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November 25, 2010

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Two quick thoughts:

1. the Warning Bell Tolls--just after I posted the thought of the warning bell the debt commission came out with a similar warning saying last night that despite our size we probably have 2-5 years to take action against our debt to aviod catastrophic consequences. With that in mind here is observation 2.:

2. Two days after the "Old Boys Club" met on the new bipartisan message theysaid they "got" from the people two things happened:
42 Republican Senators anticipating a blitz of Democratic bills headed their way from the Lame Duck House issue a letter to Senator Reid warning them that they will vote down the bills that are not considered of utmost concern to the people. And, to keep things truly partisan:
The Democrats, despite the President's new Tax negotiation commission formed Tuesday, immediately introduced in the House the President's tax cut extension for those making less than $250k bill for a vote. I'm assuming with a wink to the smiling President and the middle finger to his commission members before they begin work.
The good news for the public. This idiotic show will only last for 18 days as Democrats push bill after bill at the Republicans in an attempt to make them look like the party of "no" as the Senate votes them all down. Or will it only last 18 days?
The new Congress comes in after the break and what will it do? Republicans will likely pass bill after bill in the House and send them to the Senate only to be defeated with Democrats declaring we are only doing what they did to us!! And, America will have to wait 2 more years to send the next message to these politicians. Bipartisanship, negotiations? Leadership? What does it say to the world about this President's management competance? Obama leads three people: Himself as the I man, Reid and Pelosi former facillitators as the new defenders. And, who would expect them to change? The people? Frustrated? Help!

THE WARNING BELL TOOLS FOR ----

Nothing could be more timely than the warning bells being sounded in the EU by Greece and now Ireland for America. With actuarial tables completely out of whack, social programs that sap the treasury of all it's cash and national debt that cannot be serviced, the EU countries begin to become reliant on their economic partners to bail them out. Sound familiar? California and New York beg the Feds for bailout cash while continuing to pass social programs and ignore their mounting debt and mounting deficits. Meanwhile the Republicans meet with the President to see if they can help him understand why the American people who have heard the warning bell voted a major portion of his party out of office in national and state elections. Republicans, themselves no innocent bystanders, are the recipients of the message from the people: No more debt, no more social programs ahead of jobs and no more government growth. Let's all hope the warning bell is heeded.

My take on the three Harrycat ??'s:

1. Mexican border--secure is secure. It takes two things: Commitment of will and resources to close it. And, commitment/action to deport all of those caught and enforcement of meaningful penalties for those who aid and employ those here illegally. At the moment there are token efforts by the FEDS to close it. No effort to deport noncriminals by ICE. Lots of aid by refuge cities to help them. Minor enforcement of illegal employment.

2. The Treaty is an easy issue. Send McConnell and Reid to Russia and negotiate an extension through May with the resumption of inspections in the interim. That will allow time for the new Senate with it's 16 new members (32%) to be seated and study the treaty. If there is no political game playing then that should be acceptable to both sides.

3. On taxes for those over $250k --why tax these guys? Tax the true rich people--the people earning several million dollars a year: rock stars, movie moguls, TV actors, Professional sports owners who are exempt from taxes by Congress,the Wall Street boys, etc. But in the meantime roll back all of the costs of government 3% a year for 5 years. Obama is at least freezing governement salaries for 3 years. That is a start.

a couple add ons: As I suggested several months ago on this site: Give the Korean problem to the Chinese. Withdraw the US troops over the next 2 years and let the Chinese figure out how to handle the North Koreans. We've watched over them for 58 years--that's long enough. The South can use it's American dollars to buy nuclear weapons and defend itself.

The Chinese are developing natural gas cars. The US has untold sources of domestic natural gas. The Chinese own 1% of General Motors stock. So let's get them to do a joint venture with GM and build natural gas cars that will burn US Natural gas. We do joint ventures with the Japanese all the time--why not China? Make the parts in China and assemble them here creating jobs for Americans, tax revenue and balance of payments this direction. I think I can find Democratic support for natural gas buses, trucks and cars. Maybe even a national pipeline system for distribution. And, Alaska will pump the gas.

My take on the three Harrycat ??'s:

1. Mexican border--secure is secure. It takes two things: Commitment of will and resources to close it. And, commitment/action to deport all of those caught and enforcement of meaningful penalties for those who aid and employ those here illegally. At the moment there are token efforts by the FEDS to close it. No effort to deport noncriminals by ICE. Lots of aid by refuge cities to help them. Minor enforcement of illegal employment.

2. The Treaty is an easy issue. Send McConnell and Reid to Russia and negotiate an extension through May with the resumption of inspections in the interim. That will allow time for the new Senate with it's 16 new members (32%) to be seated and study the treaty. If there is no political game playing then that should be acceptable to both sides.

3. On taxes for those over $250k --why tax these guys? Tax the true rich people--the people earning several million dollars a year: rock stars, movie moguls, TV actors, Professional sports owners who are exempt from taxes by Congress,the Wall Street boys, etc. But in the meantime roll back all of the costs of government 3% a year for 5 years. Obama is at least freezing governement salaries for 3 years. That is a start.

a couple add ons: As I suggested several months ago on this site: Give the Korean problem to the Chinese. Withdraw the US troops over the next 2 years and let the Chinese figure out how to handle the North Koreans. We've watched over them for 58 years--that's long enough. The South can use it's American dollars to buy nuclear weapons and defend itself.

The Chinese are developing natural gas cars. The US has untold sources of domestic natural gas. The Chinese own 1% of General Motors stock. So let's get them to do a joint venture with GM and build natural gas cars that will burn US Natural gas. We do joint ventures with the Japanese all the time--why not China? Make the parts in China and assemble them here creating jobs for Americans, tax revenue and balance of payments this direction. I think I can find Democratic support for natural gas buses, trucks and cars. Maybe even a national pipeline system for distribution. And, Alaska will pump the gas.

Harry Cat has asked a couple of questions which I will respond to here:
1.About increasing taxes on people earning over $250,000. First, it is inconceivable that the Congress and the administration have not clarified tax rates - income, dividend, capital gains, estate - which will take effect a month from now. A big piece of creating jobs is providing certainty. That said, there is some point at which increased taxes reduce economic activity but I think that the Republicans overplay the point here. On the other hand the "we will have to pay for it" perspective suggests that the money being taxed belongs to the government - it belongs to the people who have earned it and the debate is how much of it the government will take.
2. The issue on the nuclear disarmanment treaty is not just a "party of No" - some will disagree with the argument, but it is real. The Russians want to say that any improvement in defensive missile shields (where we have the technological advantage and are deploying) allows them to depart from the levels of offensive missiles agreed to in the treaty. For a variety of reasons, Obama is rolling over on that point.
3. I'd take a "best efforts" approach to seccuring the Mexican border, recognizing that it is also necessary to punish those providing jobs, eliminate "sanctuary cities", and make a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants - in medical coverage, housing aid, education, etc. The rule of law should mean something.

Bill, It speaks to the void of leadership that California, one of the most naturally rich geographical places on earth, can have gotten to such a desperate situation. To hope that a new generation of immigrants will eventually save the state from the current generation of Californians' selfish and niave behavior is sad and disheartening. If California wants to be the leaders in saving the world from itself then raise the taxes enough to balance the budget and see how long the appetite for social services lasts. Failure to do so is immature and self defeating behavior.

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