The Conditioning of America!

By: Richard H. Frank

Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to “fundamentally change America” has been launched and implemented little by little over the past 3 1/2 years. His administration’s initiatives to achieve “fundamental change” have been marked by a three-pronged assault upon the free enterprise system and our Constitution itself. The coordinated attack starts with onerous legislative efforts, which usually fail, followed by pushing the proposed objective through executive and or administrative fiat. If either of these approaches raise the ire of Congress , or the electorate, the administration turns to the Justice Department to challenge and intimidate those that oppose their initiatives.

The liberal progressives are tenacious in pursuit of their socialist ideology. They have persisted in pushing their agenda for nearly 100 years and with the election of Barack Obama have virtually brought this nation to its knees as a result of the accumulated burden of unfunded entitlements, out of control spending and a national debt on the fast track to $20 trillion over the next four years. A debt that outstrips GDP and burdens our children for generations to come.

Achieving energy independence is a prime example of how the liberals condition the population to accept “fundamental change” and their agenda. The Obama administration stands directly in the path of the free market initiatives to develop our own natural resources through exploration and development on Federally-controlled lands and offshore paying homage to the special interests that support their agenda. New sources of fossil fuel and environmentally-safe technology for extracting these resources are demagogued as unproven and a threat to the environment. As a result the increasing demand for oil world-wide increases the price of crude and sends gasoline prices soaring along with every commodity requiring transport to the market place. The Obama administration contends that there is little they can do to impact oil prices and that lifting restrictions and increasing permits will take too long to impact the world market. This is the same story we have heard for the past 30 years when, if we had acted, we would not be faced with a looming crisis for future supply at a price dictated by supply and demand as opposed to that determined by the far east oil cartel.

Until the price of a gallon of gasoline approaches $5.00 and the electorate rebels against the government inaction and their outright obstruction to increasing domestic supply the administration resorts to short-term actions like releasing oil from the strategic reserve as a means to manipulate prices just enough to cause the price to drop just below $4.00 per gallon. In the interim the President condemns big oil for raping the public and making obscene profits when the truth is big oil makes about 8 cents for every gallon of gasoline sold while the Federal government makes 26 cents, more than three times that of the oil companies.

This shell game orchestrated by the Obama administration is intended to condition the public to accepting $3.50 per gallon as the new normal and forget that just 3 1/2 years ago we paid only $1.80 per gallon in 2009 when Obama took office. Over time just as a trainer does with his dog, the public is conditioned to gladly accept the 100% increase as a good thing.

Then we have “Obamacare” sold to America by liberals in Washington in support of the President as the panacea that would provide “affordable” health insurance to every American. For over two years Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama preached the following rhetoric until many Americans believed them.

  • If you like your current health care plan and doctor you can keep them.
  • The average family will save $2500.00 per year in premiums under Obamacare.
  • Obamacare will not increase the deficit – not by a single dime.
  • The Affordable Health Care Law mandate is Constitutional under provisions of the commerce clause.

The first three statements above have been proven to be untrue and we will soon hear from the Supreme Court if the fourth is in fact Constitutional or not.

Three and one half years after Obama and his administration assumed power the standard of living for many Americans has deteriorated. We are told that the new norm for the middle class will include limited opportunity for jobs and sustained unemployment levels of 8% or higher. Higher taxes will be required for all income levels to support expanded entitlement programs with food stamps alone growing to include in excess of  50 million families.

For those senior citizens living on a fixed income the prospect for the future appears bleak. The inflationary impact from energy prices coupled with the necessary rationing of health care under Obamacare are the first harbingers of the “fundamental” changes yet to come. The conditioning process for the elderly includes loss of equity in their homes and the value of their pensions earned over all their working years. Expendable income vanishes rapidly for this segment of American society more quickly than for any other.

The conditioning process will proceed even faster should Obama be reelected until the standard of living we experienced in the 20th century will just be a fading memory. The “fundamental Change” Obama seeks is to achieve a social democracy where we are dependant upon government for survival. Statism fosters such dependency on government for subsistence. When that dependency can no longer be supported through taxation of the free enterprise system those conditioned to rely upon the so-called entitlements eventually turn upon their benefactor, the state, and rebel. We are witness to this in Greece and many other European social democracies.

