Now that our economic future has been…?

Does this make it easier?

Most people, I like to use the 80% theory, only want to work to keep their families safe and to provide an “American Dream” lifestyle in which the children look up to their parents as good providers and worthy of their obedience. That leaves the 20% who need some kind of assistance in their lives to keep the bills paid and the children in school.

At this moment The Debt Clock shows we have between 311 million and 312 million citizens. So if I use the Average of 311,500,000 and ask for 20% I come up with  62,300,000. The politicians touted some 80,000,000 during the August 2011 showdown. So, if I average that to 71 million that would be the figure to make untouchable.  Average $2000.00 a month per citizen comes up to about 17 trillion, wow, dollars a year to help those who cannot help themselves. The Debt Clock shows that there are about 112 million taxpayers so, again I calculate 17 trillion divided by 112 million we get 152 thousand dollars average per taxpayer. Wow, It seems almost impossible to understand how we can sustain these numbers. But what is the alternative?

Lower the amount per person is probably the popular solution. Lets look at the possible effects to this solution. Lets cut this in half to $1000.00 dollars per person. This would create a huge swell for the need of food stamp programs. I think that the Social Security Administration has not authorized an adjustment to inflation since 2005. But as we are all aware of the costs of goods and services has roughly increased by at least 75% since then. So, now after seeing their buying power decrease the amount of dollars given is to be reduced. The only way for them to survive now would be to give up any independent living styles and move in with a relative or BFF. By cutting out the rent and utilities that leaves more to taking care of their nutritional and emotional selves. Larger households can take advantage of warehouse prices and a smaller per person cost which increases the buying power of the entire house. Of course we have to consider the children. kids who have a large family structure have the best mental health while kids of 3 or less relatives/parents/siblings show higher averages for mental health issues.

Increase the amount of taxpayers. This is the ideal solution. Put more eligible workers back to work. If you have money you are hording until Christmas then maybe you can be part of a give it forward solution. Find out what is made and sold in your County and try to buy one thing extra a month. If a business can get a monthly increase in business they will likely spend that money or use it to expand some aspect of their business. Buy a toy for a young cousin, a knickknack for an aunt or uncle. Send someone in the Obituaries a few bucks in the mail or give them a gift card. Nothing cheers people up more than some extra buying power. It is a big deal when you can afford the good toilet paper.

If you want to get something for your hard-earned cash then buy a service that you would normally do yourself. Hire a Merry Maid, Take a Limo to a play, let the kid that keeps asking to cut your grass earn some money. Get the car washed and tip good.

Go out to eat. Take someone out for their anniversary. Tip 20% as much as possible. waitresses and waiters go shopping after work to buy the goods and services.

Buy that one car that you always wanted, I bet in this economy you could find some desperate sellers needing a cash injection.

That special wish or want has got to be easier to buy today than a year ago. Milk and gasoline may be close to five dollars a gallon but the amount of gas guzzlers on the market is mind-boggling. they are all around you.

If you take notice of For Sale signs in cars let your mind consider the weight and size of engine it has and the most will come to be suv’s and pick-ups.  so if you figure that you could survive with a car that takes a lot more fuel and own a high MPG rated auto then this is your market, big deals await in new and used vehicles.

Want to own a home? I would think that in this market of bloated inventory and construction of new dwellings at an all time low and the Fed Reserve just announced lowest interest rates to continue for the next two years.

Maybe it is time to use your knowledge and buying power to buy an existing business that you think you could advance with your knowledge and finances. Or start that new idea you were always sure would work if you had the time to try it out.

Move out of the way to let in new people. Think about this. You retire and your company hires a new person at the bottom and everyone below you moves up. Someone will benefit, then you buy a business which will increase revenues for the government. You hire one to two people who in turn pay more taxes and relieve the entitlement pool. It is up to us to get in the boat and help to get this sinking economy to shore.

Put it out there. Do something to stimulate the economy. Find where you are flush and use that to fund the economy. Just by tipping an extra five percent could make it better.

So, our economy has been hit with severe blows to our lifestyles and our peace of mind. Some solutions, inviting older or disabled relatives or friends to share your home. Buy one extra gift this month and every month as long as you can afford it. Make that big purchase. Use local services.  All of these things can help. Can you?


From Trickle down to meltdown

As I listen to the debate on how to get the economy fired up I seldom hear the root cause of this debacle. Most of the politicians see the housing market as the main cause of our current economic woes, but I think that the housing market collapse was a result of the most devastating cause for the economic meltdown.

