October 16, 2013-Groundhog Day in Washington, D.C.

by Richard H. Frank

The politicians in Washington D.C., especially Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, are marking October 16, 2013 as a victory over Republicans in the House of Representatives with the passage of an extension to the CR and the debt limit extension until after the first of the year. In reality, the Senate Bill accomplished absolutely nothing and was a replay of the 2011 budget crisis. Just as in the movie “Groundhog Day” every American can prepare for a replay of the same old “crap” – just another day.

The only accomplishment of this legislation is to incur an additional $1 trillion of debt over the next 60 days for Obama to spend and redistribute as he deems appropriate.

I seem to remember his statements and vote against the debt limit increase in 2006 as such actions would be irresponsible and un-American. Now he has the audacity to proclaim that extending the debt limit does not increase our debt by a single dime. I wonder where he studied money and banking. Obviously not in the Wharton School of Economics. I also seem to remember he appointed the Simpson Bowles Commission to study and make recommendations on how to bring Government spending under control and eventually balance the Federal budget.

Because the Commission recommendations addressed entitlement reform, Obama immediately rejected the recommendations out of hand and for the past four years has ignored his own Commission’s findings.

Following the loss of control in the House by Democrats in the 2010 mid-term election, Obama’s solution to our economic woes was to appoint a Super Committee charged with solving the ongoing problems of continuing deficits and structuring a “grand bargain” that would raise revenues without reducing the current out of control spending.

To assure success of the Super Committee, Obama and his administration championed the creation of the “Budget Control Act” passed and signed into law in 2011 that contained a provision for across the board spending cuts in every branch of government known as the “Sequester.” When the Super Committee failed to reach agreement and eventually disbanded, Obama and his administration freaked out as sequester took over and they predicted Armageddon for the nation. Two years have passed and the spending reductions have been implemented without Armageddon taking place.

The government shutdown of 2013 began on October 1, 2013 with the furlough of some 700,000 non-essential government employees. If my math and understanding of the English language is correct, that means approximately one-third of the Federal Government is non-essential; then it seems to reason that one-third of the Federal budget should be scrutinized for elimination.

One-third of our current spending in a $3.2 trillion budget equates to $1 trillion in reductions that brings the Federal budget close to balancing. However, Congress would never consider addressing the obvious as some special interest might be put at risk when logic prevails over politics.

The real answer to the Government’s spending problem is to rid Congress of the professional politicians through strict term limits that would rid the Government of those who put personal advancement over doing the work and will of “We the People.”

Unfortunately, this would require that someone sponsor a Constitutional Amendment to achieve that end. This, along with a Balanced Budget Amendment, although talked about, are much like the mythical unicorn – beautiful to imagine but far from reality.

So following October 16, 2013, another groundhog day, our nation is taking a giant step along the path to becoming Greece.

May God have mercy on our children and grandchildren who are destined to bear the burden of debt thrust upon them by a Federal bureaucracy concerned only with their ideology and egos.

Should we fail to fundamentally alter the makeup of Congress in the 2014 mid-term and put a stop to the devastating regulation of our economy and redistribution ideology held by Barack Obama and his minions, he will have achieved his stated goal to “fundamentally change America” to become a European-style democracy and cease as a Representative Republic.

Congress-America’s Version of the Keystone Cops!

by Richard H. Frank

I cannot imagine what a visitor from any foreign country must think about the workings of the United States Congress should they be watching “CSpan” and the debate on raising the national debt ceiling and addressing the uncontrolled spending of our Federal Government.  As each member of the House and Senate rises to speak, they all agree that default on the national debt is unacceptable and that the limit must be raised.  Additionally, they all agree that spending must be curtailed and reversed if the Republic is to survive.  Agreement on these two principles is unanimous, but having once uttered these words, that is where agreement ends.  Political ideology and the  urge to campaign for re-election with one branch of our equal branches of Government to hold power and reign over the others takes precident.

There seems to be no room for serious debate on the issues.  Debate has evolved to a non-stop spewing of talking points, outright lies, demagoging and fear tactics by our elected Representatives in an effort to blame the opposing political party for creating the problems we face instead of taking the appropriate steps to solve the immediate crisis.

The practice of running down the crisis clock in a last-ditch effort to achieve a political advantage has become the norm in Washington, D.C. and the tactic employed to pass legislation through Congress that places a band-aid on a ruptured artery.

The real solution to our fiscal dilemma is to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution that will force Congress to live within our Nation’s means.  Why would Congress object to such an Amendment when up to 80% of Americans favor the change to our Constitution?  The answer is simple. Congress wishes to have no limits placed upon their powers, which is truly what our Founding Fathers worried about most.  Today, our Congress simply ignores the existing limitations enumerated in the Constitution and passes whatever suits their political advantage.

The gamesmanship also,staggers the imagination.  Once considered a bastion of ideas, support for the American people, and firm patriotic adherence to the Constitution and to the Rules of each House of Congress, the daily maneuverings on the Hill have turned into backroom, closed-door deals, last-minute upsmanship, and complete disdain of the desires of the American people.  When watching the passionate,  patriotic speech of the newly elected member of the Senate, Marco Rubio, yesterday, one wonders how soon the corruption and arrogance of Washington will take to get to him.  You saw that it is inevitable (unless We the People stay engaged), that he could become a sullen, uninterested, old Rino like Senator Lautenburg, who followed Rubio’s speech with “words, just words” concocted by his staff.

