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March 11, 2010

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On the edge of a nightmare, historic vote scheduled for the House on Sunday some thoughts:

I am not a big fan of the lack of bipartisan participation in government no matter which party is guiding us. The back and forth "payback" by both parties is, in my mind, endangering the country. I can only hope that those of us who believe in governing from the center will get control of our country soon. The entitlement programs, the debt and the deficits that are being thrust on the American people are leading us to a position of unrealistic expectations for the citizens of this country that cannot be met. One of the problems that has led to the Democrats justification of their tactics to pass healthcare with reconcilliation is that the Republicans attempted to use the nuclear option during the Bush years and were successfully stopped through a determined effort of Senator Reid. This move allows the Dems to claim it is only fair that they now use the same tactics to pass their healthcare package. The question remains whether any of them will remember the outrage they felt when Bush tried it and take the time to consider whether revenge is worth the price they are asking America to pay. In his book Senator Reid said this approach was wrong. Perhaps not wrong for Nancy Pelosi I guess. Just as it is now perfectly ok to have turned the water back on in California (endangering the 2" fish again) in return for a couple votes for healthcare--but it was not ok to save thousands of jobs and farm production before this.
This is a great country but I believe Obama is leading us into behavior as reckless as my child with an unlimited credit card headed to Las Vegas on his 21st birthday. I consider Obama to be one of the biggest risks Americans have ever elected to office. I have no doubt that he sees a vision of a world much beyond Matin Luther King's. And, it has some basis for justice. As a child I saw a similar vision for the Indians. But in a world full of enemies and competitors America must first maintain a competative edge. If we are to pay our people more. If we are to regulate our industries more. If we are to give them safe workplaces. If we are to fund medicare and social security. If we are to produce safe products and services. If we are to keep our water and air clean. Then, to attain all this, changes to our systems must be gradual. We cannot embrace China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and their abusive economic practices and compete with them as well if we continue to punish America's businesses and investors. We did not get to a service dominated economy because we cannot compete in manufacturing markets. No, we chose to mandate conditions on America's manufacturing businesses that made us unable to compete in anything that requires uneducated labor. I don't care where you look: textiles, cars, steel--- we didn't ship the jobs overseas we legislated them over there. And, we did it willingly. So be it. Every legislative action that increased the cost to manufacture in America resulted in a lowering of the standard of living of the middle class. Every American blue collar worker gave part of his/her income to a poor person somewhere overseas. One by one American's who generation after generation gave their lives to secure the world's freedom have now given their livlihood. Our last stand, like the Alamo, is America's small businesses. And, we, the leaders standing in command of the Alamo, are asking for some relief. Instead we see an onslaught of new taxes, penalties, costs,regulations,restrictions not from the Mexican army but rather from the American Congress. I watched Obama's interview on Fox yesterday and he simply cannot defend his position when asked a direct question. Instead he has to avoid giving answers and lecture as if we are all students watching someone educate us. A leader would stop selling and listen. Even a good salesman knows when the customer is not buying. See he thinks this is about healthcare and coverage for the needy. It is not. We all want that. This is about government spending. Period. The American people know the education bill and the energy bill are lined up right behind this one. And, they are saying enough is enough.
All I can say is that Democrats must have great confidence in the Republican party because they are about to hand the next Administration the biggest problem any Administration has ever faced in our history: $15 Trillion dollars of debt, a $1.5 trillion deficit, a high unemployment economy and Trillions of dollars in unfunded mandates. And, there is little doubt which party will get the next shot to fix it after this vote.

Ooops--China rejects tying their currency to the US dollar. This move prevents the US from benefiting from lower dollars to increase exports and being more competative in Chinese markets. This disrupts a big part of Obama's prounion/promanufacturing strategy of exploiting the lower valued dollar to increase their production and create union jobs. His dream of a US-Chinese partnership are evaporating quickly. It seems that Obama is learning quickly in his first term that a handshake (a few bows) and a smile don't really go too far in the international world. Obama and the Chinese Communist leaders are both entering the election cycle once again and campaign season does not entice the Chinese to be seen as Obama friendly US puppets. Obama is campaigning in Northeast Ohio today.

Very soon the US people had better learn that these international markets require some tough strategy and that they need to get their politicians straight on what is needed to play in them. Domestic oil and gas production is a requisite for an economy that is not hamstrung by imported oil and a big balance of payments deficit. Realistic environmental constraints that do not punish American businesses. Wages unhampered by labor laws and union constraints
to allow American businesses to produce goods inside the US rather than overseas. A buy American policy supported by punishing tarriffs against countries that do not work to buy US technology and services to balance our trade relationship. An aggressive move away from our enemies (China, Russia and Saudia Arabia) and strong moves to build industrial relationships closer to home with Mexico and Canada. It is time for the US to play hardball while our markets are still the most lucrutive in the world and easy to protect. Perhaps the best thing that has happened to the US since Obama has been in office is the demise of the Toyota brand. That alone has reduced America's appetite for their cars. This is giving Ford the shot in the arm it needed. Ford's stock has gone from $2.75 the day it turned down Obama's offer to participate in the bailout to Friday's close at $13.50 partially fueled by Toyota's problems.(This month Ford passed GM as America's leading car company. It only took one year for Ford to prove that private companies outproduce government owned ones.) Obama's gamble that the declining dollar will save the unions and make the world right for a socialistic USA is ironically being countered mostly by the Communist Chinese dictator who refuses to go along, the ignorant tea party bastards who see through it and a growing debt that cannot be sustained or serviced.

