“Backed By The Full Faith And Credit Of The United States Government”

That’s what my Congressman Peter DeFazio claimed a few years ago when it was pointed out that the “Social Security Trust Fund” had no actual money. He insisted that those T-notes in the file cabinets inside the Robert Byrd Memorial caves in West Virginia were good because they were “Backed By The Full Faith And Credit Of The United States Government”.

Uhh, yeah.

Sayonara Social Security Surpluses » The Foundry

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security surplus will only be $16 billion this year, and only $3 billion next year. In total the recession will shave $150 billion off of the surplus over next three years.

Last year the trustees estimated that Social Security would have a negative cash flow by 2017. But analysts expect that number to move up significantly in this year’s trustees’ report. Gersh then talked to National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare President Barbara Kennelly who claimed there is $2.5 trillion in the Social Security trust fund, and that there is therefore nothing to worry about. Problem is, as Heritage scholars David John and Brian Riedl explain that $2.5 trillion is pure fantasy:

Although it has existed since the 1930s, [the trust fund] got a new purpose back in 1983, when the Greenspan Commission came up with an idea to pay for baby boomers’ future retirements by raising the Social Security tax well above the amount currently needed to fund the program, and putting the extra money in the trust fund. Between 2018, when the program begins running a deficit, and 2042, the trust fund is expected to provide $5.7 trillion, about $100,000 per family, to pay benefits.

One problem: the federal government wasn’t allowed to actually save this money. Since 1939, federal law has required Social Security to “invest” its extra money in Treasury bonds. In other words, the government lends the money to itself. Those funds are then mixed in with all other tax revenue and spent on programs such as education, foreign aid and defense.

So in 2018, when the Social Security program tries to redeem these bonds, the Treasury (having already spent that money over the previous 35 years) won’t be able to repay Social Security from any pre-existing store of cash. Taxpayers will be forced to pay extra taxes in order to fund Social Security’s 40 million retiring baby boomers.

It’s like a family that borrows money from its retirement fund each year to pay for vacations and expensive dinners. When they finally retire, their retirement fund consists of nothing more than paper IOUs.

What it means is that we are going to have our taxes or the Deficit increased in order for the government to pay off on those Treasury Notes.

We paid once and they spent it, now they’re going to make us pay again.

And we trust these people to handle money and keep secrets? Who’s the sucker?

How Things Look From Elsewhere.

Obama pushes US budget despite alarm | The Australian

BARACK Obama is refusing to shift on his ambitious – some say reckless – budget plans, despite warnings at the weekend from one of the US’s most respected forecasters that it will commit Washington to running unsustainable deficits and increase borrowing to more than $US9 trillion ($13.06 trillion) over the next decade.The latest warning from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office will give more weight to a number of moderate Democrat voices in the US Congress, along with Republicans, who are openly questioning the popular President and telling him he needs to make changes.

We’re headed off a cliff and even though those who know are telling PrezBO that he has no clothes he is insisting that he does, but it is their failings that they cannot see them.

As for me, I just refi’d my house at 4.5%, and am taking enough from my equity to close out my credit cards. The S is going to hit the F and I don’t want to be blindsided by skyrocketing interest charges. I don’t know when it’s going to happen, if I did I would be very wealthy. I didn’t anticipate the problems of the last 6 months either. But with the Treasury buying their own bonds with money from a printing press, I think things could get very bad very quickly. I think we’re looking at stagflation that makes the Carter years look like boom times.

Frankly the Clusterf**k in Washington DC is not adding to my confidence. Luckily I’m in a position where it is highly unlikely that I would be laid off. But I figure that paying off my cards and hunkering down for a while until things become more clear can’t hurt.

True Dat!

Mark Steyn

The first two months of the Age of the Hopeychange have been an eye-opener. I expected it to be ideologically distasteful to me, but I didn’t expect it to be so inept. Not because I had any expectations of President Obama’s executive skills. But I assumed he’d have folks around him who could take care of details like governing, while he pranced around as the smiley-face hopeychange frontman. But the bench is still empty save for a handful of mediocrities. And the disconnect between the smoothly scripted mush and what’s actually happening makes the telepromptered cool look even more ridiculous.

Like Mark, I voted for the other guy. When he lost I shrugged. Obama might be a leftist, but he’s not stupid.

