Detroit-Obama’s Blueprint to the Destruction of America

by Richard H. Frank

August 17, 2010 I wrote a post entitled “Detroit Laid Waste by Multiculturalism and Political Correctness” which chronicled the slow death of a once great city. Like thousands of others that experienced the pinnacle of a thriving city through WWII in the 1940s and the postwar boom of the 1950s and 60s, I weep at what has become of this once great city. Detroit now forced into bankruptcy by corrupt, municipal officials, misguided policies, political correctness and the stranglehold by unions on the throat of the city. Over a period of 60 years the population has dropped from over 2 million to an estimated 700,000 as citizens fled the onslaught of crime and decay overtaking the city.

This past month, June, 2013, I was personally shocked and sickened to see first-hand what had become of the once beautiful eastside neighborhood and in particular the house where I was born. That neighborhood and that home held memories that reflected a family having achieved the American Dream. Now it stands evidence to the more than 78,000 abandoned and burned-out shells of homes that once were the pride of a thriving city.

As I stated in my previous blog “In Detroit we reap what we have sown. First the attack on our educational system and the dumbing down of America, followed by unending welfare programs, well-intentioned but destructive, as we reward people for making no contribution to caring for themselves or their family. Next, continuing the unrelenting attack on the free enterprise system by Government with regulations and taxes that stifle economic growth.

Detroit is just the latest municipality to fall prey to the insidious elements contained in Barack Obama’s master plan to fundamentally change America. The time bomb continues clicking the minutes away as this nation proceeds along the path to destruction resulting from a $17 trillion debt which cannot be repaid and some estimated $68 trillion in unfunded entitlements promised to Americans by the Federal, State and Local Governments.

I fear this great nation will not survive to celebrate its 300th birthday should we continue along Obama’s road to destruction.

America Cannot Afford Another Four Years of Barack Obama!

by Richard H.  Frank

It is now 18 months prior to the 2012 Presidential election and already paranoid politicians and the liberal media are in full campaign mode.  The most paranoid individual, in my opinion, is our neophyte President, Barack Obama, whose double-talk is evident in every speech he delivers.  The blame game is in hyper-drive as Obama attempts to divert the realities of his failed policies to the worn-out campaign rhetoric of distortion and outright lies about the opposition.  His call for civility and transparency without vilifying individuals or organizations is laughable when in the next breath he reverts to using these exact tactics.

Somehow, the media and Democrats seem to believe that Barack Obama has proven his leadership ability to America through the assassination of Osama bin Laden.  Eventually, the truth will be known and show that in the face of the evidence provided by the CIA and military intelligence, Obama was forced to give the go-ahead to the plan conceived, not by him, but by the military, or be shown as the indecisive individual he has shown himself to be in the past.

President Obama and  his administration have a major problem to deal with in the upcoming 2012 election.  That problem is their dismal record of driving America rapidly into bankrutcy and the eventual collapse of the dollar.  Their failures are evidenced by the disasterous results from stimulus sending, corporate bailouts, increases in the deficit and policies that have prolonged the recession which now has all the signs of entering a double dip with new claims for unemployment exceeding 1.0 million last month.

The President’s position is that he and his Administration did not realize how bad the situation was when they assumed office, that his campaign promises such as reducing the deficit by half during his first two years and keeping unemployment no higher than 8% could not be achieved.  The truth is that America elected Obama to the highest Office in the land, an individual with zero experience at running anything, based on his rhetoric of hope and change and fundamentally changing America and the world.

Only now are “We the People” beginning to feel the impact of Obamacare and are coming to the realization of the distortions and outright lies told to America about the legislation.  I can only pray to God that our Supreme Court finds this disastrous piece of legislation Unconstitutional before it can be implemented further.

Obama’s latest target is once again to focus upon “big oil” and its enormous profits.  His latest attack is to remove any subsidies given to oil companies while demanding subsidies for solar and wind energy development.  If subsidies for oil are eliminated then so should those for solar, wind and electric vehicle development also be eliminated.  This will not happen as solar, wind and electric vehicles cannot compete economically with petroleum-generated energy.