The Energy Market and the SUV.

It is obvious to me that the upward costs of our energy consumption plus the country’s infatuation with the SUV was and is the main cause of our entire economic disaster. In the 80’s we were introduced to the concept of trickle down economics. It was based on the concept that if we can create and sustain an environment of lower taxation and consistent job growth that the American People would in turn buy more goods and services. GHWB then the VP called it voodoo economics but his boss was successful in proving his case. The economy started to grow and the effects were better than anyone expected. The Military started to rebuild itself from the physical and emotional disaster of the Vietnam Conflict. New Weapons and more military personnel brought with it an obvious trickle down effect. More people making money meant higher demand goods and services. People buying homes and automobiles which in turn meant more people collecting paychecks. More people able to invest in our Corporations and small businesses. More people going out to eat and more people celebrating. The economy was on a roll.

After Reagan left office and GHWB took over he made a vow to the American People, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” but the act of accepting new taxes and the split of the conservative vote between RP and GHWB left Americans wanting to send a message by electing a D.C. outsider, Clinton. His liberalism hit home to many voters because of the fast paced economic growth and the many new taxpayers coming into the system.

People were happy and they were spending and investing. Unfortunately for the liberals, the sex scandals and the corruption that was constantly being exposed caused the many voters, who expected a more respectable leadership, to split the country and we ended up with a split Congress which ultimately caused one of the closest presidential elections in our Nation’s history. With the Supreme Court deciding the outcome and causing an even larger rift between the two majority parties. It also saw the growth of the so called, Independent voters who were sitting on the fence waiting for someone to come along and wanted another outsider worthy of their vote, to come along. Enter GWB

George W. Bush was elected because he had showed a willingness to listen to the Independent Voters and take a tough stand against more government intrusion into our lives. Then came 9/11 and the county’s strong desire to punish those responsible. The war against Afghanistan lifted GWB’s administration to an all time high. But the bad intelligence and Bush’s decisions leading up to the war in Iraq put the Country on a course of economic disaster. The money being spent on our War on Terror plus the instability in the energy markets deflated the morale of many Americans and our allies. Then you throw in the rise of energy costs which nearly tripled in the last term of GWB’s administration and OPEC’s rise in costs and cuts in productivity you get the Perfect Storm.

The right-wing constantly blamed the fall of the housing market for our current problems and the left-wing bought into it. So now we get both parties blaming irresponsible mortgage holders for not living up to their obligations with the lower middle class and the poor became the scapegoats. 

But just think about it. You have a system that encouraged people to buy homes that normally they couldn’t afford by lowering interest rates and lowering financial requirements. The system worked and millions of lower middle class and borderline poor consumers became homeowners and they were, for the most part, paying their mortgages and living a modest lifestyle. They used their new credit clout to buy new appliances, new clothes, and, (this is one of the main cause of their demise) Bought big, gas guzzling, SUV’s.

 Paying $1.50 to $2.00 a gallon to fuel these behemoths was a manageable expense. Most people were maxed out on their credit cards, living paycheck to paycheck. Then comes the unending wars and the energy market’s (controlled mainly by our enemies) manipulation of fuel costs tripling these people’s cost of energy. This one thing is what brought down the house of cards.

Trickle down economics turned into Trickle up meltdown. The money once used to pay their obligations was sucked into the energy provider’s coffers. They had to keep the SUV’s because no one wanted to buy them. Many of these people were trapped, by what the car dealerships call, upside down equity. They owed more than what they could get trying to sell the gas guzzlers. Their so-called disposable income went into the tanks of these SUV’s and then we have some of the coldest winters and the hottest summers causing more and more people to choose between paying their loans and freezing or cooking to death in their homes.(some actually did)

So, instead of paying their bills they had to pay triple the costs of energy and fuel. They had to go to work but the jobs they had were gone. Mainly because people stopped buying goods and services to pay the higher cost of energy. They faced economical Armageddon. They lost their income, lost their homes, had their SUV’s repossessed, cut up their credit cards, wore old clothes, bought hamburger and pasta, stopped going to movies and sporting events, the trickle-up meltdown was their future and the blame for not living up to their obligations. It wasn’t the mortgage industry. It wasn’t the Banks or Wall Street. It was $4.00 a gallon for gas, the higher costs of  heating and cooling that brought us to our current situation. I am sure there are a few people around the world who understand this “opinion” of the economical meltdown and relish in the thought that they have accomplished what the terrorist couldn’t. They brought us to the abyss and are continually throwing us in, millions at a time and they have us blaming each other.

