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?

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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!

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.

If I were President


My first time voting was in 1980. I was a seaman aboard a nuclear missle sub and the country was in dire need of a great leader, someone to help restore the greatness of our country.

Reeling from Veitnam, Watergate and the Iranian Hostage Crisis, everyone seemed depressed, and then came Reagan. When he told the Iranians that the first thing he was going to do was to declare war and come and get the hostages, dead or alive they were coming home. So, for an 18 year old kid serving aboard the most powerful ship in the world, I was impressed. President Reagan put it out there that the “evil empire” and all those out there who want to end democracy and personal freedom were in for the fight of their lives. He took control of the economy, he restored the military to such an extent that the USSR had to give up.

If I was to run for the Presidency I would push an aganda of strenth and compassion for my foreign policy. Take the Iranian neclear program. I would let them know that at any one time a nuclear missile sub would be ready to respond if they were to actually build a bomb and threaten to use it, that they would become a nuclear wasteland and leave it at that.

I would hold back any funds to countries that harbor and support terrorists reguardless of our current relationship and to suspend sending American tax dollars to foreign countries until the needs of the American People have been met and the huge deficits were reduced to a managable level.

I would take the inititive and cut the budget for the Executive branch of  Government by 20% across the board and ask Congress to do the same. We must learn how to run the government with the current tax levels and I would veto any bill that required more spending.

The three things that would not be messed with are Social Security, Medicare and the Military. I cannot believe that the citizens of this great nation want to see our seniors and the sick wandering through our streets begging for food and medicine. As long as the government is taking money out of the paychecks of its citizens for these programs they should not be talking about touching these important programs.

The Elected officials should be talking about cutting their own benefits and programs before thinking about pushing the sick and elderly into the streets. Make no mistake, the money these people are getting is barely enough to keep them in affordable housing and to provide them with the medical care they need to stay alive.

I would look into finding other revenue sources to help fund these programs, like going to Corporate America and finding ways to take this money we are currently taking from the American People and making investments that would earn interest and stimulate the economy. I believe that our Corporate leaders can get together and fix this problem without raising taxes.

My pledge to the military would be to not send them into harms way without a clear plan and support of congress. Our national security would be the main focus. secure our border, patrol our coastlines, assist our allies and never use military force unless our country or our allies are directly threatened.

If we are going to continue to be a member of the United Nations and NATO  then I would require the participation of the other major members before I would commit our military to any action that does not involve us directly and then only if the congress can agree that we need to participate. I am sure that unforseen problems could arise and that the 90 day rule is in place so that any action I would concider necessary could be taken while the congress makes the decision to either go forward or to pull back. I am sure our intelligence agencies and the Joint Chiefs can monitor the world situation and make the call if force of arms is necessary.

 Immigration is a big problem for our country. The people want a fair and moral plan that would address the flow of foreigners coming into the country unchecked. I would move the military training facilities to the border so that they could train and guard the border at the same time. I would also go to the United Nations and ask that the Mexican people be granted refugee status. I understand that there is a thin line between an economic migrant and a refugee but an argument could be made (like the one I am making now) that the Mexican population have no effective protection from the criminal elements inside their country and the government has been ineffective when trying to protect their citizens due mainly to large scale corruption and threats to their own families if they try to interfere with the illegal activities. It is my opinion that the United Nations should grant the popualtion of Mexico refugee status so they can be dispersed among the member countries and then have a UN backed peacekeeping force enter Mexico to re-establish an effective goverment and police force simular to what we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq and like we did in Bosnia  Once the country has been taken back from the criminals and corrupt officials the displaced population can begin repatriation.

I feel that the Mexicans are a great and moral people who are fleeing to the U.S. from the threat of violence and repression. The mass graves being discovered verifies this assumption. Also the reports from border communities that local officials are being murdered when they refuse to allow them (the criminals) to operate without interference. I realize that I might be wrong about the definition of a refugee when it comes to the Mexicans but Americans know from our past that not doing something because of the where people come from or their race has caused the death and torture of millions (hundreds of millions maybe?) over the past 50 years. The majority of the Mexican people are devout Catholics and Christians who only want to live in peace with a since of security that we here in the U.S. take for granted. I am 90% positive that the majority of the Mexican people currently living in other countries illigally would voluntarily return home to help their country recover from the horrible
conditions that exists today. Once the corruption and the threat of death from the criminals has been quelled. If granted refugee status would  the cost of caring for these people be evenly spread out over the member countries?

