Liberty Dying Like The Snow Falls

Liberty Dying Like the Snow Falls

A few snowflakes does not make a snowstorm. A few puddles does not mean there will be massive flooding. But, unfortunately, a few bad apples can ruin a barrel. On the same token, if you see the tip of the iceberg, it may be possible there is a whole lot more from where that came from.

“Walter Reed” has become synonymous with what people believe to be a failing Military Hospital and Veterans Administration system. It doesn’t matter if the connections exist between Walter Reed and any other medical facility in or out of the system. People automatically assume that if an Army Hospital is capable of a breakdown in command and proper leadership, the entire military hospital network, including Veteran’s Affairs – in their minds, is a listing ship ready to take a nose dive into the bowels of Davey Jones’ Locker. However, nothing could be from the truth. Overall, the military hospitals are top notch facilities manned by military personnel doing all they can to take care of their own. Veteran’s Affairs, though it can sometimes become a bureaucratic nightmare, is a fairly stable system with a handful of loose bolts that are constantly being searched out and tightened.

The political game is not much different. When George W. Bush, and a few wayward Republicans, determined that the best way to save the Free Market System was to inject government money, which always includes government regulation and control, any member of The Right that later criticized the Obama Administration for their massive budget and bailout plans was immediately reminded of the socialism injected into the system by the so-called Compassionate Conservative President Bush. As if all folks on The Right have to join into lock-step with anything Dubya did, and to say anything to the contrary is hypocritical.

The political minefield is full of such explosive traps. And I agree with many Democrats that George W. Bush wasn’t the greatest president ever to walk God’s green Earth. But, because there are a few policies, including his spending tendencies, which is now being dwarfed by the current administration’s gluttonous spending spree, that I disagree with, it does not mean that I must then draw a line in the sand and proclaim that Bush is the worst president ever, or that my Republicans are a bunch of screw-ups. In truth, the problem does not lie with Conservatism, anyway, but with Liberalism in the first place.

The Liberal Left is all about party, and all about increasing government involvement in our lives. They proclaim that all Democrats are the greatest beings to ever grace the presence of the United States, while all Republicans were stupid, misinformed oafs that somehow managed not to completely ruin the country. They proclaim, since the Democrats support government handouts to anyone that will take them, this somehow makes the Democratic Party the party that is in the corner of the poor, and therefore, Republicans must only be for the rich, and desire to fill the pockets of the rich with more cash while draining any remaining blood from the poverty stricken masses. This is simply not true.

On the same token, while Liberals proclaim the sainthood of their various historical Democrats, any facts that may not completely fit their mold is conveniently forgotten. John F. Kennedy is hailed as a great Democrat, yet his willingness to fight (using the United States Military) when the enemy stood on the doorstep, or his affinity for cutting taxes, is hardly ever mentioned by anyone on the left, and especially by the bias stricken mainstream media. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is, in the minds of many, the greatest thing to hit economic woes since sliced bread, when in reality if the numbers during the implementation of his New Deal (Raw Deal?) are closely scrutinized, he actually prolonged The Great Depression with his increased taxation, government spending, and creation of socialist programs akin to the practices of the rising enemy, communism. Nations that allowed the Free Market to correct itself maintained lower unemployment numbers, and pulled out of the depression earlier, worldwide.

Though the occasional Larry Craig, or Republican spending spree by the Bush Administration, does not define an entire GOP that is populated largely by Conservatives, a continual track record of tax and spending for the last century by the Democrats does give us a glimpse of what lies beneath the liberal iceberg.

Now that communism lies in disgrace with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Chinese decision to inject a little capitalism into their economy, of which the result has been massive economic growth, why is it that liberalism hangs on to the very ideals proven to fail?

Norman Thomas, six-time Socialist Party candidate for president said it best: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.”

This is because liberalism, socialism, or if you will – Marxism, is about control. Members of the Democratic Party could care less about the economic stability of the nation, when it really comes down to it. Their greed for power overshadows that, and they are already trying to figure out how they can stay in power during the next election cycle. This is why the Democrats act like classic liberals, but proclaim conservatism (like claiming to give tax cuts to 95% of the people when they have no intention of doing such a thing, and a simple change in income tax withholding is nothing of the sort).

The occasional misstep of a few Republicans is a perfect example of a few bad apples ruining the barrel. The problem with the Democrats is that the barrel is rotten from top to bottom. The Obama budget bill is way over budget, and some members of the left are now proclaiming that conservative bloggers are domestic terrorists, and now to make sure you stay in goose-step with the Liberal takeover of America, H.R. 1388 is moving forward to put into place a compulsory (yet called voluntary – talk about Orwellian Double Speak) civilian national security force requiring community service (in a special uniform) of young Americans. Some would call it Obama’s version of The Brown Shirts.

