Posts Tagged ‘debt’

Our Constitutional Crisis

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the debt ceiling and government shutdown is not about spending, and it is not about winning or loosing a mere political battle, it is a Constitutional crisis. The needless rhetoric that has been thrown around during this debate has been a way to change the subject to mere name calling and fear mongering. The malpractice of the media that calls itself unbiased has been even more pathetic than usual and is a large part of why the real issue has been overlooked. Our republic is jeopardized by this type of emotional manipulation of us, by the political elite, the media and intellectuals.

 

The Constitutional principle in question is separation of powers and the power of Congress to control spending. This is the only fundamental power left to the neutered legislative branch of our government. In this debate, as it now appears, the Executive branch has seized almost all of the powers the Constitution bestowed on the Legislative branch. The power of the purse, as it is called, has now fallen to the Executive as has the power to legislate via the Bureaucracy. Once this episode is over the Legislative branch will have no power whatsoever. Even the power of oversight has been taken from the impotent Legislature by Executive privilege, stonewalling and outright lying under oath.

 

The rhetoric that has been used by Obama, the media and the democrats has been over the top. They have called the Tea Party wing of the republican party, bomb throwers, terrorists, and hostage takers among other detestable things. The toadies in the media have backed the progressive elite up even to the point of agreeing with them. Elenore Clift is one such example Sunday on the McLaughlin Group. To draw a moral equivalence between people who engage in such evil acts as killing innocents, with people who are making a principled stand for Constitutional rule, shows one of two things. Either those who draw the equivalence are horribly broken inside or they are liars. Both disqualify them from holding any power over anyone.

 

I hadn’t written The Frog and the Scorpion a month before the AP phone scandal broke. We later found out FOX news reporters phones were being tapped as well. The press feigned outrage but in fact quivered in their boots. Terrified of the power they had bestowed upon the new imperial President. Today news reporters have few sources and those they do meet them in dark alleys and fear they are being followed. Story after story has come out describing the fear the press holds of this president. In this latest struggle between the imperial president and the legislature, the media has uniformly followed the the talking points of their oppressor. Perhaps they have Stockholm Syndrome? Regardless, if it was out of fear, cognitive dissonance or blind obedience, they have done themselves and our country a great disservice.

 

The separation of powers was supposed to be a bulwark against an executive becoming imperial. Our republic was founded on the knowledge, historically tyranny has risen from the executive branch, in a republic. Montesquieu made the argument that the Judiciary should be separated from the Executive Branch to further weaken it and prevent this outcome. Our founding fathers agreed and placed the Judicial Branch into our Constitution. The provision for a free press was an idea incorporated into our Constitution as another means to prevent tyranny. As this sad episode has shown us, this president has effectively neutered the Legislative Branch, he has whipped the unbiased media into line, he disregards Judicial rulings, he enforces the law arbitrarily and he is caught lying to the American people without consequence. In the Federalist Papers Madison, Jay and Hamilton warn this would be the end of our republic and limited government. I fear that unless drastic measures are not taken, like impeachment or installing a NUMA, to reign in this president, WE will be the generation that lost liberty… to our eternal shame.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

On the Debt Limit Debate

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the upcoming debt ceiling debate could be won handily by the republicans, if they only use some good old down Eastern shrewdness. The debate has been framed by Obama, the democrats and the unbiased media. They have established a false narrative. The future of the United States is at stake, so to allow a false narrative to not only be established, (republicans have no control over the unbiased media’s narrative), but to allow it to become commonly understood, would be tantamount to stabbing the republican voters in the back. Unfortunately the republican Elite specialize in stabbing their base, conservatives and libertarians, in the back. Not only the future of the United States is at risk from the gamesmanship the Elite in Washington are playing, the very threat of the American government defaulting on it’s debt, the US being the World’s bank, puts the whole of the planet at risk as Obama score points on republicans. We are poorly served by both parties in this, the republicans due to their love of the unbiased media and hatred of their voters, and the democrats who push down the gas peddle of spending even as the ultimate debt cliff looms closer…

