Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I guess it's official

Life in America is no longer about working hard and living the American Dream. It's about working hard so someone else can live it.

Perdue asks for study of taking state IT private | projects

Perdue asks for study of taking state IT private | projects

First the state consolidates IT functions under ITS because of the lack of cohesiveness between the state's agencies computer systems, now the State wants to privatize ITS. But will there be any real cost savings, except in transferring State workers with benefits to contractor status with no benefits. I suspect privatization of State functions will be the least of Perdue's concerns as the Legislature grapples with a $3B shortfall in the coming biennial budget year. The Progressive Pulse whines that state spending is currently at 1996 levels. The last time I checked, the state's economy was booming in 1996, and the State Legislature was busy trying to spend a $2.4B surplus.

When spending returns to WWII levels, adjusted for population and rate of inflation, and before our federal government began their 70 year piling on of debt, of which we are now on the leading vertical edge, then we can start discussing how the money should be spent. All but essential services should be cut. What are essential services? That is a good question. Privatization of government operations is not the answer to the State's current budget plight, and indeed that of the nation. PRIORITIZATION is the key, and that is what the Governor is trying to avoid, shedding the generation of patronage in her Administration. Can't blame her for firing the budgetary warning shot across the bow to all State workers, but can't sympathize, either.

In fact, if the Governor is serious about streamlining government and reducing the budget, the surest way to do it is to require all retirement eligible employee to retire. Then backfill all essential position with lateral transfers. This serves two purposes, eliminating non-essential positions, and reducing the overall budget.

Either way, this will be the topic of discussion next Spring when revenues fall short of projections, again. All the low hanging fruit has been picked. It's time to start pruning, not chopping down the orchard

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fat, idle, stoned? No way! - Saunders -

Fat, idle, stoned? No way! - Saunders -

That must have been the reason for the "Too Big to Fail" bailouts, to keep all those Wall Street bankers from jumping, leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill. However, I don't blame the Obama Administration, it's both parties, spending borrowed money on an accelerating pace since the end of WWII, and there's no winding back the clock, not with $52T in unfunded entitlements. Perhaps one chance left, reform entitlement spending, but with the possibility of spending reform being next to nothing, we're in for a fiscal shock wave of epic proportions.

Stimulus spending put off the inevitable for maybe two years. 11 of 50 States are essentially bankrupt, even though the problem isn't state spending, it's the federal deficit, $278B in states budget shortfalls compared with $2.4T in projected federal deficit spending over the next three years.

Even a gradual economic contraction persisted over time, which is what we're seeing now, reaches a critical mass. The Second Great Depression could lead to the Second American Revolution. The printing press brought about the Protestant Reformation by putting God's Word into the hands of every man. Newspapers have been all but marginalized since the advent of the Internet. It remains to be seen what will be the outcome of the unleashing of unfettered information upon the masses. Whether we, as a people, will be able to undo the damage or whether this experiment in democracy fails, to be replaced by a police state.

Monday, July 26, 2010

EconBlog Review: U. S. Involvement in the Afghanistan War Expands into Pakistan

EconBlog Review: U. S. Involvement in the Afghanistan War Expands into Pakistan

An indian co-worker of mine once said, "if we had kicked the muslims out of india when india gained independence, we wouldn't be having terrorist problems today." Muslims cause problems everywhere they migrate, but George Bush could have learned from Hitler's mistake of fighting a war on two fronts. Americas aims to fight terrorism were too ambitious, but that is in hindsight.

Backing down however, is not an option. The war on terror could very well be the war to end all wars. Allowing muslim extremists a moments rest would be a mistake. The cold war was about countering the red threat, lasted 50 years and ended with the collapse of the soviet union.

With the world about to spiral into a second great depression, bringing the troops home would only mean facing an even stronger enemy in 10 - 20 years. May not even matter if Christ returns first, but either way, this isn't about winning the hearts and minds of the muslims, it's about countering the treat of global terrorism, which is predominately muslim extremism.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Debunking the Myths about Unemployment

The Progressive Pulse – Debunking the Myths about Unemployment

Investment in job creation should be in the form of tax cuts for businesses and indviduals, even as we reform a tax code that should be thrown in a waste lagoon. The US Tax Code is 2000 pages at last count, more pages than the Bible! Is it really that hard to determine a percentage of your income? Apparently, the largest corporations in the country feel it's cheaper to buy congressman and hire the smartest corporate tax attorney's in the world, than to pay their fair share of the tax burden, which goes right into the pockets of the top 1% of the wealthiest of Americans.

Face it America, your jobs were sold overseas to the countries with the cheapest labor force, and given to millions of undocumented workers who will work cheaper than you. Even while Congress, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac greased the skids for Mortgage Companies and Wall Street to earn $B's selling $T's of worthless securities, and compounding the damage by betting against their scheme in the form of credit swaps.

The total of bad assets worldwide is between $135 - $175T. A few $T here and there in stimulus spending isn't going to fix the problem, not when federal spending has grown out of control and there is a projected $52T in unfunded entitlements in addition to the current federal deficit. If deficits don't matter, then why doesn't the federal government write a check for the projected $278B in revenue shortfalls for the States? Is it because 11 of 50 states are literally bankrupt, owing more than they're worth? When does that become true for the federal government.

We have a $14T GDP in the US, the largest in the world. What needs to happen is for the US Government to get out of the way, and the surest and best way for that to happen is cut taxes and cut spending. Legislators in Washington need to take a hard look at themselves and the Executive Branch and begin to reform entitlement spending.

