piling up, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that used fuel could be stored safely at power plant sites for 100 years.
Even so the encapsulation of spent fuel first in stainless steel, then in lead and finally in titanium ensures that nuclear waste can be transported safely and could be buried forever at the Yucca Mountain site. Regarding Ms. Goering’s fine article — “Nuclear plants being revived worldwide” — it should be of concern to all Americans. Europe and Asia are powering up with nuclear energy after determining that alternate forms of energy are not sufficient to meet their energy needs, while the Obama administration is putting this nation at an economic disadvantage by powering down.
Obama’s decision, for all practices purposes, stops the expansion of nuclear energy here in America. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute website (www.nei.org) : “Nuclear power plants generate more than 70 percent of all carbon-free electricity in America and are an essential mitigation tool for reducing greenhouse gases.” The site also relates how America’s 104 reactors in 31 states produced 806.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2007.
Wind and solar power are not cost effective to build without government subsidies. Their output of energy is minuscule when compared to that of nuclear energy. The Yucca Mountain site has been politicized to death. Because of Obama’s unwise decision the American people will suffer. They can expect future rationing of energy, higher energy costs, and brown outs and blackouts on a regular basis. Energy is what fuels this nation’s economic engine. What was Obama thinking!
March 7, 2009
On Tuesday, March 3rd, President Obama urged the American people to look past the “day-to-day gyrations” of the stock market. Obama further assured the American people that buying stocks was a potentially good deal.
What kind of a world is President Obama living in? Obama sees the stock market as a political tracking poll and said of it, “You know, it bobs up and down from day to day.” One measure of this nation’s wealth IS the stock market! The stock market has not bobbing up and down. It has been tanking and the American people are losing their pensions, their retirement savings, their wealth and their jobs.
A report issued on Friday, March 6 told of an economic hemorrhaging of 651,000 jobs in February, pushing the unemployment rate to a 25-year high to 8.1 percent. Also of great concern is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 20% since Inauguration Day, signaling the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years. An astounding $1.6 trillion has been erased from U.S. equities since Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20th.
Given the 20% decline in the Dow Industrials, the stock market is now Obama’s bear market. For despite Obama’s promised solutions to prop up banks and credit markets, solutions have not been forthcoming from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to quell market nervousness. The American people cannot be faulted for failing to heed Obama’s advise to purchase stocks. Obama’s understanding of the stock market is indeed shaky and suspect.
Could it be that the Obama Administration is intentionally destroying the stock market, the banking industry, the housing market, the energy market and the way health care is delivered to create a massive crisis in the eyes of the American people?
Already Obama’s economic policies are chipping away at the private sector where wealth and jobs are created. In tandem, the American people are losing confidence in the free market system in what appears to be an orchestrated war against capitalism by the Obama administration.
Obama’s plan calls for the shrinking of the private sector and replacing it with government-run programs. He seems to be succeeding in his quest to transform America’s society with policies aimed at destroying the free enterprise system. The American people are hurting. Many are already looking toward government as their big brother. Such dependency is a necessary ingredient for Obama’s plan to fully succeed.
Syndicated columnist Mark Steyn in his excellent and insightful commentary of Feb. 7 — “He’s all about growing government, not saving the financial system and other countries” –gave credence to my expressed thoughts when explaining why Obama is indifferent to the plummeting Dow: “The president has made a strategic calculation that, to advance his plans for socialized health care, “green energy” and a Big Government state, it’s to his advantage for things to get worse.” Steyn also relates that for Obama “the economy takes a very distant back seat to the massive expansion of government it provides cover for.”
Only time will tell whether the American people will foolishly reject the free market economic system which has worked so well in the past in favor on Obama’s socialist, government-run system that will place limits on their freedoms and on their ability to make choices in all areas of their lives.
The grass is not greener on the other side. Obama’s nanny society should and must be rejected. Future generations of Americans will suffer if Obama is allowed to remake America’s society to conform to his ideology. For Obama’s ideology is an experiment that has failed wherever and whenever it has been tried throughout history.
March 7, 2009
Not covered in the Tribune article was that the $634 billion infusion is considered by the Obama team as a “down-payment” toward covering all Americans in a move toward universal health care, made possible by bringing down the cost of providing health care.