I am not suggesting a regime change, just the opposite. I am fairly positive that the elected officials in Mexico want to serve the Mexican People. What government, that has no real control over the military and Police, can be effective in protecting their people?  As we can clearly see they cannot.  I concider the Mexican people as neighbors, brothers and sisters and when I see them having to run for their very lives into the arms of America I want to help them, but I know the U.S. cannot do this alone and that the United Nations should lead the effort to help and the member states need to come together to provide a sanctuary while the situation in mexico is addressed.

I would use technology to save money when it comes to travel and visit the American People. I would utilize the internet and other means of communicating without having to actually show up. Until we get our financial house in order the tax dollars have to be used as wisely and responsibly as possible.

I would push for a more economical and consistant means of teaching our children. One teacher, perferably the best of the best would be recorded and used in every public class room so that the learning is not mixed up with personal ideology and politically motivated indoctrination.

Our school system needs to catch up with technology and our students should be learning the same way in every grade level. Of course I realize that this would cause the current teachers to lose their jobs, I can imagine the loud dissent that would come, but I think about all those industries that had to endure just that. When the horse drawn carriage companies were faced with the automobile had the very same problem they had to adjust.  When we are facing economuical ruin we must do whats right for the 300,000,000 and not worry so much about the 2,ooo,ooo people who would need to find another way to use their knowledge to earn a living.

Home schooling can be done more easily, private schools would thrive and our colleges and Universities would be able to teach more students for a lot less money. I do not see the current system of education surviving much longer utilizing a sytem that work a  hundred years ago. Our kids need a better more reliable means of learning and our parents need a more economical and effective way to spend their hard earned money on education. The time has come to overhaul the education system.

The States need to be more responsible for their citizens when it comes to creating jobs. The federal government can only do so much to create jobs. Building roads and bridges, federal law enforcement, homeland security, the military, border security, all the necessary departments can provide only so much.

It has to be the private sector that the American People count on for their income and security. The states must be more accountable to the business community through lower taxes and regulations. I understand that the federal government has the resposibility to control the amount of money they tax from these businesses and as President I would meet with as many corporate and small business leaders and find the ways we can lower the tax burden and eliminate unnecessary regulations, but the states must be more involved with these businesses who employ their constituents to make sure that they continue to grow and make profits so that they can create more jobs and make the jobs that currently exist more secure.

Healthcare is a big challenge, I believe that the only real solution is to take the insuance companies out of the equation. The citizens who have no access to healthcare should have a more economical means to get help rather than filling our emergency rooms. If we take the insurance companies out of the loop and have the Doctors bill the government directly would save a lot of money. A radical idea but I think it needs to be debated.

The big elephant in the room is the availability of care. If we have 40 million people who now have access to healthcare they are going to start filling the waitng rooms with all kinds of minor ailments that they would normally just have to deal with using over the counter remedies. I would think that a new type of healthcare screening program will be needed to weed out the minor, easily treated ailments that require a prescription. And when they find serious problems they could find the right place to send them. Most of the population that now has no financial means of getting help need to understand that going to the doctor is for serious problems and that colds, flus, minor cuts and scrapes need to be handled by themselves.

When I was in the Navy we had a corpsman to go to when we felt ill or needed some stitches and when he found more serious problems they would send us to the nearest medical facility for treatment. It would be a new business oportunityfor nurses and other non Phd healthcare professionals. A prescreening would be manditory for non emergency situations. Compensation would have to be so the healthcare providers do not gain from providing too much care or not enough. Im sure once we get a workable plan we could move on.

I know its not easy to run a country as big and diverse as ours but we need to stop whinning about the problems we face and come up with real solutions and the only way I can see this happening is to get the old school politicians out of the way and put people in office who know what the country needs, through their own experience. We have to make some drastic changes but we must be careful not to cause more pain and suffering than absolutely necessary.

I am A high School graduate, I am a 4 year veteran of the U.S.Navy, I used my G.I. bill to go to truck driving school Iwhich I payed back) I drove truck until I was diagnosed with a medical problem that ended my driving career. I then worked in commissioned sales until I retired in 2006. I watch and listen to all sides of the debate and I have come to believe that the only way to begin to fix whats wrong is to get rid of those who let it happen.