In the 1960's, government largess brought about Medicare and Welfare. Medicare hid the real cost of health care in the federal deficit. Why, when a person has paid insurance premiums their entire life, should the federal government assume responsibility for your care at age 65? Welfare was reformed in 1996, why are we re-instituting it now in the form of Unemployment Insurance. When you pay people to have babies, they have babies. When you pay people not to work, they don't work. Instead of welfare insurance, implement public works projects, where is the Great Community Organizer in all of this? At least then the government will have something to show for the 10's of $B's, instead of just more debt.

Employment figures are a lagging indicator of the health of the economy, which is pitiful, mostly as a result of our federal government, whether it be lack of oversight or improper incentivisation. The quickest and surest way to bring stability and equilibrium to our economy is for government to get out of the way, by cutting taxes for the middle class Americans, which, by the way, are going up, and begin the process of reforming entitlement spending, without which every budget hawk knows is paramount to having any meaningful dialogue about addressing federal deficits. In the meantime, the average American citizen trying to earn a living and make their way in world, will have to work a little harder to make ends meet, and enjoy a lower standard of living, while Federal beneficiaries enjoy a COLA adjustment every year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Burr’s position on unemployment renewal gets national attention

Extending unemployment benefits would be one thing, if the federal government wasn’t borrowing money to pay it! Or asking north carolina families and businesses to foot the bill.

I didn’t know you liberals have so much money that you can afford to give it away, except it isn’t really you’re money, is it?

What are you going to tell the future generations of US Taxpayers why they aren’t able to accumulate anything to their own name, because their government was more intent on paying people not to work, than rewarding those who do.

High unemployment is a symptom of a much larger problem, which began by sending textile jobs overseas and continued with hiring millions of illegals to work in the housing construction industry. Government should be working to restore balance to our economy. Instead, they’re printing money to maintain solvency for the very institutions that got us into this mess, with the collusion of our elected representatives in the US Congress, and at the direction of an unaccountable Federal Reserve. Do you think financiers or the US Congress care one whit about the unemployment rate? Only as it pertains to reelection. Otherwise, our jobs wouldn’t have gone overseas and to illegals. It’s laughable that they care now, except it’s not their money, it’s future generations who will be paying it. I’ll be interested to see how you explain that one to your grandchildren. I know how the financiers will be explaining it to theirs.

Think Progress � Will Richard Burr Vote To Help Thousands Of Suffering Unemployed North Carolinians?

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Burning Platform, financial collapse, depression, war

The Burning Platform, financial collapse, depression, war

This has been the case in the US since we embarked on the "Great Society" of the 1960's, and is indeed the case in every socialized country. Retaining wealth may be equally difficult given the climate of crisis enveloping the world. Who and what will remain in the aftermath is just about the only thing left undiscussed and unknown.

The Burning Platform, financial collapse, depression, war

The Burning Platform, financial collapse, depression, war

A statistics professor once said, "figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure". It's obvious to anyone who's paying attention there's a MSM campaign underway making the media manipulation of the Vietnam War era appear as child's play. A campaign to delude the American public and indeed the entire world there's no untowardness in the global financial markets. I read an article yesterday that the Fed and the Treasury are down to two options, austerity and inflation.

It's also interesting to note there's one constant in all the turmoil, the influence of Satan. This would be a good time to pick a side. It's likely most of your readers love truth and hate ignorance. The ultimate influence of the Internet in this drama may be the removal of the veil of ignorance, or at least making the information available. Will the people be stirred to rise up against the indignation and oppression being perpetrated to cast aside the chains of bondage, or will we go silently into that dark night?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Progressive Pulse – A new argument for helping the long-term jobless

The Progressive Pulse – A new argument for helping the long-term jobless

The problem during the Great Depression was high unemployment, because no one had any money to hire anyone else.

Attempts to balance the budget made things worse in 1937.

Different era, different circumstances. The problem this time around is out of control federal spending. Businesses will hire people and the economy will begin to recover when taxes and spending are cut.

Major companies are sitting on $B's riding out this structural recession brought about by the same people who are spending your tax dollars.

Banks and Investment firms didn't deserve a bail out for causing this recession, and future generations of tax payers don't deserve to get saddled with the debt.

Reform entitlement spending and the problem is licked. Make people work for a living and quit paying them not to work. The longer we put off cuts in spending and taxes, the more painful this recession is going to become, but spending and taxes will be cut, one way or the other, either by choice, or dire necessity.

Once spending is under control, we'll still have the cost of the bailout to address, which is why it should be restrained. Make too much sense? I know!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Unfunded US Liabilities Total $52T

Having known that SS taxes were never trust funded, in the 70's this was the "smoke and mirrors" euphemism. Carter was the last president to take on the bureaucratic establishment in DC and was made a laughing stock. The current deficit run up was started by Reagan and a democratically controlled congress, and federal spending has run completely out of control in the succeeding three decades, to the point where the Fed will have to bail out the Fed. It's nice to see a number attached to the unfunded liabilities. I believe I've seen it in print a couple of times at $52T. Of course, that's over the lifetime of current payees into the system, but the reality is that cost can not be covered in one generation, can not be sustained, will be reduced or eliminated for future generations that will be paying off the $52T debt.

Another alternative is default on the unfunded liabilities a strategic default. This includes federal retirement, social security, medicaid and medicare, and major pension funds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Given a US Senate that approved Y2K funding for it's own payroll system, but not that of it's staff, it's not hard to see where the chips will fall, essentially on the backs of the taxpaying middle class. When there is no more middle class, which it appears where we're headed, and entitlement spending is threatened, civil unrest will follow, that is, if no distraction appears on the horizon in the form of a foreign threat. Even so, in the inspiring words of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, "the chickens have [will] come home to roost".

The simple fact of the matter is this, either the federal government reduces deficit spending and reforms entitlement spending, or the end of the federal government will be as violent as it's beginning.

The Burning Platform, financial collapse, depression, war