Generations yet unborn will not know how this nation was conditioned to give up freedom and self-reliance in the name of fairness and turned America into a nation of mediocrity from the vibrant , exceptional free society experienced in the past.

Those of us that have experienced the blessings of freedom embodied in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution must stand firm against “fundamental change’ in America and return to the conservative values and principles that made America the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

Who Do You Trust?

by Richard H. Frank

Today the Labor Department reported the unemployment rate in the U.S. dropped to 8.3% due to the creation of 240,000 jobs during the month of January.  The talking heads on television are ecstatic about this development and Obama’s policies finally resulting in job creation.  I just don’t understand the math when the same Government agency has reported over 350,000 first-time claims for unemployment each week over the same time period.  If my multiplication skills are correct, the first-time claims equal 1,400,000 job losses over the same period.  In order for the private sector to have had a net gain of 240,000 jobs in January, a total of 1,640,000 jobs would have to have been generated during the month. That rate equates to more than 19 million jobs per year outpacing the record set during the Reagan administration. Not likely!

There also seems to be some sleight of hand present when it comes to calculations for the unemployment rate.  When the trend is unfavorable to Obama politically, the base number for the workforce is adjusted downward making the percentage look better.  However, as people re-enter the workforce there appears to be no adjustment to the base again making the percentage look better, and a trend line favoring Obama’s policies.

The real measures for recovery are quite different from the Government manipulated numbers.  The economy can hardly be touted as being on the rebound when:

  • The annual growth in GDP is less than 2%.  Historical recovery growth ranges between 5 and 7% annually.
  • The annual budget deficit is running at a rate of $1 trillion/year with the debt ceiling now set at $16.2 trillion.
  • Unemployment benefits of 99 weeks are about to expire and a further extension is expected.

Even the Congressional Budget Office has a more realistic view of the recovery over the long term and is forecasting tepid growth in the GDP of around 2% per year and unemployment increasing to between 9 and 10% by 2013.

So long as the Obama Administration stubbornly clings to its anti-oil policy and anti-coal policy and pushes for redistribution of wealth in America we will see our standard of living continue to erode and see America  join Europe as a nation in decline.

Look around your community and ask yourself where the growth is and who do you know that has been hired in a good-paying  job with the prospect of long-term employment.  Ask yourself “Have my personal finances improved or am I paying more today for gasoline, energy, food and health care?”

Lastly, and more importantly, are you better off today than before the Obama presidency and what is the future prospect for your children achieving a better standard of living.

Trust yourself and not those having a political agenda and the answer will become quite clear.

Obama’s Shell Game – A Recipe For Disaster!

By: Richard H. Frank

On November 16, 2011 I wrote a blog entitled “On The Road To Greece” in an effort to point out how the professional spenders in Congress and the Obama White House lack any sense of responsibility to take action to cut spending by our Federal Government. Today the national debt stands at $15.1 trillion and is rapidly approaching the increased debt ceiling approved by Congress a little over six weeks ago and equals $48,500 for each and every citizen in America or more than twice the median income for our families.

What is even more frustrating is that Congress has failed to pass a Federal budget since August 29, 2009. Instead the Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have resorted to passing continuing resolutions to fund our government in short spurts ranging from six months to one year at a time. The result  is spending levels of $3.6 trillion annually and deficits of $1.3 trillion each year since Obama assumed the Presidency. Obama’s shell game seems to be one of creating a fiscal crisis that threatens to shut down the government and then insist on increasing the debt limit in order to borrow more money from the Chinese  to satisfy the unending thirst to spend in Washington. When confronted with resistance from Congress Obama resorts to threats  and intimidation in the form of withholding payments to our military and their families and not paying our senior citizens their social security in a timely manner. This is always followed with a promise that he will appoint some commission to make proposals on how to reduce spending and balance the budget. Such was his promise in 2009 with the appointment of the Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility whose recommendations he totally ignored and the bi-partisan Super Committee that he charged with finding $1.2 trillion in spending cuts following the latest increase to the debt ceiling. Notice how Obama plays the shell game and removes himself from ever having to make a decision and then placing the blame for inaction on someone else.