America got it right in 2010 and sent the message to Congress that they will no longer accept ‘business as usual” in Congress.  So today, like carnivores, Congress turns on their own to achieve their ends, and anyone that goes against the Establishment is labeled as an extremist set upon destruction of the American way of life.

To make matters worse, our man-child President, Barack Obama, does not hesitate to use fear tactics against our senior citizens, veterans and military personnel to advance his socialist agenda and re-election goals.  For myself, an American that worked and contributed to this Nation for 48 working years, served honorably in the military and cared for my family, I can only wonder what has become of this magnificent Nation, founded under God.

We have become addicted to the welfare state and entitlements to the point that less than half of our citizens contribute to the Nation through taxes.  The Federal Government has all but destroyed the meaning of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution and made the States and the people subservient to Washington, D.C.

Apparently, we need to send the message once again in 2012 to Congress that the old guard politicians will be out along with Barack Obama and be replaced by those persons having a regard for our Constitution and the principles set forth by our  Founding Fathers.

The Politics of the Destruction of America

by: Richard H. Frank

The latest crisis created by the Washington, D.C.  elites is the impending default on the National Debt, which according to the Obama Administration would put the world’s financial system into irreversible  collapse.  Having  reached the existing debt limit of $14.3 trillion established by Congress, Barack Obama has resorted to the fallback tactic of “fear” to frighten seniors and military personnel in hopes they will call upon their representatives to increase the debt limit by $2.5 trillion.

Barack Obama’s statement that he could not guarantee payments to Social Security recipients and military personnel is ridiculous and Congress should call his bluff by drafting legislation that forces prioritizing payments for interest on the national debt first followed by the military and Social Security in this order with all other program priorities established in order of importance by the Department of the Treasury.

Passage of such legislation in the House of Representatives will insure the  nation’s priorities are established and assure the full faith and credit of the nation.  If  either the Senate or the President refuses to pass and sign this legislation, the public will become acutely aware of where the political priorities of the Administration may be found.

To quote Paul Ryan “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem!”  Barack Obama states that he will support a “big picture” program that cuts $4 trillion from spending over the next 10 years while increasing taxes on the rich.  The rich are those Americans earning $200,000 annually.  His proposal has no specifics as to what programs will be cut to avert the crisis but insists Congress must increase the debt limit by $2.5 trillion now so he can save $4 trillion over the next 10 years.  Where are the savings (spending cuts) to come from Mr. President?

The House of Representatives has identified $2.5 trillion in cost cuts over 10 years.

Consider a sampling of 55 programs and question why they are included in the budget in the first place.

  • Eliminate duplicate education programs.  HR 2274 removes 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
  • Amtrak subsidies $1.6 billion  annually.
  • National Endowments for The Arts – $167.5 million annually, and Humanities $1.675 million annually.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting subsidies $445 million annually
  • Legal  Services corporation $420 million annually
  • Community Development Fund $4.5 billion annually
  • Federal Travel Budget – Cut by 1/2  – $7.5 billion annually
  • Department of Energy Grants to States – $530 million annually.
  • Title Xx Family Planning – $318 million annually.
  • Federal Office Space Acquisition – $864 million annually.
  • Repeal of the David-Bacon Act – $1 billion annually.
  • Repeal of Obamacare – $1.0 billion annually

Elimination of Government wasteful spending in itself could eliminate the need to extend the Nation’s debt limit.  Instead of forcing the President to cut spending, Senate Mitch McConnell is suggesting that Congress support increasing the limit by $2.5 trillion through the 2012 elections.  This action in essence is unconstitutional and gives that authority(the power of the purse) to the Executive  Branch, instead of Congress, and to his Majesty Barack Obama.

The President is using the budget and debt limit crisis as his ticket to re-election and furthering the transition fo America from a democratic Representative Republic  to a European Socialist style democracy.  The artificial deadlines set by Obama are a mythical drop-dead date made to make him appear as in control of a situation which he has no conception of how to solve.

Congress must stand firm and accept no increase in the debt limit without substantial cost cutting to specific programs coupled with a Balanced Budget Amendment, and no increases in taxes; anything short of these major  reforms will ultimately lead to the Destruction of America.

The 111th Congress-Arrogant or Just Plain Stupid!

by Richard H. Frank

The Washington, D.C. soap opera continues as members in the House of Representatives and the Senate play chicken with the economic future of this Nation and the American people.  From the perspective of many Americans it would be better if the 111th Congress would just take a recess and go home until January 5th, 2011 when the New 112th Congress takes office.

Apparently, these legislators did not get the message from the electorate in the 2010 mid-term elections.  If they did, then we are witness to pure arrogance and disdain for their constituents on the part of Congress.

The existing debt limit for Government is now $14.1 trillion and has been raised ten times in recent years.  Should the Omnibus Spending Bill now in the Senate be passed to fund our Government, America will incur an additional $1.1 trillion in debt which will exceed the existing limit.  Passing this legislation will add insult to injury and “We the People” should keep a list of each and every member of Congress that votes for the 1924+ page monstrosity and show them the door when they come up for re-election.

Call your Congressmen and Senators and tell them “enough is enough” and that they must vote against out-of- control Government spending or face the consequences for their actions.

Should they not get the message that they work for us, we will give them a chance to work for someone else beginning in 2012.  The world is watching our ability and willingness to tackle our out-of-control spending and Congress is not heeding the warnings of those world economists that have said our economic standing in the world can turn on a dime based upon our actions.  Just say “No.”