If he is successful in passing the healthcare, Energy and education bills by the November elections the country will be facing enormous increased cost of production, debt service, entitlements and a surging employment bill for government workers. When conservatives finally regain control the diet America will require may create a recession that will make this one pale.

Meanwhile we have the VP in Isreal making them feel comfortable about our handling of Iran. By the way what happened to the Secretary of State-- Mrs. Clinton? I believe she could be a little smoother than Mr. Biden--but then she might be busy building huts in Haiti or delivering cell phones to Chile.

It appears likely that the Democrats have figured out a way to overcome the 60 votes needed to pass their liberal agenda and nothing is going to stop them. Obama is staying home reportedly to promise Democrats who are voted out of office (for having supported his healthcare bills) jobs in the Administration to give them the courage to make the vote for it. Forget the Nebraska and Louisiana deals for states---now if the report is true --they are featherbedding jobs for the politicians themselves.. With this deceptive practice in place them the President is quickly lining up his education reform bill and his energy bill to get them through probably using reconcilliation if necessary. Then they will fight to keep them if the voters turn out the Democrats in Novemeber.

This single two year term of Congress with the liberal's majority position, its use of reconcilliation, it's deceptive "stimulus" packages can actually increase the debt of Americans beyond payback or even debt service for generations to come. It also appears that the insurance providers are playing right along by making mega rate hikes to fuel Obama's charge that they need to be controlled. Why would they do that? In order to get the Obama plan passed adding 30 Million more customers to their market with the US Government footing the bill and knowing full well the US government cannot control the rising costs of anything. How has the Governemnt that is supposed to work for us gotten to the point that it can do whatever it wants --despite us?

On the climate change front we now have Sieman's running ads claiming that they have already invested in climate change solutions and therefore we should implement them. And, that of course climate change is real. Obviously, Sieman's is worried it invested it's R&D in solutions the world may not buy.

Please devote a blog (or several) to Paul Ryan's proposals and how they may (or may not) be a reflection of Republican philosophy.

Nice article, Bo. Despite the election rhetoric to the contrary the Federal government does not purchase on the basis of economics. Instead it purchases on the basis of political advantage. Virtually all politicians do it. For a few months early in his Presidency Ronald Reagan began to dismantle and role back the Federal government size and costs. However, after the Air Traffic controller strike and as soon as he began to take on the Energy Department he was stopped. From then on the best he could do was control the growth of government. And, today we are paying the price for him being stopped. Let's look at a few examples:

1. The average Federal employee now makes $79,000 a year compared to the average civilian worker who makes $40,000 a year. Nearly 100% more. By the way 37% of public employees are in unions compared
to only 7% of private workers.

2. At the end of each fiscal Year the federal managers are allowed to spend their unspent money without full scrutiny by funding unsolicited proposals and adding the money to existing contracts in essence storing it for future use. They do this in order to justify an equal or larger budget for the next fiscal year rather than a reduced budget.

3. Cost plus contracting allows companies to underbid their contracts and then take advantage of cost adjustments as they go along.

4. Earmarks are simply spending allowances for the home state. Each politician uses them to gain advantage as an incumbant over challengers by delivering money to the old home town. Senator Byrd of West Virginia is famous for his earmark deliveries.

5. I participated in providing threat analysis justification for new DOD weapons systems using extrapolated technologies and "what if" scenarios that sold billions of dollars of weapon systems that replaced systems that were never retired. The B-1 was to replace the B-52 a 60 year old bomber that is still a formidable weapon. The Trident submarine system was to replace the Polaris-Poseidan submarine. Why? Longer range missile on board increasing the ocean area it could strike the USSR from.

6. Security clearances are essential to the defense of this nation. However, security clearances and secure installations can give contractors huge advantages over competitors trying to break in to these areas of expertise and services. Is this good or bad?

7. Then there is the cost of the entitlement systems. We are debating in this nation the "fraud and waste" of the Medicare/Medicaid system as a part of the healthcare debate. If there really is $400B in fraud then let's get after it. Why do we have to pass the Obama plan to get the FBI and Holder in action? We have lost $400B this year while we debated it. What about Social Security fraud? What about unemployment fraud? What about FEMA fraud from hurricanes?

8. Ever ask yourself how the United States ever got to 50,000 nuclear weapons when Japan surrendered after two hit their cities? And, these were amoung the smallest weapons (5 kilotons ) ever produced. Todays missles carry megaton weapons. How did we get to 1000 Minuteman missiles ? 500 submarine based missiles?

9. Ever ask yourself why we are so facinated with space when the ocean depths have so much more promise of prosperity for humans? Why the money there and not the money for ocean explorationand development? What is the cost benefit ratio of each?

We could go on to the $500 hammer and on and on. But enough for now.

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