So now our brilliant leader has come to the conclusion that Congress must once again increase the debt limit by $1.2 trillion additionally in order to sustain our present level of spending or massive tax increases will result as the only other alternative available for his administration. After all, if the rich would only pay a little more of their “fair Share” all this unpleasantness could be avoided. Obviously we are approaching an election year and Obama needs to remedy this situation before it becomes a distraction to his re-election efforts.

Unfortunately for every American citizen it is also an election for Congress many of whom are anxious not to have the debt ceiling issue obscure their efforts for re-election as well. So be prepared to bend over and grab your ankles once more as our President and the Democrats in the Senate slip another debt limit increase to us with a promise that a solution to our fiscal woes remains hidden under one of the shells remaining on the table. Also, don’t look for the Senate and Harry Reid to make any budget proposals for 2012 as it won’t be necessary until after the election and they will take care of it in 2013 as an issue high on Obama’s agenda following his re-election.

With the next increase in the debt limit Obama and the Congress will have pressed the express down button on the elevator to our becoming Greece. The only way we can stop this insanity is to clean house in November 2012 and vote out any member of Congress that places his allegiance to his party over his oath to uphold the Constitution and do the job he or she was elected to do. That also goes for Obama as well and his ilk. After three years of his administration how is that “Hope and Change” working out for you?

Wake up America before it is too late to correct course and return to the Nation of limited government and free enterprise envisioned by our Founders. We must not allow the career politicians to usurp our heritage of a “Government of, by and for the People being replaced by a socialist democratic machine akin to those found in Europe.

On the Road to Greece

by Richard H. Frank

It is ten days until the Congressional “super committee” punches this nation’s ticket on the express train to becoming Greece.  The latest double talk coming out of Washington is evidence of the disdain our elected Representatives hold for the very constituents that voted to place them in office.  They  must think the American public is stupid and will accept the conclusion that since there cannot be any bi-partisan agreement on budget cuts, that they will set new spending targets and return their recommendations to each congressional committee to finalize the reductions.  Here we go again, “Ring around the Rosie,” right back to where we started with the national debt exploding at an unsustainable rate and reaching $15 trillion on November 16, 2011, equalling the gross domestic product of the country.

As for the mandatory cuts of $600 billion in defense spending accompanied by an equal amount in domestic programs, don’t hold your breath.  One  must put the size and scope of the problem in perspective.  The current forecasted spending for this fiscal year is approximately $3.6 trillion with anticipated revenues of approximately $2.1 trillion for a projected deficit of $1.5 trillion.  If every federal agency was mandated to cut their expenditures by 15% annually, the projected reduction would amount to $540 billion creating an annual deficit of about $960 billion in addition to interest being paid on the debt of $454 billion for a net loss in cash flow in excess of $1.4 trillion annually.

When Congress speaks of a grand scheme to cut $4.5 trillion over ten years, it is a joke when viewed in light of the continuing $1.4 trillion short fall in revenue each year.  The expectation that every government agency will cut spending by 15% is likewise a “fairytale.”  The balance sheet of the Federal Government can only be brought into equilibrium by a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases equal to 51% of our current spending levels.

Assuming the 51%, or $1.8 trillion is achieved through bi-partisan congressional actions, coupled with increased revenues from economic recovery, it would take 30+ years to totally eliminate the national debt.  So much for the future of our children and grandchildren.  Keep in mind the scenario above assumes we never exceed a federal spending level of $3.6 trillion annually.  Considering the unfunded future entitlements amount to $60 trillion plus are not accounted for in the spending assumptions it is apparent that sooner or later the Republic will face the same fate that has arisen in the European Union.  Greece is the first to fall, closedly followed by Italy and Spain.

The size and scope of the overhaul needed by or Federal Government is mind-boggling.   Unfortunately, Congress does not possess the cojones to take action to correct these problems created by government over the past 70 years and many liberal elites and their followers on the left will not support the necessary overhaul.  Hence, we find ourselves on the road to Greece with our nation in decline and the standard of living eroding for every American.