When Government endeavors to pick winners and losers in the economy they alter the competitive playing field in favor of their ideological preferences through subsidies.  Unfortunately, the American Consumer pays the price for Government’s ideological preferences as opposed to free market principles of supply and demand.

Consider the impact curtailment and regulation of domestic oil production has had on the price per gallon of gasoline we pay at the pump over the past 25 years.

Dom.Production

Nominal Avg

Inflation Adj.

M/Barrels/Day

Price/Gallon

Pr@2010 Dollars

1986

8.75

$1.00

$1.70

1988

8

$0.98

$1.70

1990

7.5

$1.10

$1.80

1992

7

$1.08

$1.70

1994

6.6

$1.10

$1.60

1996

6.5

$1.20

$1.60

1998

5.9

$1.10

$1.40

2000

5.8

$1.45

$1.80

2002

5.75

$1.40

$1.60

2004

5.5

$1.80

$2.50

2006

5.1

$3.00

$3.25

2008

5

$3.15

$3.00

2010

5.5

$3.00

$3.00

May-11

5.5

$3.98

$3.98

Between 1986 and 2008 domestic oil production in the U.S. dropped by 43% and we saw a corresponding increase in the cost per gallon of 215%.  Critics of increased domestic production say the increase is primarily due to inflation and Mideast oil cartel manipulation of the price per barrel produced to meet worldwide demand.  They fail to acknowledge that energy prices have a dramatic influence upon inflation as well as Government’s recent move to monetize our debt by the massive printing of dollars that reduces the purchasing power of every American.

If we accept the argument of those that oppose domestic oil production but had just maintained the 1986 level of production, the price at the pump today would be $1.70/gallon, not $3.98.  Instead, we have wasted 25 years and cost our economy trillions of dollars transferred to the Mideast and lost millions of new jobs for Americans in the process.

Yet we see His Majesty Barack Obama while in Brazil pledging financial support to Brazil’s oil development industry and pledging the U.S. as a customer to their economy instead of pursuing domestic development at home.

One final point to be made about Obama’s vilifying big oil.  In 2003 there were 28 energy producers operating in the United States.  These firms had operating income of $828 billion dollars and paid Federal taxes of approximately $38 billion. The total capital employed by these firms was much larger – $638 billion which translates to a return on capital of 12.8%.  The average annual return on equity between 1973 and 2003 was 12.6% for fossil fuel companies and 13.1% for the S&P industrials.  In either event the oil producing companies’ return has historically been less than S&P companies due to the huge development costs for exploration and eventual production.  Let us also not forget that big oil accounts for 9.2 million jobs that contribute to our economy and the Federal revenue stream.

The opposition to Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats in Congress need to learn the facts and confront the lies of the Administration headon over the coming 18 months.  The barrage of half-truths and lies being gathered and edited into sound bites and talking points will not stand the test of the facts.

The record provides the evidence as to why we cannot afford to re-elect Barack Obama and the liberal Progressives in Congress and America should be forewarned that Barack Obama will do everything in his power to smooth talk, persuade, and “charm” his way into office and we must remain vigilant and continue to educate the uneducated about this man’s lack of qualifications for the Office.

What Sort of Government Have You Given Us Dr. Franklin?

By: Richard H. Frank

Benjamin Franklin is purported to have replied to the above question with “a Republic madam, if you can keep it.” Benjamin Franklin recognized the threat posed to a “Representative Republic” by partisan politics, special interests, and unrestrained growth of the central (Federal) government. The Constitution imposed heavy restrictions upon the three separate and equal branches of government and left the fabric of authority for legislation in the hands of the several individual states protected by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Over the past 100 years liberal progressive manipulation of the Constitution  has resulted in the creation of bloated bureaucracies at both the Federal and State levels of government with an unsustainable appetite to spend this nation and the states into bankruptcy. Even following the 2010 elections where the people confirmed their demand for fiscal responsibility and elimination of uncontrolled taxation and spending, Congress still has not passed a budget for the current fiscal year and the mythical threat of government shutdown is used to villify members of the  opposing political party.

