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.

Obama’s State of the Union Speech More Appropriate for February 2 (Groundhog Day)!

by Richard H. Frank

Prior to the President’s address to a joint session to Congress and the Nation on the State of the Union, I reviewed my blog following last year’s speech entitled “Reality vs. Campaign Rhetoric.”

I fear, as in the movie ‘Groundhog Day” we are destined to relive his speech over and over again until he gets it right or until the electorate gets it right and votes Obama out of office.

The true measure of the “State of the Union” is outlined in last year’s blog and if anything has changed since then, the change has been for the worse.  I expect the Obama speechwriters labored tirelessly to find some undistorted facts for him to claim as his accomplishments.  Obama lives in a different universe than does the rest of America.  Unfortunately, Congress shares much of that same universe as Obama and is willing to accept the myths he spreads as accomplishments.  Half truths are obvious throughout his 65-minute performance to convince America that he deserves 4 more years as President.  Consider these statements compared to the facts:

  • Three million jobs have been created over the past 22 months.  According to the Administration’s own labor statistics, 1.7 million jobs have been lost over the same period since he was sworn into office.
  • His Administration saved the auto industry and GM is once again the world’s #1 producer of automobiles.  The truth remains that last year GM sold an estimated 9 million vehicles worldwide, a number that includes sales of manufacturers in which GM holds minority investments such as in China.  Volkswagan and Toyoto would be the first to challenge Obama’s claim as holding the sales title should their numbers include figures from Scania and truck makers like Man.  As for Toyota, their 2011 sales haven’t been reported for the full year and their estimate is that sales will be down by 7.9 million units as a result of the natural disasters and tsunami experienced in Japan and Thailand.  Should  Toyoto include Wuling sales they will outperform the new GM. As with the employment figures in the U.S., if the numbers don’t support your position, just change the base until they do.
  • “What’s happening in  Detroit can happen elsewhere!”  May God forbid this will come to pass.  Detroit has been transformed into a ghetto as the result of liberal, Progressive, Democrat Government over four decades.  This once proud city with a population making it the 4th largest in the nation in the past has degraded into a wasteland and now occupies 18th position in the nation.  The intercity population has fallen to under 800,000 and is surrounded by decay and a failing infrastructure, and vacant buildings and home line the city’s neighborhoods and provide a magnet for crime.  This area has a 28% unemployment rate under Obama.  Once known as the “Motor City” and the “Capital of Democracy”, it acquired the title of “Murder City” in the 1980s and has continued its rapid degradation since then.  If Detroit provides Obama’s vision for this nation, something is radically wrong with our President’s vision.
  • “Oil production in  America is the highest it has been in 8 years.”  I recall reading an article indicating this increase amounts to less than 2 million barrels a day.   The existing capacity to produce is somewhere between 10 to 20 million barrels per day if it were not for the onerous Government Regulations stifling production.

His statement that he has directed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to purchase eco biofuel for the Navy once again provides a subsidy to an industry that cannot compete in the free market environment.  Official estimates are that this biodiesel will cost the American taxpayers up to 38% more than diesel fuel derived from crude oil.

Since our President has virtually no record of accomplishment to base his campaign for reelection upon, he must resort to tactics that attack Congress, demonize his Republican opponents and avoid at all costs a debate on “Obamacare.”

His tactics were evident with his every utterance last night:

  • His subtle accusation that Congress is not doings its job in comparison to our military completing its mission in Iraq and Afghanistan shifts the blame to others for his lack of leadership.
  • Stating that every American must do and pay their fair share and play by the same rules is pure class warfare and anti-capitalism.
  • His statement that over the past decade, the rich have benefitted and the poor have suffered due to a tax structure having rates that favor the rich is a distortion of the truth and blatantly false.  An individual having $1 million earnings from investment pays tax at a rate of 15% or $150,000 on those capital gains.  This is over and above the original 25-36% they paid on their investment when taxed as wages.  That amounted to between $250,000 and  $360,000 paid in taxes on those investment dollars.  When Obama compares the total $400,000 to $510,000 paid n investment income to Warren Buffet’s secretary paying 28% on $50,000 income, or $5600, the distortion becomes ridiculous and not worthy of our President.
  • Following his pledge to open 75% of Federal lands and offshore regions for energy production, he qualified the promise by stating he would not walk away from his promise of clean energy and development fo safe energy.  He avoided any mention of the Keystone XL pipeline in his remarks and took refuge behind the “BP horizon” incident in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In one breath he advocated smaller Government and less regulation when in the next he advocated appointment by executive fiat three new agencies composed of a “trade enforcement unit,” “executive order to remove red tape for infrastructure projects ” and creation of a special unit in the Justice Department to investigate financial crime, sounds  like growing the Government and more regulation to me.
  • His call for “comprehensive immigration reform” came against a statement that our southern borders are safer and more secure than ever.  A claim heavily disputed by Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.  Although not mentioned by name, his proposed reform smacked with elements of the “Dream Act” or amnesty for the children of illegals presently here in America.