Finding the Truth Obscured by all the Political Rhetoric

by Richard H. Frank

The political silly season is in high gear as we approach the 2012 general elections.  The attempt to affix blame for our current economic woes upon the opposing political party takes precedent over finding clear solutions to problems (legislated policies) that have accumulated for more than 70 years.  To make matters worse, we have an inexperienced President, Barack Obama, who has not the slightest clue as to how to solve the problems that have resulted in our nation accumulating over $14 trillion in debt, let alone some $60 trillion in unfunded entitlements.  Thus, he has returned to demonizing Wall Street, banks and the rich among us.

His latest stimulus “The American Jobs Act,” has failed due to non-support from Democrats within his own political party.  These defections from the flock of Obama followers recognize that more of the wrong medicine will not cure what ails this nation.  Yet our President has taken once again to the route of castigating Congress, specifically Republicans, for failing to understand  his proposed legislation and therefore will break the bill into smaller pieces in order to get it passed.

Unfortunately, the Republican candidates seem to lack a clear vision for solving our current situation.  They realize that jobs must be created in order to increase the flow of revenue to the Federal Treasury.  They acknowledge that only the private sector can create jobs that do not take from the Treasury as does those associated with more Government and regulation.  They also attest to the fact that Government must get out of the way of free market forces if we are to return to economic growth.  Additionally, they all agree that spending must be cut if we are to achieve fiscal stability and retire our national debt.  What to do is not the question, but how to do it is. Detailed plans from specific candidates are forthcoming and must address the 3 elements outlined below.

The current demonstrations against Wall Street and the rich are a reflection of the frustrations being felt across the nation.  However, these frustrations are misdirected and the demonstrations should be directed against Washington, D.C. legislators.  Left to their own devices the demonstrators have opened themselves to infiltration by Marxist, Communist influences that run contrary to the very founding principles of this nation.

The real solution to our economic problems touch every segment of American society and will be painful and must encompass each of the following elements.

  1. Reduce Government interference with the free market enterprise system.
  2. Stop deficit spending by our Federal Government through a balanced budget amendment.
  3. Abolish the existing tax code and replace it with a simple broad-based fair system unable to be manipulated by politicians in response to pressure from special interest groups.

Unfortunately, the current Administration believes that only Government can control and regulate the national economy and welfare.  The three solutions described above run contrary to their very belief and ideology and thus will never see the light of day under an Obama Presidency.  Additionally, with the current entitlement mentality persistent with approximately 50% of Americans, it is uncertain that they will be willing to give up anything to participate in salvaging this nation from financial ruin.

Left to the current  Administration, the burden will fall upon the middle class and elderly to sacrifice our standard of living to slow the steady march to the demise of the greatest Republic in the history of the World.

History Repeats Itself: Same Problems Different Century!

by Richard H. Frank

Failure by our elected Government representatives to study history and learn from the mistakes of our forefathers condemns them to repeat those mistakes.  Unfortunately for all of us, our elected representatives today consider themselves to possess superior intellect to those that preceded them and cling to ideological solutions guaranteed to solve all of our problems.  The trend toward “Big Government” and the “Nanny State” over the past 100 years bears undisputed evidence that Government continues to impose solutions guaranteed to repeat prior failures (mistakes) and provide no sustainable solutions to our economic and social problems.

The decade beginning in 1930 and ending in 1939 evidences that the same world issues and crises were present then that are present today.  Only the names of individuals and national entity are changed while the problems remain the same.  Consider the following  occurrences in the month of September:

1930 – The National Socialist Part (Nazis) rises to become the second largest political  party in Germany.  (They campaign on “hope and change” that included full employment and socialized medicine).

Sept 9, 1930 – U.S. Department of Labor restricts immigration of foreign laborers in an effort to combat chronic unemployment.

2011 – Immigration problem persists in the U..S. with two major exceptions:  illegal immigrants number between 12-20 million; the Federal Government refuses to enforce existing law and uses executive fiat to grant pseudo amnesty to those individuals awaiting deportation.

Sept 30, 1930 – German President Hindenburg asks for dictatorial powers to push financial reforms.  

2010 – Democrat-controlled Congress passes the Dodd/Frank Financial Reform Act stifling economic growth in the U.S.

Sept 30, 1931 – London, England experiences unemployed riot.  Police in London clashed with demonstrators as opposition grew to the Government’s new austerity programs.  Most of the demonstrators were unemployed workers who opposed recent reduction in benefits.

