Thursday, February 19, 2009


It's the principle of the thing, right?

IF every single Republican House of Representatives member voted NO on the recent economic stimulus legislation based on their PRINCIPLES why aren't every one of them lobbying their State Governors to refuse to accept any Federal funds that would be scheduled to be distributed or spent in their States?

IF all but three Republican Senators voted NO on the recent economic stimulus legislation based on their PRINCIPLES why aren't every one of them lobbying their State Governors to refuse to accept any Federal funds that would be scheduled to be distributed or spent in their States?

IF a number of Republican Governors who were so much against the legislation as it made its way toward passage based on PRINCIPLE then they should formally stand up for their principles and respectfully decline to accept Federal funds generated from the stimulus bill.

Come on people, you either have the PRINCIPLES or you don't! It takes courage to follow your core beliefs and principles. Do all these Republican "leaders" have it or not?

Since all these Republican leaders have voiced their opinion that the Economic Recovery Act is completely wasteful and will only make our national situation more dire it is only logical that these Republican "leaders" should not add to the national disaster by accepting any of this "wasteful spending".

There have been a few extremely hypocritical House members on the Republican side of the aisle who, within days of the Bills passage, actually went back to their States and attempted to take credit for the bills passage and praised themselves for bringing money, through the stimulus programs, to the people of their States. Amazing!

Again, if the money that will be appropriated from the Economic Recovery Act is SO wrong and SO wasteful, DO NOT TAKE IT. This would certainly be one way to reduce the final price tag of this "ill fated" legislation.

Of course, a principled refusal would also come with the need for a full and acceptable explanation to the voters (ALL the voters). about how NO assistance is better than at least the attempt for recovery. I wonder if; "Just because" or "Tax Cuts" or "It's against our principles" will work with all the desperate citizens back home.

But, by all means, go for it. After all, it's all about standing up for your principles, right?

Excuse me, but I have yet to grasp the logic that the GOP has adopted that a full blown national meltdown is somehow better than at least the attempt to engage the problems and fight for our survival. You (meaning the Republican Party) have made your goals fairly clear. You win if the country fully sinks into a DEPRESSION instead of the deep recession now plaguing America and the World. The attempts to convince the American public of this logic illustrates the basic fact that our "leaders" actually have an agenda that has little to do with the health of America or its citizens.

To be sure, the Economic Recovery Act or the attempts to shore up the housing market or the financial markets may not be successful. The risk and possibility of failure is certainly present. The critical question that must be asked and answered is whether America and its citizens are worth the risk.

If the GOP is correct in their gloomy predictions I suspect that Americans will be in such deep trouble that the all mighty elections of 2010 or 2012 will be irrelevant. If the American people collectively fight and work very hard to bring our nation back to some level of stability during the next few years (which I believe can and will be done), the GOP itself will become more and more irrelevant in the next few election cycles and they will deserve that result.

Buckle up it's going to be a rough and partisan ride!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


There is deep water ahead for the Obama Administration and the Democrat controlled Congress and extreme care must be taken to avoid overloading the ship. The idea of change was the most appealing catch phrase during the election campaign and that idea created the victory the Democrats were seeking. But, did "change" mean that the Government was to become THE answer and solution to all the problems and negative decisions made by everyone during the past ten years?

The economy is in free fall to be sure. The blind optimism of business and citizens during the past 10 years created a sense of mindless spending and paper wealth that broke the barriers of reality. Too many people believed that the unreal appreciation of home values was just going to continue forever. This created the feeling by too many that they could just spend and buy without regard to their debt level because many were able to leverage the "value" or "equity" in their homes through lines of credit or refinancing tools provided by banks and lenders who fed the flames by making credit all to available for far too long. Well, as this happened and now EVERYONE is going to have to pay the price and regroup.

The new Administration has quickly accepted the responsibility for the years of excess by announcing that help has arrived and giving the false impression that the Government can and will fix everything. This will never happen and if upcoming policies are ruled by politics instead of pragmatic logic the Obama Administration will sink in the deep water of good intentions.