Well, I still think he’s not stupid. But I don’t think there is anyone in the current administration that knows what the hell they are doing. That includes not only in the financial field but in foreign policy, the military or dealing with people outside the party faithful.

A tax cheat for a Treasury Secretary, but no staff. The whole process from nomination to approval is in a shambles. Obama’s expansion of the NSC into the areas of State and the military looks to me like he is building a Potemkin Cabinet with the real power being in the staff of the NSC, who face no hearing process. That’s kind of scary.

Frankly, I am not feeling any attempt at leadership coming from the White House. He has let Congress and especially Nancy Pelosi call the shots in enacting his budget. She has larded it up with a veritable Democrat wish list from the past 40 years.

People were upset with the spending by Bush and the Republicans but it doesn’t look like the Democrats think that anger could be applied to them. Worst of all, most of the changes Obama is proposing are permanent. There is virtually no chance that, having enacted them. a later Congress could do away with them. Hell, no one has been able to get rid of the Energy Dept despite the fact that they have not done anything to make energy cheaper or more widely available. In fact, under the current administration their mission seems to be to kowtow to the environmental lobby. They seem to think the all our energy needs could be met by Tofu Ranchers and Unicorn Herders.

Suffice it to say that I do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling about this. It appears to me that Obama is moving us toward a more centrally controlled authoritarian system. Socialism or a Mussolini type of fascism. Both are inherently authoritarian and I care for neither.

Earl Is A Bloomin Idiot

GovTrack: House Record: BETTER CHOICES FOR AMERICANS (111-h20090310-5)

Mr. Speaker, it was interesting to listen to my good friend from North Carolina with her interpretation.

You know, it’s interesting. My Republican friends simply had no solution other than to gut the infrastructure investments that are so critical, the important health care initiatives, and replace them with more tax cuts, most of which would not meet the needs of people who need help the most.

The “people who need them most” means politicians like himself that are trying to make the people understand that all good things come from Washington DC and it is only through the good graces of people like himself that the common man would surely be wandering the streets, helpless and starving if people like Earl were not there to take care of them.

I will tell you, I invite people to look at what we did. Indeed, the $6 billion that is flowing to my State of Oregon over the next 2 years has made a critical difference to support State services, to be able to invest in cleaning up the environment, to save and create jobs. I’ve posted a guide on my Web site to each and every one of those provisions–62 pages in all–where people can track for themselves. There are not, for example, tax increases for most Americans. My friend from North Carolina is just flat wrong. If she would research the bill that we approved here on the floor, she would find that in fact 95 percent of the people get tax cuts. Nobody is having tax increases over the next couple of years, even the very wealthy. And it’s what, in fact, America has asked for.

If you want one of these jobs you had better toe the line and know when to shut up. He or any of his union friends had better not hear any grumbling about the Unions or anything else if you want to keep working. The next thing is to get rid of the secret ballot in State elections as well. He wants to make sure no one is intimidated or gets any ideas by listening to the Party’s opponents. That’s freedom you can believe in! Besides, all these people are depending on Earl to keep the funding going so they won’t lose their jobs, they couldn’t possibly take care of themselves if he didn’t do it for them.

As far as 95% of people getting tax cuts go, Earl should go through the bill and point out all those tax cuts for us. You DO want to help us, don’t you, Earl?

I would suggest that it’s time for us to step back from some of this goofy back and forth because I think there are a wide range of areas that we can agree that reform needs to be made.

Sure, transparency in the Congress and White House would be a start. How about all Congressmen and Senators posting their calenders on their web pages so we can see who they’re meeting with? They could also post any contributions to the internet within 72 hrs, that would be reform.

But what Earl’s talking about is reforming the government in order to give bureaucrats more control over people. He wants them to control where you live, where you work, how much you get paid, how you travel to work, who you will see when you’re sick and what they will be allowed to do. You can have your First and Second Amendment Rights, within reason. And guess who’s going to decide what is reasonable? That’s right! Earl and the Party bureaucrats.

I like what I heard from President Obama on the campaign trail and what I heard from the rostrum here when the President addressed his first joint session of Congress. There are a number of areas of health, energy, tax, and agriculture that actually can bring people together. Now is not the time for commissions and study groups or for mindless political bickering; now is the time to actually do what we know we can accomplish.

