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January 28, 2010

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Another inch of snow last night and 5-10 inches coming Saturday. I'm hoping for Global warming before golf becomes extinct in Virginia. I now look for Polar bears on the ice on our lake.

AND NOW FOR MY REAL COMMENT FOR TODAY:

I'm spending a lot of energy trying to get somebody to understand that small businesses in America are the key to getting unemployment back down. And, every month or two I think the President is finally "getting it". But, you know, a progressive doesn't think about anything except spending money. First , he calls for a "Jobs summit" and invites the union leaders, economists, professors, government people, the Fortune 500 types and fails to invite the Better busines people who represent to some degree small business. Then, yesterday he announces he's going to appropriate $30B or so of the TARP money returned by the banks and give it to the banks to lend to small businesses. (Kick aside the fact that he just yelled at the banks to get it back to him.) Banks are NOT RISK TAKERS. They require security, balance sheets and Income statements or at worst tax returns to lend to small business owners. After 24 months of recession America's small businessses still surviving have little security, shredded balance sheets and red income statements. Their ability to romance a loan or LOC from a bank is nonexistant. The banks have the money. They just don't have the guts to loan it out. What the President fails to understand is that we need LOAN GUARANTEES just like the home owners who are facing foreclosures. Obama has to share the risk with us. Those of us who survive and bounce back will pay back the loans and the interest to cover those who fail. If we all go down then China wins and the risk he took will not matter. Please, Mr President will you "get it?" Getting money to small businesses will increase spending for manufacturing companies and services. It will prompt hiring. And in the end it will create increased tax revenues. Here are the numbers one more time: Number of Companies in the USA: 8,820,000 Number of companies with more than 250 employees: 43,000 1/2 of 1 % Number of employees in USA: 107,600,000 Number of employees in companies with less than 250 employees: 81,600,000 or 76 % Where would you think it wise to stimulate the economy? "Get it?"

Did you know that the 50 tax laws that are going to expire this year will increase taxes $1 Trillion over the next 5 years? What do you think that will do for the economy? And did you know that it may take 100% of the personal taxes from all the people in the USA to service the projected debt in only five years?

And today once again he hosted the governors on clean energy stating once again that we cannot stand still while "the rest of the world speeds ahead". China and India speeding ahead? Who is speeding ahead? And who says we're standing still? When the markets demand it America will produce the technology and products to serve it--for a profit. Please, Mr President, give it a break. I'm too busy shoveling the snow to see through the smoke.

And one more random thought:

It occurred to me as I was shoveling 8" of snow from our driveway this winter that in the 42 years I've lived in Northern Virgiian there have been three major snowstorms: 1996 and two in the last 2 months. Now I am a believer in global warming. There is no doubt it is occurring. But the real question is can man really produce warming fast enough to destroy the world? Or, will man alter his course simply because of the economics of doing so? Obama attempts to shame us into action by telling us that the other countries are doing it? But, are we to believe that Europeans are more socially and environmentally conscious than Americans? No--no one in the world cares as much as Americans about anything from AIDS, to Haiti, to Hitler, to Iran, to Sunami's, to Sadam chemical attacks on the Kurds and Iranians (yes-Iranians), to the Palestinians, to funding the UN, to lead in paint, etc. Could it be that economics gives the Europeans incentive to make the changes? Yep, anyone ever look at the price of gasoline in Europe? For as long as I have been studying the energy (Crisis?) gasoline in Europe has cost at least 2-3 times what it costs in the US. Western Europe has no domestic oil although there are some depleted fields off Netherland's coast.
So, Europeans have economic incentives to conserve oil and to build more efficient cars. Where did the Volkswagen come from 50 years ago? Why did all the European cars that our parents drove as their first, second car get great gas mileage while we drove the 365 hp Chevy's with 4 on the floor and 9 miles to the gallon? (Gas was 25 cents a gallon then.) So it is possible, perhapse even likely that the USA will improve everything based on economics as it becomes profitable. Why the rush to pay for it with Taxpayers dollars or "super debt" and give the economic advantage to China who could care less? It isn't as if we were standing still and need Obama to save us from our ignorance. As soon as the "bug" hit America and competed for the second car market American cars began to gain efficiency and improved mileage. My Tahoe gets 18 miles to the gallon. That beats the hell out of my Expedition at 12 mpg 6 years ago. And, kills my Chevy Impala of 1965. Plus I have unleaded gas. Plus I have a catalytic converter. Batteries last twice as long. My tires go at least 20,000 miles further. So, Mr President back off a little and let the American industry decide when there is a market for these products and we'll build the industries, employ the workers, make a profit, pay the taxes and save the world. In the meantime stop trying to shame us into your solutions. If the Europeans had the reserves in coal and oil and nearby refineries they would have no interest in "global warming" technology--yet.