But how is it possible for the government to expand medical care while cutting costs at the same time? It isn’t! The American people were told that Medicare and Medicaid would pay for themselves, but neither do. Both are riddled with inefficiency and corruption.
Most Americans are satisfied with the health care they are presently receiving. It is doubtful they would tolerate inefficient government-run health care with rationed services, where individual care and concern are in short supply, and where life-saving medical treatment decisions rest squarely in the hands of Big Brother.
Universal health care is not Utopia here on earth. European countries are experiencing financial drain from their nationalized health care programs, whose services leave much to be desired by their citizens.
The American people must resist the movement toward nationalized health care. It is another debt-creating Ponzi scheme aimed at achieving power and control.
Taxing the rich to pay for expanded health care coverage will back fire in two way: It will be a job killer and a doctor killer. It will also result in massive and continuing debt that this country cannot afford.
March 7, 2009
President Obama’s Fiscal Accountability Conference held on Monday, February 23, was yet another Obama charade aimed at convincing the American people that he really does care about the mounting debt.
Having already advanced $2 trillion in new deficit spending during his first month in office, Obama is ready to put another $410 billion into the mix while he toys with adding a second deficit spending stimulus package.
And what did Obama tell the American people? He pledged to cut in half the debt he inherited from the Bush administration, when, if truth be told, the inherited Bush debt amounted to $450 billion. Obama is responsible for $1.4 trillion in new debt in only four weeks!
If President Obama really cared about this nation and its children, he would not be robbing the treasury to pay for current goodies and to expand entitlements for this generation, while he saddles our children with massive and burdensome debt.
Is it any wonder why so many people lack confidence in their futures? FDR’s New Deal didn’t work during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It only prolonged the pain. Obama is even more of a big spender than Roosevelt. He is imitating and outspending FDR’s failed New Deal policies as a fix for this current crisis.
March 4, 2009
There are many astonishing proposals in Obama’s recently unveiled massive $3.6 trillion 2010 budget. Even the Tribune reported on Friday, Feb. 27 that it sees red all over a budget that would boost taxes on the rich and leave historic deficits.
Obama’s plan to curb global warming by reducing carbon emissions would be the most aggressive cap and trade system in the world. The plan would force companies to buy permits from the government for greenhouse gas emissions above a certain cap.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the White House expects $78.7 billion in new tax revenue in 2012 from its cap-and-trade program, with the amount increasing to at least $646 billion through 2019.
If a policy brings in revenue that the government later spends, shouldn’t it be called a tax? Even so, the Obama administration is hesitant to admit that its cap-and-trade policy will function as a tax.
All consumers, not just the rich, will pay more for goods and services that use carbon energy. The Wall Street Journal describes cap and trade as an “inconvenient tax” which negates a campaign promise made by Obama that “95% of working families” would not see their taxes rise by “a single dime.
In a moment of candor, candidate Obama admitted that his cap and trade plan would bankrupt coal plants and cause energy prices to skyrocket. A study by the National Association of Manufacturers has projected that a carbon tax would potentially decrease U.S. GDP by up to $269 billion and by 2014 eliminate 850,000 jobs.
The International Herald Tribune on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 reported that “Cap-and-trade is a disaster regardless of who implements it.” The European Union started with high-minded ecological goals but the result has been a “multi billion-euro windfall for some of the continent’s biggest polluters, with little or no noticeable benefit to the environment so far.” At issue now in Europe are jobs over the environment.
Cap-and-trade will not save the planet. It is an attempt at social engineering, the objective being to force Americans to change their way of life drastically over the next few decades under the pretense that carbon emissions cause global warming. This at a time when thousands of scientists world-wide believe that the earth does not face a catastrophic crisis, and even if it did, all the carbon taxes in the world would not be its salvation.
It is telling that there is not one dime for nuclear energy in Obama’s budget under the heading of “Green Energy and Climate Change.” Nuclear energy IS a dependable, clean and green source of energy.
Will the American people accept higher taxes, higher energy costs, fewer jobs, and a lower standard of living as the price to be paid for living in Obama’s nation? It remains to be seen how long the American people will be wiling to place the needs of “mother earth” before the needs of “we the people.”