That’s right, folks. There is no time for discussion and debate. It is time for the government to take complete control. President Obama and Earl are going to tell you exactly what you need to do and when to do it. They will listen to  no backtalk or defeatist rhetoric. They know exactly what the best use of your skills are and where. You will be assigned a job, a house (on a bus route, of course) a domestic partner (No whining that you’re not gay, The Leaders  know more about you than you do.) Everyone will achieve diversity, since it is the highest virtue. (Government workers will move among you with color charts in order to classify everyone so they can be moved to achieve the highest diversity) Don’t worry. The government is here to help. (And you had better damn well accept it if you want to keep working and eating)

There are multiple areas where it isn’t so much picking low-hanging fruit, it’s actually picking that fruit up off the ground. We need to articulate a vision of how we’re going to accomplish that. For example, in the area of agriculture, it’s not just the problem in the past that rich sugar farmers have had more clout than poor hungry children. There are ways in reforming agriculture that we can put more money in the pocket of more ranchers and farmers and less into the pockets of the wealthy few who don’t need it.

OK Earl. I’m trying to grasp this economic system of yours. We’re going to help the farmers by not giving them subsidies? Or are we going to give them subsides, but tax the hell out of them if they produce too much?

I’m a little unclear on this. Are we going to take the poor hungry children and make them work on the farm? What about their schooling? Or is this going to be one of those huge factory farms that has been converted to a collective? Big factory farms are OK if they’re collective farms, but not if they’re private enterprise.

We can implement reforms to help change the bureaucracy with things like crop insurance reform, that independent observers have identified for years, but Congress hasn’t had the will to follow through on fixing it. We can pay farmers and ranchers to protect the environment, not to damage it. We can concentrate on strengthening American agriculture and producing more healthy food rather than a few commodities, frankly, that the world has enough of.

Well, thank goodness Earl is there to help the farmers (the ones that are not rich) from having to plant all those crops there is no demand for.

In the area of health, the research is in. There are a number of communities across the country that are low cost, high performing where people live longer and get sick less often. In fact, we see some of the areas of the country where we are spending the most government money in Medicare actually is not helping people. Rather, many of those areas actually have worse results because people get unnecessary tests and procedures, not concentrating on things that will make them healthy. We can reward the low-cost, high-performing areas while we send signals to those that are spending lots of money and not performing very well. Let’s send the message there’s a bipartisan consensus that we’re going to fix that.

So in order to stop this kind of thing from happening you’re going to have a board that decides, on a nationwide basis, what treatments and medication will be allowed? No heart surgery from Grandpa, he’s too old and no longer productive. The board can decide that anyone over the age of 70, unless they are or are related to a politician, is “life unworthy of life”? That worked well in other times, didn’t it?

In the area of transportation, there is a vast coalition that has emerged around the country that wants to help the Federal Government get more money and streamline the Federal partnership. They are willing to work with us so that there are more choices, higher standards, and sustainable revenue. The Chamber of Commerce, organized labor, environmentalists, transit advocate bicyclists, all combine in an approach to make America’s transportation partnership with State and local governments better and stronger.

Workers Of the World Unite! If you’re not in one of those groups you’re just SOL (look it up). You’re part of the problem and you will be dealt with accordingly.

By the way, what part of the Constitution gives the Federal government a say in local transportation issues?

We don’t need to rely on the same old patterns. We can, in this Congress, take action that unite people all across the spectrum all across the country. We’ve got a President who can use the bully pulpit. I strongly urge that we work with him for a new vision, more value, better choices for Americans, and to do it now.

All rise and sing with me. “Democratic Uber Alles, uber alles in der Welt”

Diplomacy!

Obama to Drop Shield if Russia Helps with Limbaugh

(2009-03-05) — President Barack Obama has reportedly written another private note to his Russian counterpart offering to halt deployment of a defensive nuclear missile shield in Europe, this time in exchange for Russia’s help in dealing with U.S. talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.

The White House immediately denied the existence of the letter to President Dmitry Medvedev, but acknowledged “ongoing internal deliberations over a measured response using all the tools of U.S. power, including diplomacy.”