Liberty, unfortunately, usually dies under the guise of security, and is greeted with thunderous applause. The blizzard has arrived, and the onslaught of Liberal Socialism is more than just a few snowflakes.

Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 1:26 pm  Comments (1)  

Bankrupting America

Bankrupting America

The American Century Dictionary defines Bankrupt as “Legally declared insolvent.” Insolvent is defined as “Unable to pay one’s debts.”

The majority of Democrats, and a surprising number of Republicans, believe that the Obama Administration is on the right course to save the nation’s financial system. The same Democrats that screamed bloody-murder over George W. Bush’s spending habits, spending sprees that I also was in grave disagreement with, are now proclaiming that not only will President Barack Obama’s massive budget proposal not bankrupt the country, but that deficit spending into the trillions of dollars is what is necessary to save us from a looming sequel of The Great Depression.

Republican House Representative John A. Boehner, the House minority leader, said recently in defense of his idea to freeze government spending that, “We simply cannot afford to mortgage our children and grandchildren’s future to pay for this big government spending spree.”

Imagine, if you will, and I will use myself as a hypothetical example, that I had hit some hard times. Investments were going sour, logging and construction downturns placed a burden on my financial well-being, and my wife and I were no longer able to go out to fine places to eat, or attend entertainment venues that we would normally frequent. Cooking at home takes work, after all, and tightening our belts and curbing our spending habits would take away from our ability to participate in a lifestyle we have been enjoying for years.

So, one night I sit down with my wife and say, “You know, the way to help our economic situation is to create in influx of cash so that we can get things moving again. That way, with all of that extra cash, we can go out and buy the things we feel we need to buy, and not have to spend so much time worried about trying to juggle the bills.”

She decides to agree in this world of fantasy, and so we max out our credit cards and get more of those little plastic devils so that we can use them for whatever we desire. After all, we need to fix the infrastructure of our lives by buying new cars, adding on to the house, building an additional structure on our property on the Oregon Coast, and pulling out our driveway and replacing it with new concrete – oh, heck, its free money, we might as well lay interlocking bricks. That way, it is more appealing to guest that visit too.

Eventually, the credit cards become too much for us to manage. But, hey, no problem, the 80 acre place in Oregon is paid off, and even with the slow down in real estate it is worth more than one can shake a stick at, so we can just borrow against the property. We’ll set up an account that allows us to write checks, that way the equity is fully available, and always at our fingertips.

During the time period of all this money flowing in we go out, buy new cars, and live it up. Those around us proclaim, “Gosh, even with the economic difficulties this nation is facing, the Gibbs’ family is doing well. I wonder how they do it?”

What is that you say? Eventually I will have to pay back all of that money I created by financing myself up to my eyeballs? No problem, the creditors will stay off my back just long enough for me to die of old age, and then my kids can worry about it. No worry. They’ll figure something out.

Obviously, the high deficit world I created in the above scenario would be a foolish way to run my household. As a business owner, trying to fix an ailing business by going into deeper debt would be foolish as well. So I ask this: If it is the wrong thing to go deeper into debt to create an influx of funds, and if it is wrong to just leave the worries of it to my children and grandchildren, as an individual or business owner, then why would it be the right thing to for the United States Government?

Historically, raising taxes and increasing government spending creates more harm than it helps. Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter are great examples of that. And don’t give me this “Obama is cutting taxes” bull, either. Taxes are being raised in ways that we don’t even recognize them as such. Fees and licenses and fines for regulatory disobedience are all taxes, in my book. Even the simple little Business License is a city business tax, even though the word tax is not present. While quacking like a duck, even though the animal has a name tag that says hyena, does not make a duck suddenly a hyena. Eventually, the Democrat’s spending, led by Barack Obama, is going to get so massive, and it is already beyond the abilities of the top 5% to shoulder the full burden, that Obama will tax as Democrats always tax – massively along all points of the economic spectrum. Uh, that means you, too. You will all feel the pain of an Obama Administration frantically trying to gather more funds after everything begins to collapse further.

Early during the last century a recession loomed on the horizon, and Presidents Harding and Coolidge were fiscal conservatives that adhered strictly to the U.S. Constitution. As the economic times were becoming more difficult, as they are now, Harding, and then Coolidge later, cut federal spending and cut taxes. As a result, people were able to do more with more, and their incomes rose, increasing revenue while stimulating the economy. The boom years of the 1920’s followed.

