DEATH THROES OF A DYING REPUBLIC?

Will our constitutional republic die with a whimper, struggle to survive and loose, or survive to fight another day? All I can say is some are fighting, but our news media does little to chronicle their efforts.

House sends massive, 2-year budget deal to President Trump’s desk (foxnews.com)

The House of Representatives early Friday voted to approve a massive, 2-year budget package that also funds the government through March 23, ending a brief government shutdown.

The 240-186 vote sends the $400 billion spending plan to President Donald Trump, who has promised to sign it.

The massive budget deal, which includes a stopgap temporary measure to prevent a government shutdown, includes $300 billion for the military. The agreement also adds $89 billion in overdue disaster aid for hurricane-slammed Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a politically charged increase in the government’s borrowing cap and a grab bag of health and tax provisions. (continued here)

Read the text of the FOX NEWS story and it sounds like a fight with the Democrats over the so-called DREAMERS, the illegal aliens we are supposed to feel sorry for because our leaders refused to protect our borders, cannot even keep unaccompanied children out of our country. Well, that is not what the fight is about. Watch the video where Niel Cavuto interviews Senator Rand Paul.

Is Senator Paul crystal clear? Not exactly. To control the military budget, he thinks we need to bring our troops home, get them out of all the little wars. That’s relevant. Congress is clearly too chicken to vote on these little wars. However, listen to what he says about the broken budget process. What the fight is over who controls trillions of dollars of government spending. Do the people we elect follow transparent, orderly procedures when they spend our money, or do a few party bosses put together massive bills, give no one time to read them, and demand up or down votes, not allowing any serious debate or amendments?

CSPAN has the full video, over 12 hours long: Senate Session, Part 1
The Senate votes 71-28 to pass a six week funding bill and a two year budget deal, and sends it over to the House. Underneath there is an outline. So we can enter that video where we choose. So we can listen to Senators Mitch McConnell’s and Chuck Schumer’s excuse for their bipartisan excuse for spendthrift fraud, waste, and abuse. Even Senator Jeff Flake had no use for this thing: Jeff Flake THIS IS ALL WITH A NATIONAL DEBT OF $20 TRILLION A YEAR, CURRENT DEFICITS RUNNING $600 BILLION TO $700 BILLION. However, Senator Mike Lee probably provides the best explanation of what is broken: Mike Lee MR. PRESIDENT, WE FIND OURSELVES IN ANOTHER POSITION LIKE WE FOUND OURSELVES IN BEFORE. WE FIND OURSELVES IN A POSITION IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT SPENDING ... Here is an excerpt.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CANNOT FULFILL ITS ROLE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER IN CHARGE OF THEIR GOVERNMENT WHEN THIS HAPPENS. FOR THIS REASON IT’S A LITTLE DISTURBING THAT A GOVERNMENT THAT SPENDS NEARLY — SPENDS NEARLY $4 TRILLION EVERY YEAR — MAKES IT SPENDING DECISION IN ONE FELL SWOOP AS IT DOES. WHEN WE PASS A CONTINUING RESOLUTION, WHAT WE ARE DOING AS A CONGRESS IS PRESSING A RESET BUTTON. IT KEEPS CURRENT SPENDING LEVELS IN TACT, UNCHANGED AS IF THERE WERE NO REVIEWING BODY, AS IF THERE WERE NO ELECTIONS, AS IF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DIDN’T MATTER AT ALL TO THE PROCESS BY WHICH THEY ARE GOVERNED. THIS IS AN ABDICATION OF OUR ROLE. IT DISCONNECTS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE WONDER WHY THIS IS AN INSTITUTION, CONGRESS, THAT ENJOYS AN APPROVAL RATING BETWEEN 9% AND 14%, MAKING US SLIGHTLY LESS POPULAR THAN FIDEL CASTRO AND THE INFLUENCE OF ISIS WHICH IS RAPIDLY GAINING ON US.

Senator Rand Paul’s speeches are also included in the C-SPAN video, but he has also updated his youtube website. Here are a couple of good ones.

You don’t like Paul’s position on defense spending? Okay. I am not big fan either, but that’s not the issue. The problem is that Congress is not doing what we elected those people to do.

Think about it. This so-called budget deal is just a continuing resolution that funds the government through March 23. The pigs have set themselves up to sell us this same pile of crap once again. This is not a solution. This is not a good deal. This is a scheme for fraud, waste, and abuse.

Why is this happening? Why are we letting this happen? When we allow our politicians to buy  our votes with “other people’s money”, we elect people whose votes are for sale. Because we voted for it, we are getting the government we deserve. It is as simple as that.

If we want to elect politicians we can trust, we must participate in the process. We must vote for leaders who promise to do what we believe will be best for our country, not just what will be best for our own personal pocketbooks.

We have an election this year. If your congressman or senator, Democrat or Republican, just thinks his job is to spend and spend and spend, please vote him or her out.

And don’t ignore the nomination process, especially if you are Republican. Unless we nominate good candidates, we will be stuck with those who ain’t.