Fake emails, reverse temperature data, unreliable if not fraudulent Polar Bear, Ozone layer doomsday scenarios and "shame on us" speeches to the world are not necessary. I even wonder about the correlation between tree rings and temperature. My kids experiments for High school correllated plant growth to rain fall not temperature. But, if they're honest the scientists may be better than my kids and right this time. i can at least trust my kids experiments. Please, world, stop the hustle and present the facts.

America leads the world in most everything and we don't need to be conned to do so. Just let free enterprise be as free of costraints as it can be and we will be just fine. Why not start a commission to review all the things government has done to constrain our industry from competing in the world and see what you can do to help us? Before we all look like California.

Some thoughts from over the weekend:

Obama's defense team is having a very difficult time defending his actions. While his speech had a lot of public rhetoric his actions so far indicate that he will continue the smoke and mirrors approach to implement his progressive programs. His meeting with Republicans found little to be hopeful about. He admitted Republicans have put ideas on the table but never directly addressed why no one listened or included them in talks. He admitted that he had little transparency but instead of promising any said "it was a mistake" meaning, I suppose, that he cannot control Pelosi and Reid's closed door leadership style. And, he likened criticsm of his healthcare plan as describing it as a Bolshevik plot. That was brilliant because that is much like what it is. And, by trying to reverse the criticism using those words made some of us pause and reconsider for a moment whether or not we really see him as a socialist. However, I have reconfirmed my feelings.

It is amazing how easy it is for him to push the "we inherited the mess button from GWB". Let's look at it:

-----He inherited a winning surge strategy from GWB that is now allowing him to take credit for ending the war in Iraq.

-----He inherited TARP which successfully ended the panic over the bank failures and allowed him to take credit for getting the money back.

-----He blames Bush for the dramatic increase in deficits but Reid and Pelosi and the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 a full two years before the end of the Bush Presidency and contributed the huge deficit spending that is now in it's 4th year with a $4T budget projected to give us deficits of $1.6 and $1.3 trillion in the next two years.

-----He inherited a system that had kept America secure since 911 and began immediately to "change" it. In the name of our public image to the world.

-----He inherited a near perfect solution to the housing and prosecution of terrorists with Guantanamo and immediately decided to close it. Trials and confinement are cost effective, secure and quick.

-----He inherited fantastic Drone technology that allows him to strike terroist camps throughout the world keeping Al Queda leaders on edge. The latest Pakistan leader of the Taliban lasted only a few months.

It was an idication of his intent to stay the course, I think, when he commented at Saturday's Georgetown BBall game that he will either be in office 3 years or 7 years. He appears to be resigned to forging ahead whether the voters go along or not. That must be a nightmare scenario for many Democratic congressmen and women. An indication of how far away they are distancing themselves was the vote on the "Cost reduction committee" bill in the US Senate. Brown has not yet been seated and Obama had 60 Senators to pass it. 17 Republicans voted for the bill and yet Obama(Reid) could not get the 47 out of 60 from his won party he needed to pass it.

Not even his own party agree with Holder on the public trials anymore. And, a now Senator Schumer from NY is reversing himself. A quick note: Schumer is the successor to be to Harry Reid if Reid is defeated in Novemeber and he is quickly moderating his public image as his prospects improve. More Smoke and Mirrors.