President Hoover, a fitting predecessor to the socialist stylings of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was not anything like his fellow fiscally conservative Republicans. Hoover, as Roosevelt would later, piled up big deficits to support huge public-works projects. Federal spending soared during the final years of the roaring 20’s and into the early 1930’s. In fact, federal spending increased by more than 50%, the largest increase in federal spending ever recorded during peacetime.

Public projects Hoover decided to undertake included the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and the Hoover Dam. Yes, I know these are wonderful projects that we benefit from to this day, and the world is a better place with them, but was this the best thing to do as the nation was entering into The Great Depression? Sure, Hoover became very popular with the labor forces that participated in the projects who were convinced by government to refrain from cutting wages as the economy fell. But was it government’s responsibility to correct the market? Or was it the fault of central planning, protectionism (like the Smoot-Hawley tariff), and central banks like the Federal Reserve System controlling the economy (that became known as the New Deal later) that caused the economic upheaval, and extended it well into the 1940s?

Like with the Obama Administration, where the market seems on the surface to have failed, the government stepped in to protect the common citizen, increasing spending to do so, therefore creating debt – and in Obama’s case, writing checks on money that doesn’t even exist, and in turn devaluing the dollar.

I know that the Liberal anti-truth machine is even now rewriting history, proclaiming that Hoover, contrary to popular opinion and factual historical text, was actually trying to balance the budget by cutting spending, and it was those actions that caused The Great Depression. Robert H. Frank of the New York Times even goes so far to “lie,” I mean “say,” that Hoover not only actually cut spending, but that there is a consensus out there among economists that cutting spending is a huge mistake.

Do you hear that? Balancing the budget, cutting spending, and essentially being responsible with the American Citizen’s tax money is a bad thing? Putting less on the credit cards will harm us? Mortgaging America into bankruptcy so that our children and grandchildren in their lifetimes could never pay it back in full is the right thing to do to stimulate the economy? Are they insane?

Owing more than you have coming in, in other words, deficit spending, is a one way ticket to bankruptcy. It was wrong when George W. Bush did it, and it is wrong now. The Free Market is self-correcting. The people know best, not the government. The size of government has been steadily increasing over the last twenty years under the very moderate Bush Family, Bill Clinton, and now Obama (with a short spurt of a balanced budget that created a surplus that was engineered by the House Republicans led by Newt Gingrich during the nineties, of which The Left loves to give the credit to Bill Clinton on). If an increase in the size of government is such a good thing, and if deficit spending is what helps the economy grow, then tell me: After all of these years of deficit spending and a constant expansion of the federal government, why is it that we are in this financial mess? Could it possibly be that the seems of our economy are busting loose because of government intervention in the Free Market? Could it possibly be that the Free Market is trying to adjust after a decades of artificial manipulation by the United States Government? And since when is ever financing ourselves into oblivion a reasonable thing to do?

The Obama Administration, and the village idiots that populate the U.S. Congress, are bankrupting us. And what is most concerting about it is that a large segment of the U.S. population is actually greeting this destruction of the American financial system with thunderous applause, and mindless approval. Our founding fathers, President Harding, and President Coolidge would be disappointed. We have truly lost our way, and the Pied Pipers of Washington are leading us to a cliff. It is essential that we turn this around with fiscal conservatism, or else in the end, like the rats in the river, we will be drowning as a result of our own stupidity.

Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Five Myths About the Great Depression by Andrew B. Wilson

When ‘Deficit’ Isn’t a Dirty Word by Robert H. Frank

Solving The Economy

Belt Tightening, Driving Forces Behind Economic Slowdown, Tax Holidays

Why is it that so many people are so convinced that we are in a deep recession? The worst, some would say, since The Great Depression. Are we headed into an economic period so disastrous that it will rival the economic trials that followed the 1939 Stock Market Crash?

I posted a month ago that what we are experiencing is not a recession, but merely the beginnings of one should the government continue their course of manipulating the economy with bail outs and stimulus packages. That same day The National Bureau of Economic Research declared that the U.S. economy entered a recession in December of 2007.

I based my opinion on a number of pieces of data. Partly, I made my decision that we are not yet quite in a recession due to the typical definition of a recession, which is two consecutive quarters of declines in the gross domestic product. Often, that is accompanied by double digit unemployment, but not necessarily in all cases. Some would simply say, and I suppose the National Bureau of Economic Research came to this same well thought out and complex determination, that “a recession is when it hurts, and a depression is when it hurts real bad.”