Dealing with Mr. Limbaugh has taken the Obama administration’s focus off of other global trouble spots like North Korea, Iran and Chicago.

Wyden and Merkley Stand Up For Corruption.

Raided Lobby Firm Still a Force on Capitol Hill

Both Oregon Senators voted to protect the earmarks of the lobbying firm with close ties to Democrats.

U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote

To prohibit taxpayer dollars from being earmarked to 14 clients of a lobbying firm under Federal investigation for making campaign donations in exchange for political favors for the group’s clients.

This is change?

The Problem With The Republicans Is That They’re Not Democrats

iowahawk: I Daresay It Is Time We Deal With the Mutineers Aboard the S.S. Conservatism

This was, as you know, the theme of the National Topsider’s exclusive January conference at the private Breakers Club in Nassau where I hosted a veritable murderer’s row of top tory thinkers to diagnose the troubles with conservatism. Dame Peggy Noonan was there, of course, along with Kathleen Parker, Douglas Kmiec, and those two mighty Davids of conservative intellect, Brooks and Frum. But enough of the namedropping. The order of the day, after mixed badminton doubles, was to formulate an Rx for our ailing patient. In this regard we were in surprising accord: in order to survive, conservativism simply must start appealing to a better class of people. The sad fact of the matter, as we noted, is that one no longer finds admitted conservatives in any of America’s prestige zip codes nor the faculty redoubts of her selective academies. During our Bermuda summit many gambits were proposed to win back America’s elite electoral precincts from the left; sponsoring various hip hop colloquia at the better Ivies, supporting integration of gays into Nascar, endorsing state ownership of the means of production. Rod Dreher, whose sensational exegesis “Crunchy Cons” sold well over 200 copies last year, recommended a full embrace of the environmental movement, which as I understand is quite the rage among youthful voters and the trendsetting thespians of Hollywood. Good and bold ideas all, and necessary steps to get the movement started again. But there remains a daunting obstacle – namely, the benighted rubes who constitute so much of our so-called “base,” and whose existence make it nigh on impossible to recruit their social betters.

White House More Interested In Destroying Critics Than Saving Economy.

Rush Job: Inside Dems’ Limbaugh plan – Jonathan Martin – POLITICO.com

Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party, a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.

The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh’s name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.

Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s.

When Nixon was found to have an “enemies list” it was a scandal. It looks like Obama has his own “plumbers”.

It appears that the Obama White house is spending a considerable amount of time and energy on trying to destroy opposition voices. Why?

Maybe since he has never faced any actual opposition he doesn’t have any idea of how to deal with it. Judging by the news stories it is now unpatriotic to oppose him. Is he taking lessons from Fidel and Hugo on how to handle opponents?

It looks like those who were ridiculed for being worried about our new President using his powers against dissenters are owed an apology.

The Governor William J. Lepetomane Act of 2009*

HR80: CAPTIVE PRIMATE SAFETY ACT 111-h20090223-17

We have a patchwork framework right now where the States, some have stepped up and recognized the responsibility and the danger to their citizens and have outlawed it. Others are starting to move in this direction and have some registration, for example.

But what we do with this legislation is provide a framework so that it is possible to actually have some enforcement. But what I mentioned in terms of the analogy, and I am sorry I wasn’t clear to my friend from Georgia, that when you don’t have a framework, when States are free to do whatever they want and you can transport things across State borders, it undercuts the abilities of the States that are trying to protect their citizens like with animal fighting.

You see, in the minds of the supporters of this bill, everything under the sun is under the jurisdiction of the United States Congress. The States are relegated to minor status merely supporting the policies of the much smarter and more caring members of the House and Senate.

Have any of these accomplished legislators ever heard of the 10th Amendment? I would say “yes” since they craft this bill as a “Interstate Commerce” bill instead of the micro-management of the States which it is.

But although they lip service to the Amendment, their discussions make clear that the actual purpose is the banning of the possession of Primates as pet, which the States are more than capable of addressing if they choose to. But the august members of the House do not think the States or the people are capable of managing their own lives without input from them.

In the spirit of Governor William J Lepetomane *”We’ve gotta protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen!” The U.S Congress has shown once again that their primary purpose is grandstanding for the newspapers and TV cameras rather than dealing with their actual duties.