Some attempts at slowing down the economic disaster is warranted and necessary but the continual message to our citizens must be a combination of the hard truth and reality that the Government is only able to buy time and anyone who is in financial trouble due to a home buying decision or excessive credit card spending or job loss or anything else needs to use this time to make a plan for themselves and their families. Turn off the television. turn off the computer and the cell phones and sit down with your family and be honest enough to see the truth of your situation. Then begin to change the things that are causing your problems and begin to feel good about the fact that once you face whatever reality you have and begin to heal, things will improve. It's not going to be easy but it is necessary.

It's Time To Think Again

Saturday, February 14, 2009

GOP plays NERO

Remember the Roman story of how Nero sat and played his fiddle while Rome was burning? Well, during these past two weeks and especially yesterday, the GOP House members and Senators have renewed that story in America (with the minimal exception of 3 Senators) and have made the decision to take a huge political risk for themselves and their Party.

On the surface it appears illogical and somewhat anti-American for an entire group of elected officials to basically announce their belief and hope that the just passed stimulus bill will be a complete failure and that the economy of America and the plight of its citizens will worsen during the next 12 to 18 months. Why, you might ask. The simple answer is that EVERYTHING, in the end, is about politics and the Republicans have calculated that a deepening of the nation's crisis (meaning everyone will be in even worse shape down the road) is their best chance to regain lost seats in Congress and ultimately win back the White House in 2012. It should be noted that many of the Republican Congressmen and Republican Senators probably feel "safe" in their own States and Districts in the shrinking map that is colored red by the pundits. At least they have taken a stand even though fiscal responsibility, control of spending and especially, attention to our National Debt was certainly not a part of their agenda during the Reagan, or Bush administrations. A careful review of Government spending and the extent of national debt relative to which political party was in power will destroy the stubborn myth that the Republicans have been the Party of fiscal restraint.

This choice by the Republicans to walk away from the attempt to at least try something will either lead them to further ruin or allow them to regain lost power (always the main goal). Sadly, the only way for the GOP to "win" this battle is for America and her citizens to fall deeper into the abyss. If the Republicans and their minions on talk radio and cable news continue to assert that anything "the other side" proposes cannot be successful and continue the attempt to convince citizens that the sky is falling they will fully deserve the political punishment they should receive if there is any measurable or perceived improvement in the coming months. It is a huge political gamble but at least their intentions are clear. The Republicans are now forced to use whatever power they have left to undermine the efforts for improvement in the coming months and keep citizens in a negative mindset.

To be sure, the Democrats are taking a huge political risk as well. The new Administration inherited a disaster and the task of correcting the national situation may prove too difficult. The Republicans have thrown down the gauntlet by telling us that the Democratic leadership and whatever plans they try to implement will fail. So, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress MUST to ready, willing and especially able to accept this challenge and proceed without major mistakes and without the usual corruption and waste that almost always happens. THE most important result needed is the perception that the situation can and is improving. I have maintained for years that the Government cannot and should not be the answer to all the various aspects that make up the lives of American citizens. The ultimate success of America and its citizens is, in the end, up to each one of us.

I have no doubt that a portion of the spending proposals in the "stimulus" bill justed passed will include things that could be considered wasteful or that do not appear to directly stimulate or directly create a job and this part, sadly, seems to go along with any spending measures passed by any Congress. The point is that every attempt must be made to use these funds wisely and effectively at every level. The main reason for that is that the Democrats can be sure that there will be a task force of Republicans and other detractors just waiting to expose and showcase ANY misuse of the taxpayer money that is about to be spent.

The task of controlling the money will be extremely difficult since large portions of it will go to the individual States and the State powers will decide how to use the money. There are many areas that will receive funding during the next year or two and so there will be many areas to monitor and attack. This may turn out to be the biggest challenge for President Obama and his team. Remember, the Republicans have commited themselves to trying to undermine success at every turn and they will use everything at their disposal to reach their goal.

My message for the Democrats is to advise them to be VERY careful and to avoid the usual lack of oversight and control. They must make sure that there are actual and REAL results for the country and the citizens. They must create an atmosphere of optimism and also continue to tell us that WE are more a part of the solution than is the Federal or State Government.

I will write more on the individual and national pain that we must accept and endure before stability can be restored in my next posting.