The unbiased media are working as hard as they can to insure that Obama and the democrats win the hearts and minds of the American people. To the power structure in Washington, Constitutionalists are the enemy, we the people are cannon fodder, in their war against the Constitution. We are to be cajoled, bullied and forced if need be, to agree that the Constitution of the United States is the real problem. The Elite use every underhanded means to this end. They call anyone who brings up the Constitution an extremist. It is perfectly acceptable for an economist to attack a conservative or libertarian, for fighting that the government live within it’s means, but if they attack the policies of democrats, that are demonstrably damaging our economy, they are attacked, even tenured professors are threatened with loosing their jobs if they speak out. The Elite in both the media and Washington have never seen a Right they didn’t want to take away. The debt limit debate is another manufactured “crisis” they can exploit in their war on liberty.

To counter such powerful propaganda and outright lies, Conservative, libertarian and any politician who shuns the progressive agenda, must be wise as an owl and sly as a fox. No matter what the constitutionalists do or say, in an effort to limit the growth of government taxation, spending and intrusiveness, the unbiased media will misquote, demonize and even doctor video or audio tape, to make their point. Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America was called his Contract On America by the unbiased media. To expect different would be foolish.

In order to counter such powerful political riptides, the US House of Representatives should pass a bill numbering priorities to spending… if the debt ceiling is not raised by the deadline. Such as, making debt payments number one, Social Security payments number two and continuing listing all departments in priority, not only for today’s debt ceiling debate but for all that come in the future. Then send it to the Senate.

Harry Reid would have to allow a vote especially as the debt limit ceiling gets closer. With a bill on his desk, to spare the United States and the rest of the World, from the worst case scenario if the limit is passed, even the unbiased media would have to question it. Pressure would mount on Reid both to suppress the bill and to allow it to come to a vote. Obama would want such a bill suppressed because the lack of it gives Obama the upper hand in the propaganda wars. If such a bill were to land on Obama’s desk he would not sign it. Doing so would let republicans off the hook but not signing it would give Obama the blame. Obama would be faced with a political loose loose.

No matter if Harry Reid suppresses this bill, or President Obama refuses to sign it, all the political shrapnel would squarely hit the democrats and Obama. Even the most unbiased media person will be forced to report the truth… (most likely a distorted version of the truth), that a bill to eliminate the worst effects of a debt ceiling, not only for today’s debate but for future debt ceiling debates, being passed in the House, was suppressed by the Senate or was vetoed by Obama. This would infuriate foreign countries and their news outlets, because Obama would be directly threatening their countries as well, with his brinkmanship. The World’s economy would continue to be put at risk by future debt standoffs, a way out was at hand, but Obama and the Democrats stood in the way.

The answers the Elite are giving are simply laughable. (Or they would be if there wasn’t such import in the question). Bernanke, claiming the US should eliminate all debt ceilings, is just plain stupid. That is telling your wife, “The new gold card is maxed out already honey… what we need is an unlimited platinum card.” Clearly this is stupid writ large. The trillion dollar coin idea is just as ludicrous. If the US minted a trillion dollar coin, and deposited it with the FED, it would be instant hyper inflation. The raising revenues siren call is blatantly self serving for the Elite. That is obvious because there is no amount of revenue, the system the politicians have created out of our Constitutional republic, could ever meet the greed of the Elite. For every dollar in gained revenue these reprobates will spend two. More revenue is like tossing more kindling on a fire. It might suppress the flames for a moment but when the fires poke through they will only get higher.