At the State level we have witnessed massive union demonstrations including invasion of State Capital buildings as the special interest groups rebel against legislative actions to restore fiscal responsibility.

Our elected representatives should take a lesson from the average American family as how to balance their personal budgets. Millions of American families across this nation have had to make difficult choices about where spending would have to be curtailed in order to continue providing the survival necessities for their family. In order to provide food, clothing and shelter the majority of Americans have found it necessary to curtail most if not all discretionary spending. Many have been forced to find multiple means of employment just to supply the necessities. For the millions out of work and those on fixed incomes (mostly seniors) the choices have become even more difficult. These individuals and their families, approaching 50 million in America, are faced in many instances with loss of their homes, ability to pursue higher educational opportunities and the threat of creeping inflation that diminishes the purchasing power of their fixed income. These sacrifices are real and equate to major spending reductions and belt-tightening on the part of individuals and families that in many instances approach 20 – 30% of their budgets. The pain being felt by these individuals is massive in comparison to the minor budget cuts currently being debated in legislatures at both state and federal government levels.

Political ideology seems to be substituted  for facing reality within the Democrat caucuses in Congress. The debate over cutting $100 billion from the 2011 federal budget has become absurd when that amount is compared to the total spending incurred by the Federal Government. Depending on how the spending cuts are apportioned it amounts to less than 2% of the total budget for the year.

Democrats seem to think that as long as the FED has the ability to print dollars there is no urgency to imposing meaningful spending reductions. These legislators need to spend a day in the grocery store to see the impact that printing dollars has on the price of food, clothing and energy. All these items are excluded by government from calculating the consumer price index as the basis for determining inflation.

Congress needs to take a lesson from small businesses and American families and cut spending across the board by 20% wherein every bureaucratic agency will feel equal pain much the way the American public has felt it for the past two years or longer. Five years of 20% budget cuts would result in achieving fiscal equilibrium and the elimination of regulations that inhibit growth and would jump-start the economy.

Returning to spending levels experienced in 2008 would hardly impact the national security. In retrospect 2008 was a pretty good year in comparison to the past three years under the Democrat controlled Congress and the Obama administration. Unfortunately, as long as the likes of Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama remain in a position to forestall real fiscal reform, we can only look for incurring mounting deficits and mortgaging our grandchildren future. In the interim our standard of living will be diminished for every American.

Obama’s Shame: The Affordable Home Loan Modification Program

by Richard H Frank

It appears as though the U S. Housing market is about to enter a double dip with forecasted values to drop an additional 25% for existing homes.  Add this impact to potential sales and existing mortgages under water, now estimated to be 23% and 6 million verging on foreclosure, and the perfect storm for destruction of an industry is in place.  The average number of vacant properties in the United States stands at 13% with states likes Florida, Michigan and Arizona experiencing 50% abandoned properties.  We must ask what happened to TARP and the highly touted Obama Affordable Home Loan Modification Program?

When the banks were bailed out and extended hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to find ways to protect “troubled assets,” part of those funds were targeted for home loan modification programs.  The general rules for qualification to receive a modification were:

  • A major change in income status
  • Mortgage principal and interest, taxes and insurance payments to exceed 31% of income
  • A hardship must be present stemming from health, marital status or other catastrophic condition.

The program was initiated in December, 2009 and to date of the 2.5 million applicants, only 1 in 4 have been granted some sort of modification.  The total TARP funding for the program was $75 billion and to date only $1 billion has been appropriated.  The banking industry continues to sit on $74 billion and continues to stonewall applicants at every opportunity.

Tactics employed by the banks include:

  • Not including a request for all documentation required upon application
  • Claiming submissions are incomplete when evidence shows all criteria has been met
  • Requiring re-submission of documents over and over again under the guise that Federal requirements have changed
  • The response to monthly follow-ups is that the application is in process
  • The application is in Underwriting, although no contact information is available
  • Referral to the “Hope Department” to assure all documentation as been received
  • Being advised that the only modifications being granted are in the case of death of spouse or divorce

The above process takes from 12-15 months while the homeowner is being advised to keep making payments in order to avoid foreclosure.