Until then, now more than ever it is "TIME TO THINK AGAIN"

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Let us enter into a fantasy world that allowed the GOP to get what they apparently want. I say apparently because after listening to every single Republican representative in both the House and the Senate and every single talking head pundit on TV and the radio I have only heard two words being repeated over and over again. "Tax Cuts". They say these words as if they are magic, which they of course are not. I have heard NO ideas or proposals (other than the two words, tax cuts) presented by any member of the GOP to even begin to bring America and its citizens back from the cliff of economic ruin. Needless spending is not the answer either but the Republicans have decided that no idea or proposal or legislation presented by the majority party is acceptable and they have made this decision before, during and after the fact. The fact that they are and will be against ANY proposals made by the current administration or the current majority in both houses of Congress leaves any thinking person with a raw but simple truth. The Republican party and its elected officials have no dedicated interest in the welfare of this nation or its citizens. Even if proposals made by the Democrats turn out to be wrong or not as successful as promised it appears better to at least try.

But, perhaps not.

Let us pretend for a minute that the Republicans actually got exactly what they want. Tax cuts, tax cuts and more tax cuts. If tax cuts are the final solution why not eliminate ALL taxes altogether. No more income taxes for individuals or business. No more capital gains or estate taxes. No more federal excise or gas taxes. No more sales taxes. No social security or medicare taxes, No more taxes, period.

I would like to know from Republicans or anyone else what their predictions would be for the condition of the American economy and American citizens if all taxes were completely eliminated. Since there would be no federal revenue coming in there would by definition be no ability for the Federal Government to spend any money. Military spending for America's defense? Sorry, no money. Social security benefits or medical assistance to American citizens? Sorry, no money. Money for the federal highway system or National Park system or border or port protection? Sorry, no money. Federal funds going to Education or any of the arts or science or medical research? Sorry, no money. The individual States of the United States of America would be on their own and so would all citizens. If the Republican Party is truly committed to cutting taxes until there are no taxes then they should stand up say it and also be willing and prepared to present a plan or at least an explanation or some survival tips when the Federal Government stops functioning.

The only good news with eliminating the revenue to the Federal Government is that there would be virtually no further need for the partisans that have flooded the chambers and halls of Government for so long. "We the people" would no longer have to listen to the stream of lies and ill conceived promises that spew from the mouths of "leaders: from both political parties. Oh, and the "special interest groups" would be forced to find a new group to try and bribe and influence.

Unless the Republicans truly believe that the above fantasy then one must assume that at least some of them will concede that there is and should be some form of Federal Government. The issue then becomes to what degree and the amounts rather than the principle of their rantings. The Republicans and the Democrats need to come to some agreement quickly or my advice is for them all to simply go home. We are weary of the gridlock and the bickering. DO SOMETHING one way or the other!

American citizens must realize that the Federal Government or their State Government nor any particular President is going to "save" them from their own decisions or mistakes or is the only salvation for an economy now facing the results of years of excess and false optimism. The collective "we" have let ourselves get buried by the mindless spending of money we did not actually have and fell into the trap of actually believing that debts could just continue to build without ever having to pay in full. "We" let ourselves be fooled into a false sense of security by the fantasy values that the market told us our houses we "worth" when it should have been obvious to anyone thinking about it that the numbers were not real. But, mortgage firms and banks fed the game by granting loans to millions who should never have gotten them and providing so called "equity loans" to many millions of homeowners that allowed those millions to go out and buy, buy, and buy, thus keeping the economic wheels turning. Well, now that game is over. The jig is up. The lending industry and millions of citizens made their decisions and enjoyed those decisions for a number of years. Now everyone must pay the price for those decisions and I, for one, do not agree that tax dollars should be used to bail out anyone or any business, period. Capitalism is designed so that if a business or individual makes prudent and proper decisions profit and survival are the rewards. If not, those businesses or individuals must be allowed to fail and then attempt to begin again.

If excess spending and illogical decisions are the root causes of our present crisis, how can it make sense to try and implement programs that involve even more spending and to encourage citizens who are in deep financial trouble to take whatever money comes to them in the form of stimulus funding and go right out and spend it thus creating the whole cycle all over again?

I believe that before this nation and its citizens can have any real hope of recovery or finding their way back to collective sanity, we must feel whatever pain there is and clear out our personal debt and begin to make decisions that will allow for individual and family growth in a manner that will prevent "us" from being in the same place and condition two, five or ten years from now.

It's "Time To Think Again"