If a recession is defined as a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production and wholesale and retail trade, then perhaps there is an argument it began a year ago, rather than is looming on the horizon. But isn’t that a slight departure from the definition of two consecutive quarters of declines in the GDP? And when one considers what is going on, is it truly the most severe economic downturn since The Great Depression? Or is this something that was conjured up partially through overstating what it is through the media and political sector?

In the end, I suppose, whether or not we are actually in a recession is not a big deal. Fact is, we are experiencing belt tightening times. My concern, however, is by overstating the economic difficulties with claims that this is the worse economic times since The Great Depression, as the liberal left and mainstream media has been doing, they are actually creating a recession capable of becoming a serious depression by simply creating such a hysteria among the masses. In other words, proclaim something is horrid long enough, and eventually, because people believe it is, it will become a reality. Hmmmm, sounds like the tactics behind the Bush Derangement Syndrome, doesn’t it?

So, just because all of those experts with alphabet honorifics before their names due to their years and years of ardent schooling at the National Bureau of Economic Research has declared that we’ve been in a recession for a year it is automatically so, regardless of the fact that the GDP doesn’t agree yet? Of course. Just like all of those scientists from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knew for a fact that man-made global warming was the cause of the recent period of planetary warming, and that our sea levels were going to rise and demolish coastal cities, and the polar bears are all going to die, and if we don’t start giving the environmentalists money and start buying hybrids and start wailing and crying every time a tree falls somewhere in the forest this whole planet is doomed – while never taking into account the possibility that global climate shifts may be actually part of a natural cycle involving the sun and there isn’t diddly squat we could do to cause it, or reverse it.

Yeah, those kinds of experts.

We can’t always depend on the experts.

That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a difficult time with a definite recessionary feeling. After all, times are tough. I was in the construction industry for twelve years, specifically residential homes construction, and I chose that line of work after working for a city, and being a banker, and being a financial consultant that sold securities and insurances – and being in construction for those years was quite lucrative for me. I made a lot of money operating a trenching machine. Howevr, as the old addage goes, all good things come to an end.

When the housing market bubble burst, as many of us knew it eventually would, life got a little difficult.

My wife and I are not big spenders. I bought my house in 1989. Although many times I could have bought into a much larger and more expensive house, we never did. My thoughts were, “Why get into a larger house with a larger mortgage and have less money remaining for savings, or traveling, or to do other things with that I enjoy, when this house, the one I live in, is adequate. I have two kids and three bedrooms. I never needed more bedrooms, and I knew tht once my kids grew up and moved out, my house would essentially becoming bigger for my wife and I. When I wanted an office, I added it on to the house. When we wanted a swimming pool, we put one in. Rather than move into something more expensive, and in turn, something that would put us deeper into debt, I just made my existing house better.

I have a very low mortgage payment that many people would envy. But it is because I didn’t want to overextend myself, and I didn’t use my mortgage as an ATM machine, either.

When it comes to automobiles, I have always bought used, or at least until I bought my truck in 2000. I bought the truck new, but to this day, it is the only new vehicle I have owned. But I have never had a car payment. Well, I actually got a loan for that truck, but paid it off in a few months. I had done that once before with another truck back in the nineties. I couldn’t see myself paying all that interest to someone when I can make payments to myself first, essentially saving the money, and then going and buying the vehicle I want with my own cash. All it took was a little patience, and a willingness to not spend that money frivilously on other things while I was saving. I suppose it also took the willingness to not buy things that are more than necessary, more luxury, than I need.

I am not putting people down for wanting nice things. I buy some things that are more a luxury than a need, sometimes. It is a great thing if you can afford those kinds of items, and you enjoy them when you are able to purchase something like that. I have no problem with that. But when you do it to the point that you are over-extending yourself, and you put yourself into a position that if things go wrong you may not be able to climb out from under it, it is not a good thing. That kind of budgeting is one of the driving forces behind the economic slowdown.

Now that people can’t afford to go out every night, drive their larger vehicles constantly, or buy this and buy that because they can, they figure it must be a recession. I have been through hard times before, where we had to change our standard of living to survive, and these are not those kinds of hard times. The economy seems to be a little more difficult than before, moving sluggishly forward, and it will be for a little while – but this is hardly the worse economics since The Great Depression. With the government’s manipulation of the economy it may very well wind up a recession, however. Right now, at this point in the economic downturn, it is simply a matter of tightening our belts, not being so frivilous, and for those that are losing their jobs it may mean changing what you do for a living. That’s what I did.