2011 – Riots in London erupt as opposition to austerity programs imposed to bring stability to the nation’s financial markets.

Sept 12, 1932 – Germany, Von Papen dissolves Reichstag after vote of no confidence opening the door for Hitler to form a new government as chancellor.

2011 – The Mideast spring in Egypt, Libya and Syria, as riots overthrow dictator’s governments in favor of Muslim based ideology.

Sept 21 & 30 1933 – FDR orders outlay of $75 million to clothe and feed homeless. FDR program to feed and clothe the needy increased from $75 million to $700 million. There were 3.5 million on relief rolls.

2011 – Obama Administration and   Democrat Congress increase unemployment eligibility to 99 weeks.  45 million Americans receiving food stamps.

Sept 5, 1934 – Hitler predicts Reich will survive for 1000 years.

2011 – Radical Islam continues jihad against the West and insists  that Shirea Law be recognized where Muslims are involved.

Sept 30, 1934 – FDR  pleads for a truce between capital and labor in order to give his NRA initiative a chance to succeed.

2011 – Barack Obama pleads with Congress for more stimulus to give his $787 billion national recover act a chance to succeed.

Sept 1, 1935 – Third Reich adopts swastika as national flag.

2008 – Barack Obama contends America should adopt a new, less violent, national anthem to reflect his pacifist agenda.

Sept 23, 1935 – Nazis plan to boycott all Jewish firms.

2011 – Obama’s Cap and Trade Policy to destroy the free market led by regulations curtailing operation of the U. S. Coal Industry.

Sept 1, 1936 – $1 billion rise forecast in the Federal deficit for 1937.

2011 – $16.2 trillion deficit forecast for 2012 with $1.3 trillion occurring in 2011.

Sept 1, 1936 – German Army holds the largest manuevers since 1914.

2011 – Iran and Syria hold manuevers as revolution in Egypt and Libya continues.  Different nations, same Islamic ideology.

Sept 3, 1937 – John L. Lewis warns FDR to back the CIO or lose labor support.  

2011 – SEIU and Government employee unions warn President Obama to support their agenda or lose support.  National Labor Relations Board sues Boeing to stop their moving operations to a “Right to Work State.  Obama courts big labor during Labor Day speech.

Sept 30, 1937 – League of Nations threatens to end non-intervention policy if Italy keeps troops in Spain.  

Today, the United  Nations resembles the League of Nations and is equally impotent.

Sept 15,22, 1938 – Neville Chamberlain flies to Berlin to meet with Hitler and finalize the “Non-Aggression Agreement in Munich.” Chamberlain assures Britain Hitler wishes for peace.

2009 – Barack Obama Mideast and European apology tour of pacification.

Sept 25, 1938 – FDR appeals to Hitler to negotiate with the Czech President in response to demonstration of 20,000 at Madison Square Garden.

2011 – Barack Obama – Appeal to the President of Syria and Libya to step aside in view of domestic demonstrations

Sept. 30, 1938 – Four powers sign accord allowing Germany to take the Sudetenland.

2011 – Obama’s support for having Israel return to the pre-1967 borders and create a Palestinian State.

Sept, 1939 – A world divided!  1.  German troops invade Poland, 2.  Martial law declared in France, 3.  Britain and France declare War on Germany.

Each of the above instances are chronicled in “100 Years of News, 20th Century Day by Day.”  The successes and failures in dealing with each situation and resulting  crisis provide a guide for our Government today in dealing with these same issues if only they would take the time to study our history.  The solution to these problems for America resides in our maintenance of a strong national defense, support of free market principles with minimum regulation by Government and aggressively pursuing energy independence for our Nation.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and our liberal Progressive Congress have failed to recognize the lessons learned in history.  Government creates nothing but regulation that stifles economic growth.  Regulation is necessary to control unscrupulous practices that harm individuals and destroy our environment but should be limited to these areas and not intended to usurp congressional authority enumerated under our Constitution.

Individual states are given the authority to legislate and manage the territory within their sovereign borders under the 10th Amendment.  The Federal Government needs to get out of the way and allow the States to assume their responsibility under the Constitution.

Should our Government continue to ignore history they are destined to make the same devastating blunders and mistakes of the past that have led our Nation to the brink of extinction!

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.