First-- a note on the 5.7% surge in the economy---see interviews don't lie. Employers are "looking". It reamins to be seen if they are going to "hire" but I believe they will soon. Whether the economy can sustain the onslaught of debt service and taxes to come is a wait and see proposition. But the recession is older than most and relief is due.

Now on to my thoughts about Obama's moves:

I watched the speech again last night and I was particularly interested in seeing if I could identify areas where you could actually get some bipartisan support on issues if anyone in Congress is really interested in solutions and not politics. And that question unto itself is a place I would begin.

In order for the public to begin to believe in Washington again there needs to be genuine power sharing by the President. If I were the country's leader I would invite the 4 most respected members of each party into my office and come to a consensus of the country's 3 most important issues to be resolved. Once I got agreement on that I would then begin negotiations to get to a plan to solve them. And I would not let up until it was done. only then would the public begin to believe the parties were looking for solutions not leverage. And, only then will the problems move toward solutions.

Appointing a commission to come up with a book of recomendations to be accepted or not never works. Leadership is rolling up your sleeves and getting it done. The President if he is anything like I percieve him is focused on an agenda to take from the rich and give to the poor. With the country mired in a recession and piling up massive debt the "take away" strategy is not going to work. To improve the lot of the poor one has to make the rich richer so that they invest their money in the businesses they own. Unfortunately for this President his version of who's rich includes the small business owners who employ most Americans. And as long as he believes this he is doomed to fail because it prevents him from compromising in order to get solutions that the Republicans will agree to. You can't run a center right country by imposing far left solutions or even proposing them. You have to begin with left center solutions.

His solutions on education begin with college financing. He says you cannot have good jobs in America anymore with high school diplomas. Give me a break, Mr. President. The drop out rate in Detroit High Schools is 75%. Solve that problem and employers will hire people. Look 14% of Americans make a living selling. Another group are running small businesses. They don't need college degrees. Police, Firefighters, Soldiers,plumbers, construction workers, IT people, retail managers, etc don't have to have college degrees. What America's businesses need is kids who can do basic math, understand computers, write, spell, speak, etc. The President cannot expect every kid in America to be an Ivy league grad. He should be visiting the inner city and singing "pants on the ground" and solving the teen pregnancy, gang violence, drug problems. Get them through high school. If what we need is college graduates then why have we turned a blind eye to 30,000,000 illegal, uneducated Mexicans coming into our country and increasing our social costs dramatically? The solution to getting Ivy league graduates is to get them motivated to get through High School with the basic skills to do college work or to do quality work for an employer. And, to get them there without a baby or a drug habit. Did you hear one word in his state of the union speech about the teen pregancy prolem, gang vilolence problem, or high school dropout problem? Nope college funding programs. I watched it twice and Americas basic problems were not addressed.

Not one word on Boone Pickens Natural Gas proposal and switch away from wind mills. So he now approves offshore dirlling--then uncap the wells in Southern California they are already drilled. That single move would send the price of oil straight down. The US balance of payments and balance of trade would begin to reverse. The dollar would be respected again. China will buy the oil if we don't want it. California will begin to save itself. I applaude nuclear power--now initiate construction on 10 of the plants this week. but figure out where you are going to dump the waste.

I also applaude the attempt to reduce nuclear weapons with the Soviets but why were the Chinese not at the table? The US can dump 40,000 nuclear weapons and not lose one ounce of capability to deter the world. In the old days we supposedly needed all these weapons for redundancy and first strike survival. But today we have sophisiticated early warning systems and highly accurate guidance systems that make the need for 50,000 weapons unnecessary. I AM NOT for elimination of nuclear weapons. I am for huge reductions in them. It would save the country and the world Trillions of dollars over the next 50 years.

Wouldn't it be nice if someday we got a President who actually understood the defense world, the intelligence world and the business world? Theory and idealism is great but reality and experience is what leadership is really about.

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