When the construction industry, linked as it was to the housing market, died, I had no work. My wife and I, since we don’t live frivolously, and we are quite frugal, had some money in the bank, and we survived the slowdown for a while (hoping it may pick up again). We realized, however, that we weren’t going to be able to maintain our standard of living, no matter how careful of spenders we are, with the lack of hours I was getting in the construction industry. So I went to work for somebody else, a trucking company. Right now I am on the road on my way to work long before most people are considering even crawling out of bed, often before four o’clock in the morning, sometimes as early as two in the morning. I am not used to these long, hard hours, to be honest with you. I am not used to not even having time to eat dinner because I get home and go straight to bed, for the most part. Sometimes I catch a bite to eat on the way home. I am not complaining or whining. I am just saying that the adjustment was difficult. But sometimes that is what one must do. It is definitely harder, more difficult, than it was a few years ago – but that does not make it a catastrophe. That does not make it the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression. But it is difficult. I won’t argue with you on that.

When I drive home at night I have noticed the traffic jams around the malls. The Wal-mart parking lot is packed with cars and people walking between their vehicles and the store. People are still buying, people are still consuming, and for the most part, people are still surviving. And those that are having major difficulties, like the ones losing their homes, I feel bad for them, and I understand the fears and frustration – but that is what happens when you bite off more than you can chew, and then as luck would have it, a difficult economic downturn arrives.

Was that new SUV with a loan that barely fit in your budget worth it? What about that big house with more rooms than you need? Is it something that you regret now? Was deciding to buy a house before you were truly ready your idea, or the so-called predatory lenders? You are the one that wanted that loan in the first place, weren’t you?

Toyota posted, for the first time in 75 years, a loss last quarter. The increase of gas prices, of which have come back down (so much for the greedy oil companies theory), and the economic downturn, have definitely had their impact on the automobile companies. Toyota is not going to suddenly fold because of this. I don’t think we should panic. But it is a telltale sign that times are tough.

The big three American auto-makers have not been putting out a decent product for years. They have been a failure, partly because of government regulations and demands, partly because of poor management, partly because of the deals they have been making with the unions that have placed a stress on their ability to make a profit. Now, the Big Three are asking for a hand-out. Congress said, “No,” but Bush wrongly overrode Congress, and the American People, and provided a temporary, plastic bandage for the gushing artery anyway.

What I don’t understand is with the failed mortgages, and with the failed banks, and with the failed auto-makers, why is it that government feels it to be necessary to bail these entities and people out? If they go under will it really completely destroy the U.S. economy? Is it necessary to abandon free-market principles to save the free-market system when it was abandoning free-market principles that put us in this mess in the first place?

A self-adjusting free market economy, if left to its own devices, will do what it has always done: Failures, if necessary to the market, will be replaced by another company, or with another industry that performs the function better. If all of these entities are allowed to fail, the industry learns from it. Failed policies proven to be failures are avoided in the future. Rather than becoming victims, the people and industries that did not succeed will pull themselves up by the bootstraps and try, try again.

Unfortunately, Government would rather strap some temporary boots made of paper mache on your feet, without any bootstraps attached. I am sure you’ll be able to walk for a little while, but they are only temporary, and in the end we will wind up in the same economic situation, and worse. The bail outs are not going to work. They have already proven not to work.

The government gave the banks money so that they would begin lending again, and the lending institutions pocketed the money instead. Handing out money does not fix the problem. But, you see, that is the problem with government. Whenever they are faced with a problem, they start throwing money at it. Your money. This is why I have a problem with stimulus packages as well.

What is interesting about Bush’s stimulus package, and Obama’s upcoming stimulus package, is that they write checks from the government, which comes from the taxpayers, to give to a wide range of people that includes a large segment that didn’t even pay taxes in the first place. I have a better idea. How about we follow the lead of Congressman Louie Gohmert, Representative out of Tyler, Texas? He is recommending a tax holiday. That is two months of paying no Federal Income Tax, social security tax, or whatever.

Stimulus packages add the cost of bureauocracy with administrative costs. The check has to be printed, the postage has to be paid, added costs that the taxpayer is not noticing comes with a stimulus package. Tax holidays don’t have to be administered, printed, and mailed. How about avoiding those costs, and not sending checks to people who don’t pay taxes anyway, and truly giving the taxpayers a break for a couple months. Now that, my friends, is a stimulus package.

Something like a tax holiday may be exactly what we need to put more money in the hands of the taxpayers, and stimulate the economy, and help us avoid a lengthy recession.

Published in: on January 2, 2009 at 4:41 am  Comments (2)