 

 

 

25 thoughts on “DEATH THROES OF A DYING REPUBLIC?

  1. The big underlying problem is, only about a third of the budget is discretionary spending. More than 2/3 goes to social insurance (Social security, medicaid, medicare, unemployment compensations, veteran’s benefits, ect). An additional 7 percent (it was seven last year…6 the year before) goes to just interest on the debt. There’s not much left. The military is considered “discretionary”, aka non-mandatory and it takes 15 or so percent of the budget…that’s the biggest item on the chopping block, and about the only one that isn’t a de facto social program, so the liberals like to target it.

    So it’s very very difficult to lower the deficit (not even touching on the debt there), from the spending end. No one is going to touch ss, medicare, medicaid….especially not with all the baby boomers starting to draw from it. That’s political suicide. It comes down to the amount they can collect. This is not to say raising taxes would help things…it most likely wouldn’t. Bringing back businesses and encouraging job creation (private industry, not a government work project), raising salaries and so forth would. I don’t think most people know that our marginal corporate tax rates are around the highest in the world. Only the UAE and Puerto Rico have higher and the latter demonstrably crushed its own country into desolation by increasingly the tax rate on its pharmaceutical companies…predictably, they left.

    Our corporate tax system (before the new changes), hit different companies in wildly different ways and massively rewarded spending on accountants and tax lawyers. The US is one of only two significant economies that taxes companies incorporated in the country on worldwide income instead of only on income earned in the country. This offers a serious advantage for companies incorporated elsewhere. In order to partially mitigate the harshness of this unique rule we have a crazy system of deferred taxation which ends up encouraging foreign investment over domestic investment and also excessive borrowing.

    When I read things like, “one Democratic strategist compare the tax package to giving average workers a one time extra bag of peanuts way back in the knee cramping economy section while the real winners in the super-luxury section get a lifetime of cucumber facials. All that before the plane then takes off without enough fuel to go anywhere.” I have to wonder how many people are aware of the above? I’m reminded of the tax on luxury yachts a few years back. Yeah, only the rich buy yachts this will only impact them! Well…the rich just bought their yachts overseas…the real impact was on everyone who built and sold them in the US.

    Per presidents and deficits, do democrats lower deficits? Well, as stated above a lot of it comes down to how much is collected. A really good economy, as we had in the 90s with the internet bubble, provides a lot of revenue. Plus the cold war was over so military was slashed (though more in use than ever, making test patterns over the land of Mecca and Medina and bombing over in Kosovo after Cadet I’d-rather-smoke-pot-and-attend-anti-war-protests-at-Oxford-and visit-the-country-that-was-arming-the-folks-who-were-killing-our-soldiers-and-I-actually-stated-in-writing-I-loath-the-military chose to ignor a Congressional vote against the military operation)

    All four years of Obama’s first term in office, by contrast, we had the highest deficit rates ever (or at least since the seventies). Was the deficit “going down”? Well, yes….but only compared to Obama’s first years, not compared to years before. Kind of depends on the hand one is dealt. Obama was on the receiving end of huge stimulus package. The reason for the large deficit. Cadet (insert above description here) was on the receiving end of an economic boom and military drawdown.

    Like

    1. Link to budget percentages listed above:

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/04/what-does-the-federal-government-spend-your-tax-dollars-on-social-insurance-programs-mostly/

      “When thinking about federal spending, it’s worth remembering that, as former Treasury official Peter Fisher once said, the federal government is basically “a gigantic insurance company,” albeit one with “a sideline business in national defense and homeland security.” In fiscal year 2016, which ended this past Sept. 30, the federal government spent just under $4 trillion, and about $2.7 trillion – more than two-thirds of the total – went for various kinds of social insurance (Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, unemployment compensation, veterans benefits and the like). Another $604 billion, or 15.3% of total spending, went for national defense; net interest payments on government debt was about $240 billion, or 6.1%. Education aid and related social services were about $114 billion, or less than 3% of all federal spending. Everything else – crop subsidies, space travel, highway repairs, national parks, foreign aid and much, much more – accounted for the remaining 6%.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You bring up lots of good issues, but I only have time to address one. Besides, I have one to which I think I have something to add.

      One thing that most people don’t stop to think about is that it Congress controls taxes and spending. The president can veto what he does not like and provide leadership, but Congress writes the bills and passes them. So who is in the White House does not by itself allow us to determine which party is more spendthrift.

      People have produced various charts that purport to show which party produces the greatest deficits. Not sure how useful those are. The parties change over time. Democrats don’t look anything like the party of Jefferson and Madison. Republicans may try to cast themselves in the glow of Lincoln and Reagan, but too often their spending habits don’t match their words.

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  2. “We have 2 classes of forecasters: Those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know.”
    — John Kenneth Galbraith

    A couple of scary statistics:

    1. We have either just passed of will soon pass the point where the total national debt is more than the national GDP

    2. Just the interest payment on our national debt is approaching 3% of GDP

    What does this portend? I don’t know, but then again, I’m not an economist.