Oddly, the Foreclosure Department and the Loan Modification Departments do not communicate as late notices, letters of intent to accelerate and requests to sign a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure continue to be received by the homeowner.  Bank representatives arrive, unannounced, at your home to prove occupancy and assure the premises has not been abandoned, giving the confused homeowner hope that the bank might be forthcoming with an affordable modification.

Following 15 months of frustration, the homeowner receives a boilerplate notice of rejection for either being current or not being qualified as to meeting requirements of the program.

“The Affordable Home Loan Modification Program” is just another sham like cash for clunkers and stimulus cooked up by the Obama Administration  with the help of the banks who received TARP, characterized by understaffing at the banks for administration, overloading underwriters with applications and sloppy or intentional mismanagement of documentation in an effort to reject otherwise legitimate claims.

Perhaps the impending double-dip recession in the home real estate market will bring the banks to their senses.  Keeping people in their homes and receiving lower interest payments in the short term until the market recovers is a good business decision and seems to make more logical sense than forcing up to 50% of mortgages into foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.  When the market recovers, be it in 5 or even 10 years, the mortgage holder will be made whole when the property (today’s “troubled asset”) finally sells.  That property will have been maintained and hold its value as opposed to having been abandoned.

As for the 600,000 mortgages that have been modified, this will be the only salvageable “talking point” that the Administration and the banks will have.  Unfortunately, there are 2.1 million applicants, many of whom are better able to maintain their mortgage under modification, than those that have been approved that are in peril of losing the largest investment of their lives.  Where are Obama and all the politicians that bailed out the banks to come to their aid?  Perhaps the Government should demand the return of the $74 billion in TARP funds that the banks are withholding from the program.  After all, that money belongs to “We the Tax-Paying People”.

I doubt that even a further deterioration in the housing market and leading to a total collapse will wake the mortgage holders to the peril they face by mismanaging the Modification Program.

Obama’s Agends is America’s Tsunami!

By: Richard H. Frank

 Over the past four years, beginning with the Presidential Campaign for the 2008 election we have listened to both political parties proclaim that the economy and job creation was the number one priority for their administration should they be elected. The American public was forced to listen to the hollow promises of “Hope and Change” that would fundamentally change America and the world should Obama’s liberal progressive agenda be adopted. Since that time (2009) what have we endured as a nation?

  • Average retail price of gasoline has increased 100% from $1.83 in 2009 to $3.66 today.
  • Crude Oil price/barrel increased 135% and we still lack a cohesive energy policy.
  • Unemployment rate continues to hover between 9 and 10% even with the government’s alteration in the method for calculating the number.
  • Number of food stamp recipients increased by 22% and rising.
  • Number of long term underemployed 146.2% increase.
  • Government’s solution to spend our way to recovery has increased the national debt by 32.2% to reach $14.0 trillion.
  • Over 6 million homes currently in foreclosure in spite or TARP monies given to the banks to implement mortgage loan modification programs.
  • Our health care industry costs continuing the upward spiral out of control due to the liberal progressives ramming the unpopular legislation dubbed “Obama care” down the throats of Americans over their overwhelming objections.

The travesty to all of these situations is that they are the result of our Federal Government overstepping the enumerated powers defined in our Constitution. The first 5 items listed above could be immediately impacted and reversed if the Federal Government and its agencies would get out of the way of the free enterprise system and develop a comprehensive energy policy for America that does not change with every congressional and presidential election. Energy independence for America will result in establishing a free market price for oil and not that controlled by Mideast cartels.

The $816 billion that was spent on stimulus by the Administration and the 111th Congress accomplished just one thing. That was to create a 2% increase in government sector jobs; jobs which must be paid for with the sweat of those Americans working in the private sector.

Today, the announcement was made that the housing market reached its lowest level in the past 9 years. The resulting loss in equity to those seniors that have invested in their homes while raising their families in order to provide for a return after retirement find themselves facing a future without an equity nest-egg with which to supplement retirement and in many cases foreclosure as the banks refuse to respond to their request for loan modifications.