There are always revenues coming in to government from the various taxes. This revenue is sufficient to pay for the most basic services of government like debt service, social security and scaled back defense, the entirety of the bureaucracy would have to be shut down though. The problem comes in when the President seizes the power of the purse from Congress and uses it for political purposes. Power of the purse was given to Congress, intentionally, by the framers of our Constitution. It is supposed to limit the power of the executive. This executive however, has wrested the power of the purse from Congress, largely due to Harry Reid and the Senate abdicating their responsibility to pass a budget. Obama can simply use his power to spend, or as in this case, not to spend, to strategically punish the American people and institutions, ginning up anger against republicans who the unbiased media will be vilifying for Obama’s choices.

The debt limit debate is perfectly suited for Obama to exploit to his advantage unless the House makes a decisive move. Passing a bill into law, that enumerates the spending priorities by congressional mandate, would not only set the World’s minds at rest, knowing the US will not default on it’s obligations, but would return the power of the purse to it’s rightful owners. The spending could be debated without catastrophe looming, and any political backlash would be a worry of all factions, not just the one who wants our Constitutional republic to endure.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Credit and Blame

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, blame is the property of republicans and credit is the bailiwick of democrats, regardless of facts. A case in point, the democrats will never sign a deal with the republicans to avoid the fiscal cliff, unless the republicans are positioned to take all responsibility for the resultant economic disaster looming in the next few years. To put a finer point on this idea, Obama knows the republicans are terrified of blame, and so will turn on their values, constituents and our country, to avoid it. The unbiased media will dutifully carry the water and blame the republicans for any and all negative outcomes while crediting democrats with any small good economic news.

This paradigm is the history of American politics in the Twentieth Century. Historical examples would fill volumes. Woodrow Wilson escaped all blame for the disastrous economic policies he enacted that put the US into a deeper recession in 1920 than the one Obama inherited. It was only the enlightened policies of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge that created the economic conditions that led to the economic boom in the 1920’s. Herbert Hoover, the quintessential republican progressive, enacted typically Keynesian policies after the downturn of 1929. His policies were essentially exactly the same as Franklin Roosevelt, but Roosevelt was called a hero, despite the horrendous economy the US labored under during his entire term. Hoover was even blamed for the lack of rain during the Dust Bowl. Roosevelt was credited as a hero of the people despite his naked attacks on Our Constitution coupled with the poor economic performance of the country under his watch.

The unbiased media can be relied on, by the democrats and progressives, to do whatever is necessary to blame republicans and anyone who proposes a return to Constitutional rule. They leap to the defense of democrats and attack republicans at every turn. In the 1990’s Gingrich ran on a contract with America. It was called the contract ON America by the unbiased press. In it he pledged to balance the budget. For this he was called foolish. Clinton claimed it was impossible. When The republicans won the House of Representatives, for the first time since the Second World War, due to the contract with America, Gingrich enacted every segment of his plan. The result was vitriol piled on by the unbiased media… and a balanced budget. Gingrich was then driven from office and Clinton got the credit for Gingrich’s balanced budget.

Obama is doing everything in his power to drive the US off the fiscal cliff. The unbiased media ignore this fact and set up the republicans for blame if and when the talks fail. Obama has given the republicans a noose to put around their necks, by calling on them to declare what taxes they would raise, knowing they will happily hang themselves to get some credit. This sets up the republicans for the inevitable political backlash that will result from raising taxes, and the negative economic consequences, while Obama has taken all spending cuts off the table. Obama has no fear of receiving blame for anything that happens during his watch because it is the unbiased media’s job to ensure that political outcome.

Republicans are falling all over themselves to reach an agreement with the democrats because they know this too. They seek to avoid blame and garner some credit. They have given up on basic republican ideals like limited government, low taxes, and deficit reduction to try, futilely, to avoid blame. In doing so they guarantee blame will land at their doorstep. They are willing to stab their constituents in the back to get unbiased media praise. Praise that will never come their way. After this they will wring their hands why no one votes for them. Of course no one will vote for a political party that is willing to throw their constituents under the bus to garner favor with their political foes. This is why Romney had such a low turnout. He abandoned his base of 60%, of the US population, for the 10% of undecideds. He got the 10% and lost the 60%.