The only positive to be found following the President’s address was the focus groups composed of Republicans, Democrats and Independents are no longer swallowing Obama’s rhetoric.

During the 2010 mid-term election “We the People” made our voices heard loud and clear.  Returning to the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the limits of government defined in our Constitution is imperative in this Republic is to survive while individual freedom to prosper is the opportunity provided for every American.

When two-thirds of Americans believe this country is on the “wrong course” under the Obama Administration, it is their duty in the upcoming 2012 election to change course by removing that Administration and replace it with individuals dedicated to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

Distortion of Reality

by Richard H. Frank

Over the past nine months the American public has been force-fed a steady diet of political rhetoric as we  rapidly approach the 2012 General Election.  Cable news and networks desperate to fill 24 hours of broadcast air time call upon a never-ending legion of pundits to predict the outcome of votes in the primary election race to pick candidates for the respective political parties.  Should you believe the pundits, the process would be all over with the results from Iowa and New Hampshire.  The reality is that these votes and caucus results choose less than 2% of he delegates needed to establish a candidate.

Today, the talking heads are quick to state that no candidate for the Republican nomination has caught fire with the electorate and assumed a commanding lead to secure the nomination.  Somehow, they have lost perspective that eight individuals were seeking the nomination as recently as last week.  Under these circumstances simple math would indicate that any candidate receiving 12.5% of the vote or more should be considered a serious contender.

The news media however, with their liberal bias has skewed the debates away from addressing the issues facing our nation and purposely structured their questions to foster attacks by one nominee upon the other.  The underlying purpose of their distortions is to tilt the momentum away from whomever the Republican nominee eventually emerges toward the re-election of Barack Obama.  Their bias is plain to see, not only in questioning of candidates during the debates but in the post-debate analysis by carefully selected pundits.

Fortunately, for Republicans and independents, the field of prospective candidates for the Republican nomination will be pared down significantly following the Florida primary.  That is when media distortion and bias will be evident for all to see, especially as they “position” each GOP frontrunner as wanting to kill the benefits given to senior citizens, a huge voting block of that state. If you think the primary race has been ugly, just wait until a Republican candidate has to go up against Barack Obama.

The media distortions will kick into high gear as the media places Obama on a pedestal for his “achievements” in foreign policy, his leadership as Commander-in-Chief and his accomplishments in fostering economic recovery, all of which are distortions of reality.  One only needs to look around to know the truth about Obama’s socialist policies.  Unemployment and under-employment about 25%, foreclosures accelerating at a rate to reach 6 million or more, 47 million American families receiving food stamps; inflation creeping upward to decimate our middle-income families and senior citizens, and  a national debt of 16 trillion.

These are the realities given to us by Barack Obama and his administration.  I for one do not believe this Nation and our Republic can withstand four more years of Barack Obama and his administration’s policies.

Keep these realities in front of you as you endure the continuing media onslaught of distortions over the coming eleven months  before the November, 2012 General Election.

 

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.

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.

Time For Obama’s Actions to Reflect his Words!

By: Richard H. Frank

Barack Obama’s address to the White House press corps this morning concerning the release of his birth certificate, which was a distraction (his words) to his efforts to solve America’s problems, puts him on the spot to seriously solve the nations economic ills.

So now Mister President let’s get serious (again your words) and take the initiative to address the following National issues:

  • Adopt a cohesive, comprehensive energy policy that takes the initiative against the Mideast oil cartels to manipulate oil prices. Lift the moratorium against exploration and drilling in the U.S., and issue permits currently held up in bureaucratic agencies immediately.
  • Stop vilifying any individual, political party or private organization that takes issue with your agenda. Demonizing  the Oil, Gas and Coal industries, and calling political opponents like Donald Trump a sideshow carnival barker in lieu of a debate of the issues is less than presidential.
  • Adopt a budget plan, or legislation, that assures fiscal responsibility for the future national budgets including addressing entitlements, tax reform and deficit spending.
  • Stop the use of and repeal executive orders that circumvent Congress and are not authorized under the Constitution that impose onerous regulations on “We the People” in support of any political ideology.
  • Restore the Constitutional authority guaranteed to every State under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution and limit the size and scope of the Federal Government to those powers enumerated in the Constitution.
Mr. President, these are the issues affecting the very existence of our Republic and the well-being of every American. You are now on record again as of 9:45 am, April 27, 2011 to address the above issues and get serious about their solutions.
Once again America has heard his rhetoric, but we won’t hold our breath waiting for leadership to come from our neophyte President, Barack Obama. After all he is above such detailed analysis and solutions and will just delegate the problems to one of his Czars to come up with some progressive, Marxist pipe dream to tax our way out of these problems  and  the next crisis.

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.