Lastly, we now are finding out what is in the “Affordable Health Care Law” forced upon every American as part of the “Hope and Change” agenda of this administration. Each and every argument set forth in opposition to this law is now proving to be true. Twenty-six states are suing the Federal Government for the law either being unconstitutional or for its violation of the 10th Amendment provision upholding States sovergnity.

The mid-term elections of 2010 expressed the will of the people against continued uncontrolled spending and limiting the size of the Federal Government. Yet, just four short months following that election, Congress and the President, act as though the election never took place and are conducting business as usual.  There are 31% of Americans that approve of the Presidents management of our economy. The remaining 69% are tired of his unending platitudes and proclamations that jobs and the economy are his number one priority and that we must stop spending when he continues to proceed without a budget for 2011 and has the nerve to present a $3.7 trillion proposal to Congress for 2012 that contains an additional $1.6 trillion deficit.

If stupidity, or doubletalk, could be considered a high crime or misdemeanor we would have cause to remove this unqualified novice from office. Unfortunately, we must rely upon the 112th Congress to keep him in check.  Many will say that we are destined for gridlock as long as Harry Reid sets the agenda in the Senate. I would gladly endure the next two years of gridlock until we can replaced Obama, Reid, Pelosi and RINOs who refuse to take the hard decisions to address the budget and unsustainable entitlements that have bankrupted this once great nation, and elect men of principle to put America on a course to true recovery.

The California Syndrome

by Richard H. Frank

Thirty days before the 2010 mid-term elections we see, once again, the politics of issues turn into the politics of personal destruction. Candidates that lack any legislative record upon which to base their candidacy revert to the old standby of politics of personal destruction.

The most outrageous example of this is the “October Surprise” sprung upon the California Candidate for Governor Meg Whitman charging her with hypocrisy for having employed an illegal alien for over nine years and firing her for political reasons when learning of her illegal immigration status.

Mrs. Whitman campaigned on strict enforcement of immigration laws and punishment for those employers that abuse the law and hire illegals.  Her political opponents hope to derail her campaign by accusing her of violating the very laws she is pledging to uphold.

Let’s examine the facts:

  • The Whitmans hired their housekeeper through an employment agency charged with verification of the legal status of employees for their  clients.
  • Nicky Diaz, the housekeeper, provided fraudulent documentation in the form of a driver’s license and social security number as proof of her legal status.
  • After hiring Nicky Diaz, the Whitmans complied with the law by paying social security and all local and state employment taxes required of an employer.
  • Upon receiving a notification that Nicky Diaz’ social security number provided did not match information on record for that number, the Whitmans referred the matter to Nicky to have her straighten out any errors with her agency for the record.

The real issues for any candidate for Governor to be concerned with become lost by a contrived attack upon a candidate posing a threat to the Liberal Progressive politics that have brought California to the brink of bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, many residents and potential voters have grown up to expect the nanny state to provide for them as opposed to accepting personal responsibility for themselves and their families.

The perfect illustration as to how divisive “politics of personal destruction” can become, was evident for all to view this week when pollster Frank Luntz hosted a focus group to discuss the potential charges against Meg Whitman of having employed an illegal Mexican alien.  The group seemed to be divided into three factions each of which held passionate views hinging upon violent, regarding the “politics of personal destruction.”

A group consisting of people estimated at 50+ year of age supported Whitman’s position and felt Nicky Diaz was responsible for her situation, was being used by Whitman’s opposition and should be prosecuted and deported for her fraudulent actions.  They held the values and principles upon which the Nation was founded and the held the respect for law above political rhetoric.

A group that consisted mainly of Hispanics and blacks supported Nicky Diaz and felt Whitman was a hypocrite and treated Ms. Diaz unfairly.  They openly supported minority preferences and in one case an attacker, who identified herself as a teacher, indicated she would do “anything necessary to provide for her family” inferring she would even break the law if necessary.

Lastly, there was a group of women that were openly hostile to Meg Whitman and  seemed content to criticize her on every issue, totally disregarding her success at running a successful business as a Corporate CEO.