No one can think of buying a home in an uncertain economy. Jobs once thought of as unending have ended. They can’t justify buying a new car, new appliances, using credit cards, going on vacation, going to sporting events, theater tickets, buying new clothes, daycare and senior care, dental visits, taking pets to the vet, going out to eat, going to a nightclub. All these businesses are laying off people who in turn start the cycle over again and again. Once again the lower middle class and the poor are being saddled with the blame for something they had no control over and the resentment is growing because nobody seems to understand that they were the ones in need of a bailout.

But hey, What do I know?

Are you…?

Upset? It has been a real rollercoaster ride listening to the President and Congress squabbling over how to spend the money we unselfishly give them to run our country. What do we expect from this investment? Clean air? Clean water? unrestricted flow of goods from State to State? Protection from those who hate us? It all sounds like a reasonable expectation, doesn’t it?

Bewildered? The Federal Government has, at its disposal, Trillions of dollars to do what it has to do to keep our government and our way of life from becoming extinct. We elect our officials to be our representatives and to protect our interests. If they are there to do our bidding then why do they act to protect themselves from possibly being voted out of office? It seems that they, the 535 men and women, are out for themselves and do not consider us, the tax payer, in their negotiations to keep our country from imploding. Is it as hard for you to believe as it is to me, that our government cannot live within its means?

Disillusioned? That over 4.3 million federal employees cannot come up with a plan to keep our country’s spending under control? That our government officials think they can keep spending and borrowing without any care of the consequences? Who are the ones who have authorized the massive borrowing and spending that has become unsustainable? Should the ones responsible be allowed to retain a position of power in our government? I hope the answer is NO, absolutely not.

Ready to become an effective majority? The general perspective of a citizen is that if you are a member of certain ethnic groups, other than white, you are a minority. To me this is just another ploy to keep us from seeing the real picture. The difference between the  majority or minority is based on the your vote. If you vote with the majority of Americans then you are part of the majority. If you vote with the minority of Americans then you are part of the minority, simple. If you want to be a participating member of the majority of  Americans who want the government to work with the money they currently receive from us, the taxpayers, then we need to vote out those responsible for our current fiscal crisis. To speak out against those who put our country in such peril, by using our voting power to say to those we elect, that if you continue to risk our country’s standing in the world you will not get our vote next time around.

Ready to do the right thing? Let us send a strong message to Washington. That the constant bickering between parties is no longer tolerable and that a balanced budget is the only course of action that we, the voting majority, will accept from this point on. The government has a responsibility to maintain a strong military. To maintain a viable plan to keep our seniors and the sick from becoming pawns in their misguided arguments. To keep our infrastructure in tact and up to date. These three things are not to be bargaining chips. After these are taken care of then they can decide how much of the many trillion dollars they have at their disposal are to be utilized. No more passing legislation that authorizes the borrowing of money to pay for things that we do not need.

Why must the federal government keep expanding beyond its means? Cannot the States do most of the things that the federal government does? Law enforcement is a big puzzle to me. The FBI, The ATF., The DEA, DHS., and dozens of other policing agencies have powers to operate in any state. Why cannot the States themselves police the citizens in their perspective States rather than having the Feds do it? The Coast Guard Protects our coastal borders,. The Immigration Dept. patrols our land based borders between Mexico and Canada. couldn’t the State Police, The County Sheriff, City Police and State prison system. do the same job as all these federal agencies?  If someone commits a crime in several states could they not be tried in the one state that has the better case? I remember the Sniper who terrorized people in several states and it was decided to allow the state with the death penalty to try the case, not the Federal Govt. How much could we save by combining or eliminating law enforcement agencies that duplicate what the States can do? The agents themselves, their support staff and all the vehicles they use, all the fuel they use not to mention the court system and prisons. Can these all be consolidated into State agencies.

I am certain many people would say that this would cause too much fiscal burden on the States, but if the taxes collected to support these federal agencies was collected by the States themselves the cost would be absorbed by the new revenues.