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    1. The problem with the interest payments is the percentage of the national budget that the interest payments consume. At some point, if that percentage is large enough, the only way we can pay off the debt and still pay for other programs is by printing money. Since we are running a deficit, we are doing that.

      Inflation happens when the money supply increases faster than the amount of goods and services (that is, the GDP). If the our currency starts to inflate too rapidly (whatever that is), no one will want it. The only thing our money is good for to to pay our taxes.

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  3. All I know is you cannot escape reality, nor change the laws of math. Unless drastic change is taken within the next decade we eventually will run out of money and it will be ugly and brutal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Tricia

      Don’t exactly disagree with the sentiment, but I don’t know the timeline. This problem has been ongoing for decades.

      The math that describes our economic system is highly complex. That is why this old joke is out there.

      If you put 10 economists in a room, you’ll get 11 opinions.

      When we have “bipartisan agreement”, what Establishment Democrats and Republican have agreed to do is parasitize the US economy for the sake of some of their special interest donors.

      Are Establishment Democrats and Republican trying to wreck the economy? No. These parasites general understand that it is their best interest not to kill their host. However, they can get too greedy and miscalculate, and eventually they will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reminds me of a joke about how many economists does it take to change a light bulb? 7, plus or minus 10…;)

        And you are right Tom, huge deficits have been going for decades, but at some point reality will intervene and when the money stops, it will literally just stop.

        We can’t get our budgets in order unless serious entitlement reform is undertaken. There is no public appetite for that and thus no motivation for politicians to do anything. Trump in particular appears to want nothing to do with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm … it seems to me it was more a movement than a feeling. There were real people participating in real marches. There were real candidates that local Tea Party groups supported and help get elected. In the 2010 midterm elections, there were 138 candidates for Congress with significant Tea Party support, and reported that all of them were running as Republicans—of whom 129 were running for the House and 9 for the Senate. Overall, 32% of the candidates that were backed by the Tea Party or identified themselves as a Tea Party member won election. Tea Party supported candidates won 5 of 10 Senate races (50%) contested, and 40 of 130 House races (31%) contested.

        While the movement has been somewhat silent lately, there could be a revival of lets say the House Freedom Caucus influence and others in the Senate. Perhaps some of the local groups will reengage.

        Again, thanks for your voice in raising concerns about this outrageous move on the part of our leaders. In many ways, it seems like we are back to square one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Don’t disagree with anything you said. The point I want to make is that what drove the movement was a feeling. The Tea Party was never well organized. Never was a political party. Never had a statement of its philosophy at all “members” of the Tea Party subscribed to. The energy it generated generally went into the Republican Party. Unfortunately, Establishment Republicans seem determined to stifle that energy.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This is just horrible. Our leaders, including our esteemed President, don’t get it. Now I know he didn’t run on the issue of fiscal restraint but this just seems obvious that this continues to be a train wreck in the making.

    You would think enough of them would have a spine to stand up to this nonsense. I know some did, thankful for them, but not enough. I believe my Senator, Ted Cruz voted for it. Now that is sad. It would be interesting to go back and see how many of the 17 Republicans who ran for President voted against this.

    Thanks for your faithful “prophetic” voice. It may be in the wilderness but it won’t be for naught.

    Be blessed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t believe our nation is “dying,” rather it is being sold out piece by piece using today’s dollars in exchange for electronic gadgets being manufactured all over the world except in the USA.

    That and shipping our military out of the USA all over the world believing we are the only ones in the world who can do it and pay for it.

    While in the meantime, accepting and paying for anyone and everyone who decides to enter and live in the USA. While it may be a Christian duty to help those in need, there is also a need to do so wisely.

    Foreign aid money goes ten times further if spent in another country than the USA.

    In other words, We are the Masters of our Own Disasters”

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your post is timely, My wife is a Lutheran, so I like to listen to Lutheran Public Radio here in the Midwest from time to time to keep up with the inner workings of her church. I recently listened to a show on Issues etc. who had retired Prof. Alvin Schmidt of Illinois College speak about the ills of Multiculturalism and how the ideology is dressed as “learning about other cultures,” whereas it’s dressed that way to hide from the fact that it’s ideology that is anti-Western culture. He does speak about the Constitution and the Republic at the end of the podcast, but in his opinion America was never a Christian nation because it was founded in large part by deist, but was a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values, a first in history, which is why we had such a successful start so to speak.

    It’s an interesting podcast nonetheless, and knowing that his former college is a bastion of Diversity Culture, I don’t know how they still allow him to affiliate with their college.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wrote this about 10 years ago.
      https://citizentom.com/2008/09/10/deism-and-the-founding-fathers/

      The Founders created a secular government to protect religious freedom for a nation of people who claimed a Christian heritage. Unfortunately, those Christians let secularized schools educate their children. Therefore, the nature of our government is no longer well suited to the character of our people. It seems we want a more authoritarian regime.

      Liked by 2 people

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