Every fact presented in favor of Meg Whitman was dismissed out of hand as not being relevant.  Two thirds of the group rejected America as being a country of laws and inferred that our laws discriminated against them on a personal and ethnic basis.  An orderly discussion escalated into talking over each other and raising voices to just under a shout.

So what did I learn from this sampling of California residents:

  • Many young people in California are products of the nanny state having been afforded all the advantages of preferential legislation meant to make up for sins of past discrimination.
  • Respect for our Constitution Values and Principles and the rule of law are at risk in California.  Rulings of activist judges have eroded respect for the will of the voters and the State legislature.
  • The entitlement mentality evident within the Focus Group was proof of the root cause for the state’s financial woes.

All of the above result in what I all “the California syndrome” and if allowed to spread across the Untied States will end our Representative Republic.  California needs a strong professional business executive, not a warmed over 60’s Woodstock groupie, if the State is to be saved from bankruptcy.  The remaining 49 states do not want to be taxed for,  nor will Congress support a financial bailout, for California.

Yet we see the average voter more interested in Nicky Diaz’ situation than in saving their state.  So much for the “California Syndrome.”

“Not an Option, but an Obligation!”

By: Richard H. Frank

The President’s statement upon relieving General McChrystal from command of the forces in Afghanistan was exactly correct and has ramifications that reach far beyond the alleged statements revealed in the Rolling Stone article. Certainly the General and his staff were well aware of their oath as officers in the military and the explicit terms contained within the “Uniform Code of Military Justice.”  We may never know what prompted the alleged criticism of Obama, Biden and the Pentagon staff by the General and  his team but it is not beyond belief that “Rules of Engagement,” and availability of resources to conduct the Afghanistan mission are the underlying factors with the military’s discontent with the Administration. All this being said, McChrystal and his staff chose the wrong time and place to vent their discontent and were rightly relieved of command.

“Not an option, but an obligation” applies equally to President Obama and his Administration as it does to the military.  Obama’s blatant position not to enforce “existing immigration law” rises every bit to the level of obligation as does the alleged McChrystal statements.  If insubordination is sufficient to remove a General from his command, dereliction of duty by the President should constitute grounds for impeachment.  Unfortunately, the Democratically-controlled Congress would never institute such action against Obama since his refusal to enforce the law and secure our borders does not meet with his agenda to force amnesty for illegals as part of “comprehensive immigration reform.”  His actions amount to blackmail and verge upon being a “high crime and misdemeanor” while an obvious disregard to uphold his oath of the Office of the President of the United States.

To date, President Obama has mastered the “art of insulation” by using his Administration, Secretaries and Czars to implement his agenda.  The most recent example is Secretary of Interior Salazar attempting to circumvent the Federal Judge’s decision lifting the moratorium on oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.  Should Salazar and Obama succeed, unemployment will surge and energy prices will soar and create a burden upon every American family.  Those that are so naive as to believe that BP is going to reimburse the Gulf Oil workers for this moratorium are in for a shock.  Continued vilification by the Administration of BP will ultimately result in their declaration of bankruptcy of BP America with the only losers being “We the People.”  Every action taken by the Obama Administration makes his motives more suspect with the ultimate result being nationalization of this country’s energy industry.

To date, we have seen banking, Wall Street, insurance, health care and the automotive industries fall prey to Obama’s Marxist ideology.  He and his Administration have set their sights upon the communications industry and the internet with regulations designed to silence all opposition and effectively make the First Amendment to our Constitution irrelevant.  If we are to remain a Representative Republic, we must insist upon Government adhering to the  Constitution as written.  To date, the liberal progressives have neutered the Tenth Amendment, extended the powers of the Executive Branch beyond those explicit in the Constitution and are continuing their assault upon the First and Second Amendments.  Lest we stand up against this shift in Government towards tyranny in the 2010 and 2012 elections we may be relegated to remembering America that was as a legend or a fairy tale.  Adhering to the Constitution by government is “Not an Option, But an Obligation!”