The upshot is that the republican party will either go the way of the Whigs, a new party rising to replace them, or they will stop seeking to avoid blame, embracing it and cater to their base. The pipe dream of an unbiased media, that gives a republican any credit for anything, is just that… political opium smoke. The future of the American experiment is at stake. The unbiased media have chosen sides, the political establishment has made their decision, it is only the American people who are left in the political wilderness. Our children’s future is put at risk by Obama’s policies, but blame is the bailiwick of republicans, and credit the territory of democrats, ensuring more of the same. To the detriment of everyone on the planet.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

My Day at the Bank

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that:

The bustling city street glistened from the recent rain. Walking down the lane, the sun was poking out from behind the clouds, and my shoulder, turning on the drops still clinging to the leaves into diamonds. I turned and walked into the bank. The banker had called me and wanted to talk.

His mahogany office smelled of paper and ink. A primitive computer sat on his desk. The Banker sat on a overstuffed leather chair. I strode to the chair opposite and plumped down crossing my legs and leaning back. The Banker looked up and smiled, “Sam,” he said, “I wanted to talk over your finances.” He looked down at some papers then continued, “It appears that you have been increasing your spending at 10% or more every year, while your income has only risen 2-3% a year.” He flicks through some papers and shakes his head, “You even project spending increases at 8% for the next ten years while income is projected even lower.”

Furious I spat, “Are you stupid? In that projected budget I cut spending over ten years!” The Banker was aghast and responded, “Your debt to income ratio is getting so out of control that your credit rating is being effected. Some banks down the road have even downgraded your credit” I immediately snapped back, “Are you threatening me? I have lawyers that will look into your finances and believe me, they will find something, and don‘t worry about them, I have already filed lawsuits…” The Banker sat back, breathed out a long sigh and said, “Well, It’s your call.” I stood and walked out. How could he have the audacity to say such things! I went to my CPA.

He sat typing on his laptop, his phone cradled in his shoulder, the smell of cigarettes in the air. I sat down and looked around. His office was cluttered with papers piled and books stacked. “Ok, I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” The accountant Hung up the phone and looked up, “Well, I guess the Banker talked to you.” I stared at him for a few seconds, “I will just take more revenue from the business.” “But if you talk more from your business, you will diminish it’s yield.” He responded, then went on, “The best answer is to establish a budget that you must live under.” “You are acting childish,” I said, “You keep acting like I can cut spending, too many people depend on me, and the dependants are growing every day!” “That is because you buy everyone a free lunch. Most of your debt today, and projected, is for going out to eat.” The accountant replied dryly.

I sat back, again confronted by an imbecile, and said, “Ok, If I have to cut spending I’ll eliminate the security service.” But the fool accountant said, “You live in the most violent neighborhood there is, if you do that, you will certainly be robbed and maybe even killed!” I responded, “You really are dumb aren’t you, if I eliminate my security service, it will demonstrate to the hoodlums and gangs that I pose them no threat and they will like me.” I went on, “they are just people who are misunderstood.” The idiot accountant said, “But a few of your neighbors are building bombs and claiming they want to kill you.” I responded, “I will never be at war with them.”

The accountant sighed and said, “Whatever, but your business is already straining under the draining your giving it. I project your spending will start to increase exponentially due to you promises of future free lunches to more and more people.” I replied, “You keep singing the same old tune, I’ll cut the security service and take more income from my business, stop being such a child and make it work.” I got up and went home.

When I got home my wife met me at the door. “We have to talk about the finances, I don’t like the idea of shutting off the security service or taking more from the business. I want to establish a budget!” She bitched. I had had about as much as I could take, so I slapped her down, right on the doorstep, to the applause of the people I had been feeding. It made me feel so strong, and the cheers, so good.

Too bad my house was broken into, my wife was killed,, my business failed and the people I was supporting starved to death. I just don’t understand how that could have possibly happened?