Are entitlements too expensive to maintain? It seems like the answer would be a resounding YES. To pay our seniors, the disabled, to cover the medical costs for these people takes a lot of taxes and, to many, are unsustainable. But what about the taxes being collect specifically for these programs. On your paycheck statement is a box for Social Security. The government says that by collecting these taxes for Social Security our seniors will have a sustainable retirement plan that will provide for them after they leave the workforce. Now they say it is an unsustainable plan and that the program is going broke and those under 55 can no longer count on this program when it comes time for them to retire. But they still expect these people to continue paying the Social Security tax. If the system is unsustainable shouldn’t the taxes stop? Shouldn’t the people now paying into the system be allowed to put that money into a personal retirement plan?

Also there is a F.I.C.A. tax. If you look at the money that program takes from your paycheck with the promise that if you become disabled the taxes you paid would be used to sustain you until you can either rejoin the workforce or until you reach retirement age and start collecting Social Security. Oh, by the way, Social Security won’t ber there for you either. Shouldn’t you be able to take that money and buy a private insurance plan? Something like the AFLAC insurance that would pay  to cover your expenses until you go back to work. How can the Government justify collecting these taxes from you but not feel obligated to pay when it comes time for you to reap the benefits? If you paid a private company to cover you in retirement and disability and when you finally became eligible to receive these benefits the company says they cannot afford to pay, wouldn’t these companies be shut down and forced to pay back all the monies they collected from you? Most certainly YES. But our politicians feel they can do this without having to suffer the consequences.

It’s time to send a clear message. The Federal Government cannot continue to collect taxes for programs that will not do for you what they claim. That this money should be used to fund your retirement and periods of disability through private insurance companies.          

How can  representatives that you voted for turn around and tell you that it is vital to our economy to continue to collect these taxes without a guarantee that you will be able to count on these programs when you retire or become disabled? It is up to you to say NO. We are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!

Become part of the majority of Americans who say NO to these unfair taxes and be a force to be reckoned with. Use your vote to say to these incumbents, “I am a part of the majority and you are history”.

Blood from a turnip

When I joined the workforce I was always dismayed that the government was taking so much from my check. The minimum wage was $1.60 an hour and I worked my butt off to get a small amount but I felt it was my duty as an American to pay my fair share of taxes. I was 13 when I got my first job and I had gainful employment ever since.

Today I am receiving disability payments due to a defective brain. I was born with a disease that went undiagnosed for over 40 years. I hate not being able to work and to continue to contribute to our great country. When I went to Social Security to receive my disability payments that I earned through the F.I.C.A. tax, I had to wait three years before I started getting payments. I get barely enough to cover my basic needs, rent, utilities, groceries, clothes and when these basic necessities are acquired there is enough left over to go to a movie or attend local fairs and events. I do not have enough to support bad habits like alcohol and illegal drugs. I have a duty to my country to live within my means and to not cause trouble, so far I have done just that.

Today I awoke to a country that believes that the benefits I receive are “entitlements” that should be cut because the government spent all the money on other things. I can imagine all the Senior Citizens who worked so hard to get to retirement age are feeling betrayed by a small group of elected representatives who call the money they get “entitlements” and that our country can no longer afford to pay these benefits due to the fiscal irresponsibility of these elected officials.

When these cuts are implemented the people who receive these “entitlements” are going to suffer greatly. They will be forced to skip meals and medications. They will have to find a way to support their current lifestyle by relying on relatives and local food banks.

If they were allowed to take the money that the government took from their paychecks and deposit it in a retirement account most would be living comfortably on the funds they saved. But the government said no. They continued to take this money knowing that, in the near future they would not be able to pay these “entitlements” and that day has arrived.

I would hope that our elected officials would stop trying to pin the current fiscal Armageddon on the programs that provide our Seniors and the Disabled with the money they worked so hard to get and cut their own salaries and benefits. President Obama and the Congress have decided to do just that. Our Seniors and the Disabled must be made the scapegoats for this mess.

There are over 4,ooo,ooo federal employees and almost 16,000,000 state and local government employees currently receiving paychecks from the taxpayers. How much are they going to take from them? Are they going to continue to take Social Security and F.I.C.A. taxes from the hard working citizens knowing that the government will not be able to provide them with the retirement and disability benefits? I can imagine that if the insurance and retirement companies took money from people and then told them that they couldn’t afford to pay out the benefits that they promised, that they would be shut down and forced to pay and the executives in charge would face criminal charges. How is that different from what our current Congress and President are doing?

They believe they can get blood from turnips, imagine that!

The Verdict is In, Wow

When I posted my last blog I was unaware that the jury could not convict Casey of the accidental death of her daughter, Caylee. I feel that the prosecutors had presented the jury the wrong case. I felt from the beginning that Casey tried to knock out Caylee with chloroform and accidentally killed her. After which she felt that since she was probably going to jail for her daughter’s death, that partying and having a good time was her only way to deal with the situation.

I can tell from the very beginning of this sad story that Casey did not love her daughter. Caylee was an accidental birth and every time she wanted to go out and meet people she would have to find someone to watch her and then if she met someone she would have to admit to having a child. Most of us know that this is a big turn off for guys her age looking for their future bride.

Bottom line, Caylee died while in the care of her mother and if the prosecutor would have presented the accidental death of Caylee by the hands of her mother then they most likely would have convicted her.

I have to wonder if there were other child deaths that would have warranted the attention this trial received. Hmmmm

Why is Casey Guilty?

I read today that the Casey Anthony murder trial is the most watched trial since OJ.

I have come to a personal verdict for Casey, Guilty of manslaughter. Guilty of child abuse, Guilty of tampering with evidence of a crime and guilty of being heartless. The last one is not a real charge but it goes to show how an emotion can drive a juror’s verdict as much as physical evidence.

I believe that Casey accidentally killed Kaylee while trying to knock her out with a chloroform like substance. She placed the child in her trunk and then tried to figure out what to do. As time went on she knew that she was going to jail and decided to party. Once her act was discovered by her parents she went immediately into damage control.

Her parents, after finding out that Casey killed Kaylee, chose to protect their daughter which, I believe, they regret. They helped her put the decomp body in the woods and then helped promote the idea of the kidnapping. I doubt that the DA will charge the parents but they did commit perjury.

The absence of emotion from Casey and her ability to separate herself from her daughter’s plight shows what I believe to be a mild form of mental illness. Mood disorders are common in young mothers and Casey has an inability to love. The pictures of her partying and the tattoo touting her freedom from motherhood prove this 100%.

When Casey’s lawyer put together her defense they tried to show a gentler side and a caring mother who was inadvertently involved in the accidental death of her daughter, Kaylee. But to watch her demeanor throughout the trial and how she was willing to blame everyone else for her inability to love her own daughter showed her callous heart. Not the heart of a murderer but the heart of someone who knows she is going to jail and her only care is will she get out someday. I think she will.

Hit the reset button

Being a simple-minded person I have no real professional knowledge about how the World Bank operates and just who it is that we owe the 14.4 trillion (wow what a number) to. Is there actually some financial institution that has 14 trillion dollars to loan? what would happen if all the major countries that are heavily in debt decided to just hit the reset button and wipe out all debts? Would the world really spiral out of control? Can it be possible to just one day decide that all debts by all countries could just cease to exist?

I think about all the companies, corporations, small businesses, non profits and any self-employed person that has filed for bankruptcy and just started over. Some disappeared but some survived and even came back to be stronger and more profitable. What could they do to us if we just filed bankruptcy? They say that the United States would face a downgrade in our credit rating, so what! We have to learn from our past mistakes so that they are not repeated. The old adage comes to mind “sanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If our elected officials had no money to borrow they would have to make do with what they had and no longer borrow money we cannot afford to pay back.

Are we really going to cut off the elderly and the sick and make them go to the streets to find food and medicine? Are we really going to stop paying our military personnel? are the States going to allow the Federal Government to just stop providing the basic needs of their citizens?

I would like to see what the voters would do if the government decided that it is more important to pay back a debt than to just hit the reset button and keep moving forward. I believe that the consequences of the government not doing what is necessary to keep our cities, counties, states and the federal government operating and just letting everyone suffer from their unbelievably irresponsible spending would cause our way of life to crumble before our eyes. Imagine that our military, our police forces, our public utilities, everything just coming to a screeching halt. I can’t, not without seeing the evil and uncaring taking over and claiming for themselves what little resources would be left.

I like to watch movies about what would happen if some major calamity hit our country and we were left to fend for ourselves. One comes to mind that could become reality, The Postman. To most people who have seen this movie it was a long, unbelievable, story. But if the Federal and State governments shut down and cease to pay their obligations this movie just might come to be  a realistic scenario.

I just cannot believe that our leaders would allow the citizens of this great country to suffer just to save our credit rating. does it make sense to anyone out there?  Can someone explain it to me why this is an acceptable solution to possibly the worst economic meltdown in the history of our planet?

I will be looking for your ideas and I will keep my mind wide open.